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News for 21 July 2017

All the news for Friday 21 July 2017

Women’s World Cup qualification joy for South Africa & Japan in Johannesburg

South Africa women achieved World Cup qualification on Day 13 in Johannesburg. Copyright: FIH / Getty Images

Johannesburg, South Africa: Germany and USA will contest the women’s final of the Hockey World League Semi-Final event after both nations overcame the respective challenges of Argentina and England on Day 13 at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Germany produced a battling performance to triumph 2-1 over Argentina, with Charlotte Stapenhorst scoring the decisive goal as Die Danas claimed their place in the showpiece match. USA and England needed a shoot-out to separate them, with American goalkeeper Jackie Briggs proving the hero with a string of outstanding saves to set up their final meeting with Germany.

The women’s competition final will take place on Sunday 23 July at 15:30 South African Standard Time (UTC +2), while Argentina and England will go head-to-head in the 3-4 classification match on the same day at 11:00.

It was also a day of celebration for Japan and South Africa, who confirmed direct qualification for the Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018. Japan defeated India 2-0 to book their ticket to London before hosts South Africa thrilled the home fans with a 3-0 triumph over Ireland to book their ticket to London.

It was confirmed that the top six from this event would achieve World Cup qualification earlier this week, when England - the hosts of next year’s global showpiece - guaranteed a top five finish by winning their quarter-final. It meant that the highest ranked sixth place finisher from the two Hockey World League Semi-Final events in Belgium and Johannesburg would be guaranteed a World Cup berth. All four of the teams that reached the 5-8 play-off matches are placed higher in in the FIH Hero World Rankings than Italy, the team that finished sixth in Brussels, guaranteeing that the top six from South Africa would all be assured of a World Cup place.

The first of the event semi-finals was packed full of intense action and high drama, with Germany (WR: 7) providing a shock result against an Argentina (WR: 3) side that have been one of the most impressive performers here in Johannesburg. Die Danas were the quickest out of the blocks, taking the lead just seven minutes into the contest when Naomi Heyn converted a slick penalty corner routine. Las Leonas hit back at the start of the second quarter thanks Lucina von der Heyde's brilliant penalty corner deflection, but Germany scored what proved to be the winner on the stroke of half time with composed close range finish from the excellent Charlotte Stapenhorst. Janne Müller-Wieland made her 250th senior international appearance for Germany, with the victory ensuring it was a truly memorable day.

“It is always nice to score, but it is for the team so it doesn’t matter who scores”, said Charlotte Stapenhorst after the match, before discussing which team she would prefer to meet in the competition final. “To be honest I don’t really care. We just want to win this thing now but we have history with England, so maybe it should be them who we meet in the final.”

Stapenhorst’s desire to meet England (WR: 2) in the competition final did not materialise, as USA (WR: 6) battled back from a goal down to force a shoot-out in which goalkeeper Jackie Briggs excelled. Hannah Martin gave England the lead a minute into the second quarter, finishing off a slick passing move involving Susannah Townsend and Sophie Bray, the latter of which was making her 100th senior international appearance. USA dominated the third and fourth quarter before getting that all important goal through Jill Witmer with three minutes remaining.

The shoot-out was dominated by two outstanding goalkeepers, with England's Maddie Hinch and USA's Briggs both only being beaten once before it went to sudden death. The winning goal came from the stick of Melissa Gonzalez - the only player to score past Hinch in the first barrage - firing into the roof of the net following another crucial save from Briggs.

"I feel blessed that Jackie is in our team, I cannot say enough good things about her", said Gonzalez after the match. "England are a great team full of world class players, so it was a big result for us." 

The 5-8 play-off matches both took place ahead of the quarter-finals, with Japan (WR: 11) and India (WR: 12) being first in action. Both of Japan’s goals came courtesy of penalty corners, as Kana Nomura and Naho Ichitani put the Cherry Blossoms into a 2-0 lead before half time. India rallied in the latter stages but could not get the goals they required, with Japan reaching Saturday’s 5-6 classification match where they will face fellow World Cup qualifiers South Africa (WR: 13), conquerers of Ireland (WR: 15).

The home favourites were the better team in the opening two quarters and took a deserved 1-0 lead into half time thanks to Lisa-Marie Deetlefs penalty corner. The Green Army were much improved after the break, but strikes from Bernie Coston and Lilian du Plessis - the latter arriving after Ireland replaced their goalkeeper with a kicking back - gave South Africa World Cup qualification on home soil. India and Ireland will now play-off for seventh place, which is crucial for World Ranking points and may also keep alive World Cup qualification hopes, depending on what happens in the upcoming Continental Championships.

Earlier in the day, Chile (WR: 20) defeated Poland (WR: 18) 2-1 to secure a ninth place finish in the event with the Poles finishing in tenth.

The men’s competition semi-finals in Johannesburg take place on Friday 21 July, with Spain playing Germany at 16:45 South Africa Standard Time (UTC +2) before a mouthwatering meeting between Belgium and Australia gets underway at 19:00. In the 5-8 play-off matches, Egypt will take on New Zealand at 12:15 while Ireland play France at 14:30 as the race for fifth place and the subsequent World Cup ticket that comes with it continues.

Hockey World League Semi-Finals - Johannesburg, South Africa

Women’s 9-10, 5-8 and Semi-Final line-up Results
9-10: Poland 1, Chile 2.
5-8: India 0, Japan 2.
5-8: South Africa 3, Ireland 0
SF: Germany 2, Argentina 1
SF: England 1, USA 1. (1-2 after shoot-out)

Upcoming fixtures and times
All times South Africa Standard Time (UTC +2)

Friday 21st July 2017 - Men’s 9-10, 5-8 & Semi-Finals
10:00: Japan v South Africa (9-10)
12:15: Egypt v New Zealand (5-8)
14:30: Ireland v France (5-8)
16:45: Spain v Germany (SF)
19:00: Australia v Belgium (SF)

Saturday 22nd July 2017
11:15: India v Ireland (W7/8)
13:30: Japan v South Africa (W5/6)

15:45: TBC v TBC (M7/8)
18:00: TBC v TBC (M5/6)

Sunday 23rd July 2017

11:00: England v Argentina (W3/4)

13:15: TBC v TBC (M3/4)
15:30: USA v Germany (W Final)

18:00: TBC v TBC (M Final)

FIH site

Drama as unfancied Germany, USA reach final

JOHANNESBURG: Argentina had a last-gasp goal disallowed and England flopped in a shootout Thursday as unfancied Germany and the United States reached a Women's Hockey World League tournament final in Johannesburg.

Germany prevailed 2-1 over Argentina and the United States pipped England 2-1 in a shootout after a 1-1 draw to win semi-final thrillers at the University of the Witwatersrand.

The Americans and Germans, ranked four places below their rivals in the world, meet Sunday for first place after the Argentines and English contest third place.

Germany survived a late Argentine onslaught and the Americans levelled through five-goal leading tournament scorer Jill Witmer three minutes from time.

"I am proud of the confidence shown by the girls," said German coach Jamilon Mulders. "They have developed a winning mentality.

"Defeating a great hockey nation like Argentina is a wonderful achievement. I am over the moon after this result.

"The team has grown individually and collectively as the tournament progressed and this was easily our most satisfying performance."

Naomi Heyn gave Germany a seventh-minute lead off a penalty corner and Lucina von der Heyde equalised in the opening minute of the second quarter off a subtle deflection.

Julia Gomes missed a great scoring owing to a foot offence and the South Americans were made to pay when Charlotte Stapenhorst put Germany ahead again just before half-time.

As Argentina pressed desperately for an equaliser, they were awarded a penalty corner with one second of the match to go.

From it, they scrambled the ball into the net only to be denied a levelling goal as a video referral ordered by an umpire showed a foot offence.

Skipper Melissa Gonzalez and goalkeeper Jackie Briggs were the shootout stars as the United States triumphed having started slowly before dominating the second half of regular time.

Gonzalez scored off the first shootout shot, and succeeded again off the second shot in the sudden-death phase to take her country through.

Briggs faced six attacks and was beaten only once, by Sarah Haycroft from the fifth English attempt, while twice foiling skipper and superstar Alex Danson.

"We faced a greet England team, but fought for 60 minutes and our resilience won the match," said Gonzalez.

Briggs said practice makes perfect.

"I do practice a lot for shootouts a find them great fun. It is a mental thing -- be positive and believe you will save every attempt."

England took a 16th-minute lead with Hannah Martin finishing off a superb passing movement that carved open the American defence.

They retained that advantage under increasing pressure until goalkeeper Maddy Hinch parried a hard, low Michelle Vittese shot and Witmer made no mistake from point-blank range.

The Times of India

Thrilling Sudden Death Shootout Victory Propels USWNT into the Final

Images courtesy of Rodrigo Jaramillo and Getty Images/FIH

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – July 20, 2017 – Under the lights at Wits University, the U.S. Women’s National Team took on No. 2 England in the second semifinal match of the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals. The 60-minute battle was a testament of the competitive nature of both squads as England found the backboard in the opening minute of the second quarter and USA’s persistence attack located the equalizer in the 57th minute. As the first round of shootouts finished tied at 1-1, USA netted their first and saved England's attempt for a thrilling sudden death victory.

"It was a great team effort and I am really proud of the way we stuck to our game plan," said Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.), USWNT's goalkeeper. "We didn't let frustration set in when we were fighting for the goal. Something special about this team is we have a lot of belief. Even though we may be young, we stick together and rely on each other and never stop fighting."

Encompassing majority of the recent Rio 2016 Olympic Gold Medalists from Great Britain, USA knew they needed to stay composed while having well communication to challenge England. The first quarter saw opportunities for both teams as USA earned the first circle penetration of the game. England would get multiple entries of their own but USA’s defensive unit held strong to make the tackles. Quick passing performance by USA was successful working the ball into the attacking 25 but England limited the threats. The first quarter finished locked at zeros.

Using quickness, England took possession at the start of the second quarter into their attacking end. Just a minute in, an England striker successfully received the ball and backhand dumped it to Hannah Martin who slipped it in to make it USA 0, England 1. USA responded with positive forward movement and in the 21st minute earned their first penalty corner. Although the opportunity did not produce an outcome, USA stayed collected and picked up some key intercepts in the middle of the field that led to instant offense. As time ticked closer to halftime, USA kept working it into their attacking circle but the score stood at halftime.

USA started the third quarter with a high tempo eager to put a stamp on the game. Holding possession for majority of the opening minutes, USA struggled to find the final forward pass. Breakthroughs continued for USA but England remained low and collected to gather the chances and clear them.

Persistence sustained in the fourth quarter, as USA knew they needed to continue to work hard on the search for an outcome. Chance after chance came for USA as they showcased relentless play with positive circle entries. A penalty circle sequence fell in favor of USA but the ball wouldn’t cross the goal line. Staying composed when England would counter attack the other way, USA was defensively smart making key intercepts. In the 56th minute, England’s Lily Owsley was given a yellow card for pushing sending her off the field for 5 minutes and the remainder of the match. USA took advantage of the situation and off an intercept in the middle of the field Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) tracked with speed, passed it to Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) who entered the circle took a backhand and Witmer was there on the rebound to get the equalizer. USA threatened in the final minutes but was unable to find the go-ahead goal as the game finished tied at 1-1 to send it into shootouts.

Set to go first, Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) netted her attempt as the remaining USA efforts would be blocked. On the defending side, USA goalkeeper Briggs saved the first four of England’s shootouts but they notched the fifth sending it into a sudden death round.

With England fixed to go first, Briggs came up big blocking England’s Alex Danson shot. Next up was Gonzalez who stayed composed over the ball and swept it into the net over a sliding England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch to earn the thrilling sudden death victory propelling USA into to the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals Final game.

"During the shootout, I just tried to stay in the moment and do my best to get behind the ball," commented Briggs, on the shootout. "I am very proud of Melissa for converting twice to put us in the Final."

The USWNT will face Germany in the final on Sunday, July 23 at 9:30 a.m. EST.

USFHA media release

USA defeat England in penalty shootout

England v USA

England were defeated by the USA in a dramatic penalty shootout in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.

Captain Melissa Gonzalez netted the winning penalty despite Maddie Hinch’s best efforts, who made four stops in the shootout.

Hannah Martin had given England the lead in normal time, a lead that they kept until the closing minutes, but Jill Witmer levelled to send the game to a shootout.

Reflecting on the match, coach David Ralph said: "We are obviously disappointed with the result tonight. It was an intense, tight game that unfortunately didn't go our way.

"This is a great group though and we will regroup and look forward to playing Argentina on Sunday."

It was England who started brightest, immediately pinning the USA back with consistent pressure on their defensive line. The first chance of the game fell to Danson but her shot from a tight angle found the side board.

The USA responded but it was England who again went closest to taking the lead, Emily Defroand stole possession in midfield and the counter attack saw Zoe Shipperley with time to shoot but her effort snuck wide of the right post.

Shortly before the first break England were again frustrated not to pull ahead, Danson danced into the circle before unleashing a reverse stick strike which was kept out by Jackie Briggs.

Immediately after the restart England took the lead in stunning fashion. Townsend carried the ball before finding Bray in the circle, a clever reverse pass then released Martin who finished coolly.

Both sides were showing exactly why they had progressed to the semi-finals of the tournament, the game being played at a fierce pace with plenty of chances but at half-time the score remained 1-0.

There continued to be little between the teams in the third quarter but the USA did begin to take control of the encounter enjoying more possession, however determined defensive work from England kept their chances to a minimum as they entered the final fifteen minutes still in the lead.

It had been a relatively quiet night for Maddie Hinch but in the final quarter she was called into action. From three penalty corners in quick succession she made five saves including one stunning triple to keep England’s lead intact. 

Lily Owsley was shown a yellow card for a push in the closing stages and with three minutes remaining a reverse stick strike across goal deflected into Hinch and dropped to Witmer to tap home and force a shootout.

Gonzalez stepped up first to score and put the USA ahead but from here on it was all about the goalkeepers, Hinch and Briggs saved the next seven penalties between them with some stunning saves.

Sarah Haycroft kept her cool to level with England’s fifth penalty but Danson’s sudden death effort was saved. Gonzalez stepped up again and finished high into the top corner to send the USA into final.

England will face Argentina in the bronze medal match on Sunday morning at 10am UK time live on BT Sport.

England starting XI: Maddie Hinch (GK), Giselle Ansley, Laura Unsworth, Hollie Webb, Anna Toman, Sarah Haycroft, Emily Defroand, Susannah Townsend, Nicola White, Alex Danson (C), Sophie Bray

Subs (Used): Zoe Shipperley, Grace Balsdon, Shona McCallin, Jo Hunter, Hannah Martin, Lily Owsley

Subs (Unused): Amy Tennant (GK)

England Hockey Board Media release

SA women ensure they will travel to World Cup

 by Ken Borland

The South African women’s hockey side made sure that they will travel to London next year for the World Cup as they beat Ireland 3-0 in the Hockey World League at Wits Astro on Thursday, ensuring that they will finish either fifth or sixth in the prestigious tournament that ends on Sunday.

Normally, the top five from the Hockey World League semi-finals gain automatic qualification for the World Cup, but because England are hosting the 2018 edition of hockey’s biggest event and they finished in the top five in Johannesburg, it has opened up another spot and sixth place will be good enough for South Africa.

South Africa dominated the first half against Ireland, but took their time in transferring that on to the scoreboard.

The opening goal eventually came in the 24th minute after three successive short-corners, with a rebound falling to Lisa-Marie Deetlefs, who lashed an excellent reverse-sticks shot into goal at the near post.

But South Africa lost focus for the next 20 minutes, giving too much ball away through poor basics or ill-judged passes, and were fortunate that Ireland did not equalise.

Just a minute before halftime, Deirdre Duke’s swerving run earned Ireland a short-corner, and although goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande made a good save, the ball deflected into Nicolene Terblanche standing in front of goal. It was touch-and-go whether the ball was going into goal or missing, with Australian umpire Aleisha Neumann wisely calling for a video review of her own decision to award a penalty stroke.

The views from in front of the action and from behind seemed to contradict each other on the path of the ball and it would have been unwise for the TV umpire to over-rule the on-field official’s call.

So Roisin Upton stepped forward to take the stroke, but sent it flying into the post and a massively relieved home side went into the break still 1-0 up.

Mbande has alternated through most of the tournament with Nicole la Fleur in goal, and the University of Pretoria graduate pulled off an excellent reflex stick-save to deny Chloe Watkins early in the second half and Watkins also threatened goal from a short-corner in the 43rd minute.

But if nothing else, this South African side has shown true character and growing composure and confidence through the tournament, and, having weathered the storm, they ended the match by dominating the final quarter.

The second goal came against the run of play, in the 50th minute, with Bernie Coston just failing to latch on to the promising ball from Sulette Damons, but she never gave up, kept fighting and then robbed the defender, made sure of at least the short-corner and then fired past the goalkeeper into the right-hand corner of the goal.

The Irish threw on a kicking back for the closing stages, and Lilian du Plessis applied the finishing touches to an impressive South African win with a lovely run from outside the 23, easily beating the kicking back when she threw herself at her feet and just pushing the ball into the goal.

“We’ve done what we wanted to do by qualifying for the World Cup and now we want to make the top-five, and to do that we’ll have to come out really hard against Japan on Saturday. There were some nerves and we did not execute 100% in the third quarter, but we pulled it back well,” coach Sheldon Rostron said.

“The team definitely showed a lot of character and I’m really pleased that we’re starting to show control during the game, we’re remaining relatively composed. The uncertain moments are becoming less and further apart and it was a very good performance tonight.”

Deetlefs, the opening goal-scorer and the mainstay of South Africa’s defence, said the home side were not surprised that they had to ride out the tough times posed by the Irish.

“It’s always very tense against Ireland, the last time we played them too, and we know they will keep playing till the last minute. So we knew they would come into the second half with all guns blazing and it was a very good defensive effort for us, man-on-man we did well.

“I saw the ball and just tried to hit it as hard as I could for the goal, so that was a great start. It takes a lot of pressure off us to get the World Cup qualification, that’s the goal we set for this tournament,” Deetlefs said.

Later, the sixth-ranked USA team and the seventh-ranked Germans advanced to the women’s final, to be played on Sunday.

Germany beat Argentina 2-1, although the end of the match was mired in controversy as two crucial umpiring decisions went against the South Americans, while the USA pipped England in a shootout, after the match had ended 1-1 in regulation time.

Melissa Gonzalez, the captain, scored the USA goal in the first set of five shootouts that ended 1-1 and then scored the winner in sudden-death.

Results: 9th/10th – Chile 2 (Manuela Urroz, Camila Caram) Poland 1 (Marlena Rybacha). 5th-8th – Japan 2 (Kana Nomura, Naho Ichitani) India 0; South Africa 3 (Lisa-Marie Deetlefs, Bernadette Coston, Lilian du Plessis) Ireland 0. Semi-finals – Germany 2 (Naomi Heyn, Charlotte Stapenhorst) Argentina 1 (Lucina von der Heyde); United States 1 (Jill Witmer) England 1 (Hannah Martin), USA won shootout 2-1 (Melissa Gonzalez 2 v Sarah Haycroft 1).

Friday’s fixtures (men): 10am South Africa v Japan (9th/10th); 12.15pm Egypt v New Zealand (5th-8th); 2.30pm Ireland v France (5th-8th); 4.45pm Spain v Germany (semi-final); 7pm Australia v Belgium (semi-final).


SA Women qualify for Hockey World Cup

The South Africa national women’s hockey team qualified for the 2018 Hockey World Cup in London by beating Ireland in the FIH Hockey World League Semi-Finals.

South Africa won the 5th/8th play-off match by 3-0.

The victory meant that South Africa can’t finish lower than sixth in the tournament and the top 6 teams automatically qualifies for the FIH World Cup.

With the fourth penalty corner of the game Lisa-Marie Deetlefs hit the back of the goal-box to give SA the lead. With a minute left before halftime Ireland got a penalty shot, but it was missed giving SA the lead going into the change-room.

Bernadette Coston scored the second goal for South Africa after four minutes play in the last chukka. With nine minutes left Ireland took off the goalkeeper and played with a kicking-back. With no goalkeeper Lillian du Plessis added to the score-line with some five minutes left.

“It is a very special day. We had a goal and is super happy that it all worked out,” said Coston.

Captain Sulette Damons added: “It is phenomenal to win this very important match. It is awesome to know that we have qualified and achieved the goal of that. We have a target of finishing fifth though and we are still on track.”

SA is 13th on the world ranking and Ireland 15th. SA will now play against Japan for 5th place in the tournament.

The SA men’s side play tomorrow at 10:00 against Japan and must win to avoid finishing last in the tournament.

All matches in the Hockey World League Semi-Final are played at the Wits Hockey Astro in Johannesburg. Twenty of the world’s best men and women’s national teams will take part in these Hockey World Cup 2018 qualifiers from 8 - 23 July.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at http://hockeyworldleague.nutickets.co.za/HWL

A Hockey Association media release

SA women secure World Cup spot

by Karien Jonckheere

SA Womens Hockey Team celebrate their win © BackpagePix

The South African women’s hockey team earned themselves automatic qualification for next year’s Hockey World Cup in England with a 3-0 victory over Ireland at the Wits Astro in Johannesburg on Thursday afternoon.

Taking on their first of the playoff games for fifth to eighth place at the Hockey World League, the South Africans needed to win the match to guarantee at least sixth spot – and with that a place in the global tournament.

That they did in convincing fashion and they’ll face Japan in their next playoff game on Saturday afternoon with the aim of finishing in fifth spot at their home tournament. Japan defeated India 2-0 in their playoff game.

Lisa-Marie Deetlefs was the first to score for the SA side, who finally managed to convert a penalty corner for the first time at this tournament.

The initial shot was, in fact, saved by the Irish keeper but the rebound fell to Deetlefs, whose powerful reverse stick shot from the top of the D found the back of the net for the 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute.

“No words can explain it. I just saw the ball and thought hit it as hard as you can and when I saw it going in I was just as surprised as everyone else. It was great way to start,” said a thrilled Deetlefs afterwards.

The first penalty corner for Ireland came with one minute to go to halftime.

The shot was saved by SA keeper Phumelela Mbande, but Ireland’s second shot on goal hit SA’s Nicolene Terblanche’s body on the line so a penalty stroke was awarded to the Irish.

It was Roisin Upton who stepped up to take the stroke, but she smashed it into the right post and the South Africans took their 1-0 lead into the break

The third quarter wasn’t a convincing one from the SA side, who gave away far too much ball and struggled to make any impression on attack.

Mbande did well to keep the home team in the lead with some impressive saves and there was more of the same pressure at the start of the fourth quarter.

But the South Africans toughed it out and, completely against the run of play, managed to double their lead in the 49th minute. This time it was Bernie Coston who smashed one in.

Then, desperate to score, Ireland brought on a kicking back in place of their keeper. With nine minutes left to play that was always going to be a risky move and so it proved.

Just four minutes later, a run from Lilian du Plessis into the circle set up the simplest of pushes into the goal for the 3-0 lead and that World Cup spot.

“We knew coming into the second half that Ireland was going to come out all guns blazing and we just said ‘keep the structure’ and I think it was a very good defensive effort from the team,” explained Deetlefs.

“Today I think the luck was in our favour – when that stroke hit the post – and that changed the momentum and took a bit of wind out of their sails. When we put that second goal in, we knew we just had to keep going and we had it in the bag.”

Coach Sheldon Rostron added: “We’ve done what we wanted to in terms of World Cup qualifying. But now we still want to end as high as we can. That was our objective if we didn’t make the top four – to make the top five, so we’re going to come out hard one last time against Japan. It’s going to be a difficult game but we’ll work hard to make sure we try and achieve that.”

Meanwhile, Germany and the United States will contest the women’s Hockey World League final after winning their respective semifinals on Thursday.

USA went 1-0 down against England in the 16th minute of their semifinal, but an equaliser from Jill Witmer with three minutes to go sent the match to a penalty shootout. The Americans edged that 2-1 thanks to the heroics of Melissa Gonzalez.

Germany defeated Argentina 2-1 to reach Sunday’s final.

Earlier in the day there was some consolation for Chile who beat Poland 2-1 for ninth place.


Proteas qualify for hockey World Cup

Ockert de Villiers

Lisa-Marie Deetlefs celebrates her goal with teammates during Thursday's win over Ireland. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - They may have started out slowly in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals but the South African women finished with a bang beating Ireland 3-0 to earn their place at next year’s World Cup in London.

The Proteas fired hot and cold throughout the tournament but managed to keep their wits about them for the crucial fifth to eighth place classification match.

The top six teams automatically qualify for the 2018 World Cup with South Africa at least guaranteed a place among the top sides.

South Africa will next face Japan on Saturday, where the two sides will be crossing sticks for a fifth-place finish in the tournament.

The sides went into the half-time break on equal terms and with everything to play for in the remaining 30 minutes.

South Africa’s first opportunity to take the lead came in the 23rd minute of the match when they were awarded a penalty corner.

Lisa-Marie Deetlefs made no mistake when she landed the blow with a reverse shot that went high into the back of the goal-box.

The tourists had a chance to enforce the status quo a minute before the break when they earned a penalty stroke.

Roisin Upton’s shot hitting the right-hand post denied Ireland the equaliser with the home side going into the break breathing a sigh of relief.

The scores remained unchanged in the third chukka before things unravelled for the Irish with the South Africans adding two more goals to the scoreline.

Bernie Coston added the second in the 49th minute after she forced a turnover inside the circle to plant a straight shot into the back of the net.

For a final roll of the dice 10 minutes remaining in the encounter, Ireland played their final card by replacing the keeper with a kicking back.

Lilian du Plessis exploited an exposed goal box landing the knockout blow to her side an unassailable 3-0 victory.

Independent Online

Green Army Fall To South Africa

The opening half was at times frantic by both teams with no real rhythm developing and turnovers abound. Ayeisha McFerran was called upon to make two early saves as South Africa began to make their presence felt through Tarryn Glasby and Bernadette Coston. Gillian Pinder darted through the midfield to create a one-two with Sinead Loughran but the South African defence swept up the ball before she should shoot.  The Green Army seemed to take some time to settle into the game and South Africa won 3 penalty corners, the third of which Lisa-Marie Deetlefs fired into the net on her reverse. Ireland won their first PC in the dying moments of the first half and Roisin Upton’s drag was deflected onto the post-players face resulting in a stroke. But the post came to South Africa’s rescue and they went into the half with the lead.

The Green Army looked far sharper instantly in the second half as Anna O’Flanagan drew a super reaction save from Phumelela Mbande. The tempo of the game increased noticeably with the Irish completing far more passes and testing the South Africa defence with O’Flanagan and Katie Mullan going up a gear. Ireland’s second PC was saved from Chloe Watkins sweep, perhaps another PC for a high deflection should have resulted but Ireland had lost their referral early in the tie. But the chances just wouldn’t fall for Ireland and South Africa snatched their second goal from a defensive error and good advantage as Coston drilled the ball into the corner. With 9 minutes left Ireland opted for a kicking back but Lilian du Plessis broke into the circle and scored into the open goal.

One can take nothing away from a determined South Africa who took their chances but a 3-0 score line perhaps flatters the hosts slightly. With 31 circle penetrations and 4 short corners Ireland created more than their fair share of chances but credit to the South African defence who kept the shots to a minimum.

Head coach Graham Shaw commented "We are obviously disappointed with the result. We didn't start the game the way we would have liked and that's the most disappointing. We played very well in the second half but unfortunately couldn't get that important goal to level it. We then got on the break and made it very difficult for ourselves. We must regroup now and do everything we can to win on Saturday".

The Green Army now move into the 7th/8th place match and will be in action on Saturday (July 22nd). 7th place could still prove enough to book a spot at the World Cup but Ireland will have to wait until the Continental Championships are complete later in the year to see if a place opens up. 

Ireland men’s hockey team compete against France in the 5th-8th playoffs tomorrow (1:30pm Irish time), shown live on BT Sport.

Hockey World League Semi Finals Johannesburg

Ireland 0
South Africa 3 (Deetlefs, Coston, du Plessis)

Ireland: K Mullan (Captain), S McCay, E Tice, G Pinder, A McFerran, C Watkins, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke

Subs: G O’Flanagan, Y O’Byrne, N Evans, E Beatty, S Loughran, R Upton, L Colvin

South Africa: C Evans, N Walraven, I Davids, S Jones, LM Deetlefs, N Terblanche, B Coston, P Mbande, J Mayne, Q Bobbs, S Damons (Captain)

Subs: K Stella, C Manuel, L du Plessis, J O’Connor, S Baxter, N La Fleur, T Glasby

Irish Hockey Association media release

Direct road to London closed by South African hosts

The two sides conduct team talks. Pic: FIH/Getty

The Irish women’s second chance at direct qualification for the 2018 World Cup came a cropper as they came unstuck in a 3-0 defeat to South Africa in their fifth to eighth place playoff.

It also means a route to London is now out of Ireland’s hands this week with their fate dependent partially on Saturday’s seventh place classification match and then on the autumn’s continental championships.

That playoff against India, though, is still an important one to boost Irish qualification hopes and so bouncing back in the right mindset is crucial now. The Pan-Am championships take place in August and if either USA or Argentina win that, another World League ticket becomes available.

Similarly, barring Papua New Guinea causing the mother of all upsets against New Zealand or Australia in Oceania, it will move another notch down the list and so on through the five continental championships so hope remains that a place can still be assured.

Against South Africa, though, Graham Shaw’s side never found the rhythm from early in the tournament that saw them put it up to much higher ranked opposition.

This time, South Africa – rated 13th to Ireland’s 15 – showed their intent with two testers for Ayeisha McFerran in the first few minutes. While the Johannesburg hosts, too, were nervy and error-strewn, they had much of the first half impetus and went ahead from their penalty corner which Lisa-Marie Deetlefs cracked home on her backhand.

Pivotally, Ireland missed a penalty stroke just before half-time. Roisin Upton’s drag-flick from a corner hit Nicolene Terblanche’s face-mask on the goal-line, leading to the stroke, but the Limerick woman saw her effort bounce off the base of the post.

Much greater intent came in the second half. Anna O’Flanagan’s near post touch to Katie Mullan’s cross was brilliantly tipped around the post by Phumela Mbande’s out-stretched stick.

Gillian Pinder’s driving runs kept pushing the side on but, with Chloe Watkins in the sin-bin, South Africa punished on the counter-attack with 11 minutes to go. Hannah Matthews was robbed in the circle by Bernadette Coston who had two bites before eventually striking home for 2-0.

Lilian de Plessis made extra sure with a little lift over kicking back Shirley McCay – in place of goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran – and the game was done.

Roisin Upton closes in on Quanita Bobbs. Pic: FIH/Getty

The focus falls back on the Irish men to make something of this lengthy tournament on Friday. They meet France at 1.30pm (Irish time) in their fifth to eighth place playoff tie – it is not a direct qualifier for the World Cup but win the tie and it would only take a bizarre series of results at the continental championships to deny them.

John McKee will miss the rest of their tournament with a broken collar bone that required a couple of metal plates to be inserted and will see him out of action for a minimum of six weeks.

The French are lower ranked but their draw in the final of World League Round 2 is evidence it will be far from a gimme.

Hockey World League Semi-Final, 5th-8th place playoffs
Ireland 0
South Africa 3
(L-M Deetlefs, B Coston, L du Plessis)

Ireland: A McFerran, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, G Pinder, C Watkins, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke
Subs: Y O’Byrne, N Evans, E Beatty, S Loughran, R Upton, L Colvin, G O’Flanagan

South Africa: P Mbande, C Evans, N Walraven, I Davids, S Jones, L-M Deetlefs, N Terblanche, B Coston, J Mayne, Q Bobbs, S Damons
Subs: K Stella, C Manuel, L du Plessis, J O’Connor, S Baxter, T Glasby, N La Fleur

The Hook

Japan beat Indian Women's Hockey Team by 2-0

Japan beat the Indian Women's Hockey team 2-0 in the 5/8th place match at the Women's Hockey World League Semi Final, Johannesburg.

In the first quarter, Japan ensured a tighter defence while their attackers broke the Indian defence to foray into the striking circle. The aggressive approach resulted in Japan winning their first PC of the match in the seventh minute which was successfully converted by Kana Nomura. Japan won two more penalty corners in the 8th and the 10th minutes but India’s Monika and Savita came up with good saves, respectively.

The second quarter saw Indian attackers try different channels to break the Japanese defence but in vain. Another big shot on goal for Japan came when Yuri Nagai cut inside the circle beating defender Gurjit Kaur but Savita came up with yet another noteworthy save.

Japan’s second goal however came through another PC in the 29th minute. It was Naho Ichitani who converted the shot after they came up with a brilliant variation to trick the Indian defenders.

Falling behind by two goals, India looked to make amends in the third quarter. Though Japan won another PC in the 31st minute, Namita Toppo did well as the first runner to block away the attempt. In the 34th minute, Indian goalkeeper Savita made another great save when Naho Ichitani took a shot on goal. Though another PC was awarded following a scramble for ball possession, India evaded the scare to go into the third hooter with 0-2 on the scoreboard.

The final 15 minutes saw India create some strong chances to score. One such opportunity came when Vandana assisted Rani who got a good deflection, though it was saved by goalkeeper, Renuka Yadav took the rebound to push it back into the post to score. Unfortunately for India though, a successful video referral by Japan for back stick disallowed India’s goal.

India won their first PC in the 51st minute but Gurjit Kaur’s fiercely-struck flick was well saved by Japanese goalkeeper. Meanwhile Japan won their 10th penalty corner, but an alert Savita was up to the task to keep them from scoring.

India will play 7th and 8th placing match on July 22.


Japan beats India

India to play seventh-eighth place match on Saturday

Action from the match between Japan and India on Thursday. Photo: Courtesy FIH website 

Japan defeated India 2-0 in the fifth-eighth placing match of the Women’s HWL Semifinal here on Thursday.

Kana Nomura converted Japan’s first penalty corner in the seventh minute. It’s second goal came through Naho Ichitani, who converted a 29th minute penalty corner.

India will play the seventh-eighth place match on Saturday.

The results: 5-8 place: Japan 2 (Kana Nomura 7, Naho Ichitani 29) bt India 0; South Africa 3 bt Ireland 0.

9-10 place: Chile bt Poland 2-1.

The Hindu

Recap: Women’s National Team Super Series

Kori Sidaway

Left to right: Sara McManus, Shanlee Johnston, Kate Wright (Gillis), Danielle Hennig and Stephanie Norlander of the Women’s National Pan Am Cup team in warm up for the last game in their inter-league Super Series in Vancouver, B.C. before heading off to the Pan Am Cup in August. PHOTO: Blair Shier

Family, friends, and fans alike were in attendance last night to cheer on the only hometown viewing of the Women’s team heading to play in the Pan American Cup in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

And those fans came from far and wide to see the elite Women’s National Team play. Alberta’s provincial U15 and U18 girls teams, who are in town playing in the 2017 Nationals in Surrey, B.C. this week, were in the stands watching their hometown heroes play, and were left in awe of their skill level, fired up to better their hockey skills. Sandbach Hockey Club, UK, was also in attendance watching the women’s final game last night to add to their Canadian tour.

Going into the series, the majority of the Pan Am Team was announced, but one spot was left for the larger Women’s squad to take a crack at, before the last player was announced just before the final game, allowing the whole team to play together as a unit.

The matches were set up in three-different formats. The first game of the series on July 11th built on an inherent rivalry: East vs West, with Pan Am Cup athletes divided equally between the two teams. In a tightly matched game, the West clinched the first game 4-3.

The Super Series Game 2 on July 13th focused on the Pan Am Cup attackers and defenders, splitting them up and pitting them against each other. Team Red took home bragging rights by a score of 2-0.

This past Game 3 featured the entire 18-player Pan American Cup roster who took on the All Star team which includes all the remaining athletes in the program, with the likes of alumni, senior midfielder Kathleen Leahy, and standout juniors Thora Rae, and Margaret Pham.

The Super Series saw the Pan Am Cup team got some much needed game action and opportunity to put their training into practice, ahead of the tournament. Next up: Pan American Cup!

Field Hockey Canada media release

Only the best to take to the field in quest for hockey golds

ONE thing is clear. The two KL SEA Games field hockey golds – for men and women – are as good as Malaysia’s.

The men’s team (world No. 14) and women’s side (No. 20) are ranked higher than any of the other South-East Asian outfits and should have no trouble achieving their targets.

Men’s field hockey has been held 18 times since it was introduced at the KL Games in 1971. And Malaysia have won it 17 times.

The only blot on their impressive record came in 1973 when they fielded their B team.

Malaysia are clearly in a league of their own in this region.

In what is definitely bad news for their rivals, Malaysia have made it clear that they will field only the best players at the Games.

“Yes, only the best players will be chosen. We want to make sure that there is no slip-up and we deliver the gold medal as promised,” said national coach Stephen van Huizen (pic).

The same can be said of the women’s team too.

Women’s field hockey was introduced in 1983 and Malaysia have only lost once in the final – to Singapore in 1993.

The women’s team, coached by K. Dharmaraj, have shown vast improvement this year, including qualifying for the World Hockey League Semi-Finals for the first time.

They too are way superior to all their opponents in the SEA Games.

The other teams taking part in both categories are Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand.

The Star of Malaysia

Doha Men’s indoor hockey team ready for Games after Asia Cup setback

by S. Ramaguru

Big help: National indoor hockey consultant Paul Lissek (left) giving instructions to goalkeeper Mohamed Zaimi Mat Derus during a training session in Klang as coach Mohamed Amin Rahim looks on. — AZHAR MAHFOF / The Star

FOUR months ago, the national men’s indoor hockey team competed in the Indoor Asia Cup for the first time in Doha, Qatar.

The result was a poor fifth placing out of eight teams.

Instead of being disappointed, skipper Mohamed Najib Abu Hassan believes it was a lesson well-learnt and one that will definitely be useful when they chase the gold medal at next month’s SEA Games.

The other teams who competed in Doha were Iran (champions), Kazakhstan, Qatar, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Oman and Taiwan.

“It was a new experience for all of us. It was also the start of our indoor team’s preparations for the SEA Games,” said Najib, 22.

“With the addition of new players, we will be ready for the SEA Games battle.”

Malaysia, who are No. 5 in Asia and No. 26 in the world, are the highest-ranked team among the South-East Asian nations.

The other teams competing in the SEA Games are Indonesia, the next highest-ranked side No. 32 in the world, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Najib admitted that Indonesia and Thailand are likely to pose the biggest threats.

National indoor hockey men’s coach Mohamed Amin Rahim believes that his team are in good shape and “we will win the SEA Games gold medal”.

His confidence stems from the fact that both the men and women’s indoor hockey teams have received some expert help following the hiring of German Paul Lissek as consultant.

“Lissek’s experience in the indoor game is of tremendous help and the players are able to understand the game better when he explains it to them. We are fortunate to have his services,” said Amin.

Two gold medals are at stake in the indoor game, which is being for the first time in the SEA Games.

The national women’s indoor team, meanwhile, look to be better placed to go for gold after finishing runners-up to Kazakhstan in the Indoor Asia Cup in Doha.

But team captain Nor Izaidah Ibrahim prefers to play down their chances.

“I don’t think it will be that easy. Thailand, Indonesia and even Singapore will be big threats as they are all eyeing the indoor game rather than field hockey,” she said.

The team are coached by former international K. Gobinathan, who is assisted by Nor Saliza Soobni.

The Star of Malaysia

Malaysian indoor hockey teams in demand as sparring partners

KUALA LUMPUR: The Thailand women’s indoor hockey team have “hired” the Kuala Lumpur women’s team as sparring partners in preparation for the SEA Games next month.

Thailand and Indonesia are seen as Malaysia’s biggest threats for the gold medal.

The lack of practice matches has forced the Thais to take the unusual step of bringing in a team to spar with.

KLHA secretary V. Rajamanickam said the team, who left for Bangkok on Thursday, will play six matches with the Thais over four days.

“It will be a good experience for our team as well. The Thais made a request and we are glad to help,” he said.

Indoor hockey is being held for the first time in the SEA Games. The teams competing in the women’s category are Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Indonesia too have “hired” a sparring partner.

They have invited the Malaysian Armed Forces, the national indoor champions, for practice sessions next week.

Singapore, however, have travelled to Malaysia to play against the national women’s team in a two-match series this weekend.

The matches will be held at the Real Arena Sports Futsal Centre in Klang tomorrow and Sunday.

Four golds will be on offer in hockey at the SEA Games – two each in men and women’s field and indoor events.

The Star of Malaysia

T&T open trials for indoor hockey squad

Raphael Govia

Newly appointed national men’s indoor hockey team coach Raphael Govia will flick off preparations for the upcoming Pan American Indoor Hockey Championship in Georgetown, Guyana, from October 14-22 with an open trial session from Monday July 24.

The players are being invited by the national teams management committee of the T&T Hockey Board to the first trials session at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton-Holder Street, Port-of-Spain from 7.30pm to 10pm.

Meanwhile, the national indoor women’s team has already flicked off their preparations for Guyana under coach, Jerazeno Bell, a former Guyana international, Queen’s Park Cricket Club stand-out and current Paragon indoor women. Velisha Sylvester is the manager with Roxanne Dey-Thorne as her assistant.

The women’s event will feature Canada, Bermuda, Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, Guyana, USA and T&T in an eight-team round-robin series at the end of which the top two teams will contest the gold medal match.

The Trinidad Guardian

Hockey revival

Zanzeer Singh

THE Fiji Hockey Federation is keen to revive the sport in areas where its popularity has dropped.

Hockey was recently revived in Levuka with the Old Capital being named as the venue for the 2017 National Secondary Schools Hockey Championship from August 14-16.

National coach Hector Smith was in Lautoka last weekend to watch the Western Zone secondary school playoffs at Nadovu Park.

Smith expressed disappointment with the condition of the turf stating it was not up to the standard because of overgrown grass.

He said with proper facilities, the skill level of players would improve.

"There are many grass turfs around the world on which hockey is still being played," Smith said.

"We started at the Victoria Tennis Courts where we removed the posts and played. Most of the time the ball stayed within the netting which gave more game time instead of people chasing the balls in the drain.

"The skill level will shoot up with proper facilities. It will attract international teams, players will get more skilled hitting the ball from one side to the other. It worked for us in Suva."

Smith said Lautoka was once a force in the sport.

He said it was good to have the secondary schools involved in hockey but athletics was their biggest threat at that level.

"Previously Lautoka was a powerhouse in hockey," Smith said.

"There were Lautoka Indians and Lautoka men's teams and in Suva we had the same thing, Suva Indians and Suva men's teams.

"But it has just gone down. The synthetic surface in Suva is costing us around $100 an hour to play. That is another issue.

"The tennis court in Ba is idle at the moment. It is all fenced, so hopefully hockey will start there. Recently Levuka revived the sport."

The final rounds of the Western Zone playoffs will be held tomorrow.

The Fiji Times

Khalid begins game of musical chairs after horror show at WHL

LAHORE: Following the national team’s disastrous performance in the World Hockey League, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has appointed new management for the senior hockey team with immediate effect. The decision was taken by PHF president Brig (r) Muhammad Khalid Sajjad Khokhar on Thursday, with head coach Khawaja Junaid Ahmad being replaced by Farhat Hassan Khan and team manager Muhammad Rafiq replaced by Muhammad Shafqat. In the changes which will stay in effect till 2018, assistant coach Muhammad Sarwar has kept his place. Sajjad has also appointed a new selection committee which will be headed by former Olympian Hassan Sardar, and will also include Ayaz Mehmood and Syed Mussadiq Hussain. The new committee has replaced Abdul Rasheed Junior, Farhat Hassan Khan, Waseem Feroz and Qasim Khan.

Pakistan finished poor seventh in the World Hockey League, where their only victory came against Scotland. Even after such a horrid show, the four-time World champions managed to qualify for next year’s World Cup. The management which faced the axe was appointed after the team’s poor performance in the Champions Trophy last year. This game of musical chairs won’t bring any positive change in Pakistan hockey. Affairs of the Pakistan hockey are in shambles. The PHF does not seem serious in coming up to best international standards. Change for the sake of change has been a tested formula in Pakistan on several occasions. The real task ahead of the PHF patron, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, is to pick the right people with sincere intentions, putting aside all kinds of lobbies and nepotism.

Meanwhile, newly appointed head coach Farhat Khan is optimistic that the national team’s performance could be improved through introducing positive and aggressive mindset among players. “In past, Pakistan was the power house of hockey and I still do believe that we can achieve the best results,” he said. Farhat, a member of the now dissolved selection committee, was also a critic of his predecessor Khawaja Junaid’s policies. Farhat said he did not believe in setting long term goals, instead, his focus would be to start winning from the beginning or the first match. “I don’t like defeat, we had a glorious past in hockey and I witnessed a great era, I do believe in winning every match and I am hopeful that by adopting a policy of aggressive game, we can produce good results,” he added. He showed full confidence in the new selection committee and said: “Hasan Sardar and Mussadiq Hussain were better hockey players than me and I keep a firm belief that whatever team they select, it will be in the interest of Pakistan hockey.”

The Daily Times

Hockey federation appoints new selection committee, head coach

Abdul Ghaffar

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) President Brig (retd) Muhammad Khalid Sajjad Khokhar on Thursday announced the appointment of a new national selection committee and management for the senior hockey team "with immediate effect".

According to a statement issued by the federation, Hassan Sardar has been appointed the chairman of the national selection committee, while Ayaz Mahmood and Syed Musaddiq Hussain have been appointed as members of the committee.

Farhat Hassan Khan has been appointed as head coach, while Malik Mohammad Shafqat and Mohammad Sarwar have been appointed coaches till December 2018, the statement added.

Newly appointed head coach Farhat Khan was optimistic that the national team's performance could be improved through introducing positive and aggressive mindset among players.

"In past, Pakistan was the power house of Hockey and I still do believe that we can achieve the best results," he said while talking to DawnNews.

Farhat, a member of the now dissolved selection committee, was also a critic of his predecessor Khawaja Junaid's policies. Farhat said he did not believe in setting long term goals, instead, his focus would be to start winning from the beginning or the first match.

"I don't like defeat, we had a glorious past in Hockey and I witnessed a great era, I do believe in winning every match and I am hopeful that by adopting a policy of aggressive game, we can produce good results," he added.

He showed full confidence in the new selection committee and said, "Hasan Sardar and Mussadiq Hussain were better hockey players than me and I keep a firm belief that whatever team they select, it will be in the interest of Pakistan hockey."


PHF sacks coaches, selection committee

Farhat Khan appointed new head coach while Hassan Sardar to lead new selection committee

LAHORE - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar Thursday appointed new management of national senior team and also formed the new selection committee in the wake of team's dismal (seventh) finish in the World Hockey League in England last month.

Former celebrated centre forward Hassan Sardar leads the new selection committee, whose other members are Ayaz Mahmood and Syed Musaddiq Hussain while former hockey Olympian Farhat Hassan Khan was named as the head coach and manager of the team with Malik M Shafqat and M Sarwar as the coaches. By forming new team management the President, the PHF has shown exit to the previous team management, headed by former Olympian, Khawaja Junaid as it did not take the responsibility of the team's debacle in London and did not resign.

The sources in the PHF said that PHF authorities were expecting that Junaid-led team management would show a heart to step down as Pakistan team exhibited its worst-ever performance in a qualifying tournament. "In the prevailing circumstances there was no choice left but to appoint the new team management as the previous management was not ready to quit, showing some responsibility as far as the poor performance of the team was concerned," they said.

On occasions, outgoing head coach Junaid said the task assigned to him was to inspire the team to qualify for the next year's world cup which he accomplished. But the PHF authorities out-rightly rejected the claim of Junaid as first five ranked teams of the world hockey league qualified for the world cup and Pakistan was not one of them as it did not directly qualify for the mega event and its qualification was courtesy of other teams who were the automatic choice for the qualification after their victory in their continental rounds or Asian championship.

The sources said Junaid tried his best to convince the PHF president to give him the chance to continue till the Asia Cup being played in the coming months but the PHF Chief put his foot down to show him the exit. "Junaid gave a firm assurance to the PHF President that the team will win the Asia Cup and if he fails to deliver he will quit but no consideration was given to his fresh claim," said the sources. "The new team management has been given the mandate till the December 2018," he added.

He said the PHF chief has also formed the new selection committee. Interestingly, the previous committee headed by Rasheed Junior did not accept the responsibility of team’s dismal performance in the league.

The Nation

Khawaja Junaid disappointed by Pakistan Hockey Federation action

Mohammad Yaqoob

LAHORE: Sacked head coach of Pakistan team Khawaja Junaid is disappointed the way the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) ousted him from the job in the backdrop of the national team’s dismal performance in the World Hockey League.

On Thursday, the PHF appointed Olympian Farhat Hassan Khan as head coach in place of Junaid, while also bringing in new selection committee in measures to improve things.

“Yes, the PHF has the right to change anyone but the way I was sidelined is not proper, neither ethically nor morally. I have been working with the national team for past one year and the PHF should have taken a detailed briefing from me and should have informed me about my sacking before going into the media to announce new appointments,” a dejected Junaid told Dawn.

“The PHF president (Sajjad Khokhar) is a visionary and I think he should adopt a decent way before replacing anyone,” he said. “If the new appointments also fail to deliver, will they be ousted in the same way by the PHF?” asked Junaid.

“I have submitted my report to the PHF on World Hockey League performance and there was news that the federation has convened its Executive Board meeting on July 24 where I will be given a chance to explain my position. But if the PHF has made the changes then there will be no use appearing before the Executive Board,” he said.

Junaid had claimed that Pakistan had qualified for next year’s World Cup to be held in India after getting 7th place amid 10-team participated in the World Hockey League, which was a qualifying round for the World Cup. However, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is yet to announce the final line-up of the teams which will feature in the World Cup.


Germany too strong for England Under-18 girls

Lynn Vanderstichele, England U18 Girls, July 20 2017

An early conceded goal and injury to a key player didn’t stop England Under-18 Girls battling well with Germany in the Six Nations Tournament in Spain on Thursday morning, but they lost out 3-0 to their rivals.

Germany took the lead in the second minute with a straight strike from a penalty corner by Lisa Nolte, and England were left on the back foot when full-back Molly Redgrave was hit on the back of the calf by the ball and went off injured.

To their credit England quickly rearranged themselves and kept the Germans at bay for the rest of the first half, but couldn’t find a way through a tight defence to score an equaliser.

Philin Bolle scored from a rebound after the initial shot was saved at a 39th minute penalty corner, and Clara Roth scored in similar style just two minutes later.

England enjoyed many chances from open play, but a clinical German defence kept them at bay, while counter-attacks were a constant threat.

“The girls competed and fought very well,” said Head Coach Sarah Kelleher. “They executed the game plan we had agreed and they made chances. But we didn’t manage to convert them, and the result didn’t reflect the closeness of the game.”

The Netherlands provide the opposition for England Under-18 Girls on Thursday morning as their Six Nations campaign continues in Terrassa.

England Under-18 Girls (0) 0

Germany Under-18 Girls (1) 3
Lisa Nolte 2 (PC)
Philin Bolle 39 (PC)
Clara Roth 41 (PC)

England Hockey Board Media release

Netherlands hold England U18 Boys at bay

England U18 Boys, July 2017

Despite playing with more energy and desire than in recent matches, England Under-18 Boys were beaten 4-0 by a clinical Netherlands side in the third match of their Six Nations Tournament at the Nottingham Hockey Centre on Thursday afternoon.

Head Coach Jody Paul was quick to defend his side’s performance, and look forward to building on the positives and securing wins in their final two matches on Saturday and Sunday.

“The guys played with a lot more energy and desire today, but unfortunately we were beaten by a side who were slightly technically better,” he said. “But that will give us a good platform to go into our last two games.”

After an even first half, Karst Timmer scored the first of his two goals after 26 minutes, and then early in the third quarter the Netherlands doubled their advantage with Valentijn Charbon scoring with a shot into the top right of the goal from a 31st minute penalty corner routine.

Teun Kropholler made it three-nil with a 35th minute open play goal, before Timmer secured his second three minutes later.

England pushed on in search of a way back into the game, but a strong Netherlands defence held out despite England creating some good chances.

After a rest day on Friday, England Under-18 Boys are next in action on Saturday against Germany. The match at the Nottingham Hockey Centre starts at 11.30am.

England Under-18 Boys (0) 0

Netherlands Under-18 Boys (1) 4
Karst Timmer 26 38 (FG, FG)
Valentijn Charbon 31 (PC)
Teun Kropholler 35 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release

Germans too strong for England U16 Girls

VIcki McCabe, England U16 Girls v Spain, July 19 2017

Goalkeepers Zara Rose and Mila Welch both played strongly for England Under-16 Girls in their latest match of the Six Nations Tournament in Spain on Thursday, but it wasn’t enough to take the win against Germany.

Their rivals were on top form and proved a thorn in England’s side throughout on a hot afternoon in Terrassa, with England struggling after having played only the night before.

It took Germany just eight minutes to get off the mark with Sara Strauss finding the goal from a penalty corner, and just before the end of the first quarter they had doubled their lead, again from a penalty corner but this time it was Lilly Stoffelsma who scored.

And shortly after half time, they added a third goal through Julie Bleuel, this time from open play.

After the loss, Head Coach John Bell said: “The girls struggled to bring their high intensity running and passing game that was so evident in the previous game against Spain. Germany controlled the majority of the game and consistently threatened the English goal.

“Both England goalkeepers were called into action on numerous occasions and made some excellent saves.”

After a rest day on Friday, England Under-16 Girls are back in action on Saturday morning when they play the Netherlands in the penultimate match of their Six Nations Tournament in Terrassa.

England Under-16 Girls (0) 0

Germany Under-16 Girls (2) 3
Sara Strauss 8 (PC)
Lilly Stoffelsma 14 (PC)
Julie Bleuel 33 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release

Netherlands too strong for England U16 Boys

Matthew Bellin, England U16 Boys, July 20 2017

railing by just one goal at half time, England Under-16 Boys faced a barrage of attacks from the Netherlands and lost out 4-1 in their latest match at the Six Nations Tournament in Nottingham on Thursday evening.

Linze Andringa scored an open play goal early in the second quarter, but England had largely soaked up pressure from their rivals and looked to hit back in the second half. But Brent van Bijnen doubled their advantage from a 42nd minute penalty corner.

Ellis Robson found the net for England from open play in the final minute, but the final word went to the Netherlands with Nick Doeser scoring seconds later, again from open play.

Following a rest day tomorrow, England Under-16 Boys are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they take on Germany at Nottingham Hockey Centre.

England Under-16 Boys (0) 1
Ellis Robson 59 (FG)

Spain Under-16 Boys (1) 4
Linza Andringa 19 (FG)
Brent van Bijnen 31 (FG)
Floris Middendorp 42 (PC)
Nick Doeser 59 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release

2017 National Championships: Day 2

Kori Sidaway

U15 Girls team Ontario Central carries the ball vs BC Lions in the 2017 National Championships in Surrey, BC. PHOTO: Blair Shier

It was another roasting hot, jam-packed day of hockey at Tamanawis Fields in Surrey, B.C. as the 2017 National Championships played on. The U15 teams entered further into pool play under the beating sun as the U18 teams took advantage of some practice time on the fields midday.

The U15 Girls B.C. Stags opened play against Ontario Central. B.C. came out early in the 7th minute with a goal from Chloe Langkammer to ensure the Stags took the lead. Langkammer answered her own goal late in the first half before halftime to solidify their lead to 2-0. With a green and yellow card late in the second half, Ontario couldn’t capitalize before the Stags scored another goal, leaving the score 3-0 for B.C.

In the second game of the day the U15 Girls Quebec team challenged the B.C. Royal Lions in a relatively clean match up. B.C. team captain Isabella Ahern put away two goals to help her team rise 3-0 over Quebec.

The Boys U15 games opened up with Quebec vs Ontario East in a tight, back and forth, exciting game, that saw multiple chances in the second especially for Quebec, but the team couldn’t quite capitalize, so the scoreboard was stuck at a 2-2 tie by the time the last whistle blew.

In a high scoring battle between neighbouring provinces the U15 Boys B.C. Rams took on Alberta in the mid morning. B.C. quickly chalked up the scoreboard in the first to ensure their lead going into the second 4-0. Harvir Malhi had a rocket of a game scoring a hat trick and teammate Avjot Buttar close behind with two goals. As time ran out, the score sat at 7-0 for the Rams.

In the midday sun the U15 Ontario Central and the BC Lions Boys teams battled it out with Ontario coming out with the early 3-0 lead going into halftime. Mankirat Rai with Ontario earned a hat trick in the second half with teammate Randeep Randhawa joining him for his own hat trick as well. BC tried to battle back with a late goal from Eric Holscher but the team couldn’t rally against Central’s big lead, and the game finished with the scoreboard sitting at 8-1 for Ontario Central.

The top two seeds of the U15 Girls Pool B played each other midday when Ontario West took on the B.C. Rams in a relatively tight game. The B.C. Rams took the win 2-0 to put them on top of Pool B with 6 points.

Alberta and Ontario East of the U15 Girls tournament took on each other late in the afternoon in a tight game that saw up and down field action. The first goal was a near opportunity for Ontario only to have Alberta hit a long ball down the field for a breakaway opportunity that resulted in a short corner. A foul in front of the net had Jasdeep Silvia take a penalty flick to which she banked top left. Ontario managed to tie it up, but right before the end of game whistle blew Alberta banked a goal to ensure their 3-2 win over Ontario East.

Heading into the evening, the top seed from Pool A of the U15 Girls tournament, the B.C. Lions played bottom ranked Ontario Central in a match where the White Lions came out early. BC scored two goals in the first, but a smattering of green card mistakes by Ontario Central gave the BC the edge to leave the game with a 4-0 win.

For the late evening games ,the U15 Boys came back to the pitches when Alberta faced off versus Ontario East. Ontario East came out strong with a goal in the first 5 minutes and held that lead for the better part of the half, but Alberta managed to ensure they headed into the second half a better chance when team Captain Pardeep Sandhu banked a goal in the dying seconds of the first half. In the second, Ontario East responded with two more goals before leaving everything on field taking the game 3-1.

In the second last game of the evening, the two top teams in the U15 Boys pool challenged each other for top place. Ontario Central and the B.C. Rams battled it out in a physically demanding, rough game which saw the B.C. Rams ensure a lead two minutes in by a goal from Sumeet Kular. The Rams built on their lead throughout the game and when the final whistle blew the score was 4-0 for B.C.

The final game of the night saw Boys B.C. Lions challenge Quebec. Issac Farion of Quebec led the charge loading up a hat trick for himself, and leading his team to a 4-0 victory over the home team.

Day 3 will see more U15 pool play as well as the U18 tournament kick off! It’s bound to be another jam packed day of hockey – with a little less sun, says the weatherman.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Vale Cec Pearce

Penny Sidhu

On the morning of Thursday July 20th, Australia lost one of its most influential hockey identities, Cec Pearce.

Cec (93) passed away at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth WA after a short illness, he was the oldest of the famous five (5) Pearce brothers Mel (dec), Eric, Gordon and Julian who all represented both WA and Australia in Hockey. Eric, Gordon and Julian are all members of the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame.
Cec along with brother Mel and father Cecil Snr arrived in Perth en route to Melbourne on the 15th August 1947,on disembarking from the Menora in Fremantle which had departed from Bombay India and meeting fellow traveller Grenville Davis who was settling in Perth, they also decided to  give Perth a go rather than going onto Melbourne. 

Cec his brother and father were in Australia to find a new home for the rest of the family who were still in India and as a result of the Partition and the coming independence of India/Pakistan were looking for a safe and prosperous city in which to settle the family.

Cec was also an accomplished soccer player having obtained a University "Full Blue" while studying in India and had also represented his regional Indian Hockey team at the tender age of 16. Choosing hockey over soccer he commenced his playing with the University of WA side in 1948, and while undertaking his studies in Chemistry was part of "Uni's" famous Men's Grand Final winning side of 1949. His efforts recognised by receiving his second "Full Blue" from a second university in a new country for another sport! After completing his studies Cec joined brother Mel at Cricketers Hockey Club where he won a further 3 premierships.
He represented Australia along with younger brother Mel in a touring side to New Zealand in 1948 which over 20 matches remained undefeated. The disappointment of Australia not sending a hockey team to the Helsinki games in 1952 was matched by not being selected to join brothers Mel and Eric for the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.

Cec played for WA from 1948 and as a man who always valued his family ahead of all else retired from all representative hockey following the birth of his first child in 1960, he was 36 years of age.

Much comment has been made as to the impact of players from India on the development of  hockey in this country and its unique style resulting from the fusion of the fast highly skilled sub continental game with the strong physical and aggressive style that had developed in the Australian game.

Indeed no less than Ric Charlesworth has commented on the contribution of such Anglo-Indian players and coaches as the Pearces, Kevin Carton, Merv Adams, Trevor Vanderputt, Don Smart, Terry Walsh, Bruce Shannahan, Charlie & Paul Gaudoin and of late Chris Ciriello.

One has to recognise that the substantial contribution that Cec as one of the first and if you like founding members of this Anglo-Indian group has made to hockey.

Cec is survived by his wife Pat, daughter Lianne son's Glenn and Gavin along with 6 grandchildren.

On behalf of the entire hockey community, our sincere condolences are offered to the family of Cec Pearce.

Hockey Australia media release

Sportsmen recall hockey wizard Mohd Shahid on his first death anniversary

Rajeev Dikshit

VARANASI: Hundreds of sportsmen offered rich tributes to legendary dribbler and Olympian Mohd Shahid at a function organized at Sampurnanand Sports Stadium on his first death anniversary on Thursday.

The Hockey Varanasi (HV) launched its official website and dedicate its home page to Shahid. The HV announced the renaming of annual district hockey league after Shahid.

At the age of 56 Shahid, who was part of gold winning Indian team at Moscow Olympic in 1980, had died on July 20, 2016 at a Gurugram hospital due to liver and kidney failure. Several stars of Indian hockey and Shahid's contemporary including Zafar Iqbal, Ashok Kumar and Dhanraj Pillay had taken in his funeral.

To recall this hero the regional sports office in association with District Olympic Association and Hockey Varanasi held a function at the stadium on Thursday evening.

After paying homage the regional sports officer SS Mishra, Hockey UP's vice president KB Rawat, DOA president Shams Tabrej Shampu, coaches and senior sportsmen addressed the gathering of sportsmen and recalled how Shahid continued bringing laurel for the country, state and city with his dribbling skills.

The HV office bearers announced the launching of their officials website on this occasion by dedicating its home page to Shahid. They announced that the district hockey league, which is commencing from August 29, will be known as Mohd Shahid district hockey league from this year.

he Times of India

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