All the news for Friday 6 May 2011
Clinical finishing by Great Britain
Though Malaysia played gallantly, it was not enough to deny Great Britain a win in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match played in Ipoh tonight.
In the end Malaysia went down 1-3 to Great Britain and will face an uphill task in their second match against Australia tomorrow.
Malaysia sprung a surprise, opting to play Roslan Jamaluddin in goals instead of S. Kumar. In fact Kumar was not even on the bench as Malaysia opted for 15 outfield players.
It was all Great Britain in the opening five minutes as they had the Malaysians pinned in their own half.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin was a shade unlucky in the seventh minute as he was slow in connecting a cross from Faisal Saari from the right.
Malaysia were caught napping in defence in the ninth minute as Mohd Madzli Ikmar allowed an arial ball past him and it was duly picked up by Simon Mantell who however sent his shot wide with only Roslan to beat.
Britain took the lead in the 17th minute as James Tindall was the first to react to an initial shot from Richard Mantell’s penalty corner to tuck the ball past Roslan.
And they could have scored more had Roslan not been in fine form to thwart the attempts from Richard. Mathew Daly too was a shade unlucky as his deflection in the 27th minute beat Roslan but not the upright.
Malaysia were awarded their second penalty corner in the 31st minute but Faisal Saari failed to beat Fair in the British goal.
The constant pressure from Britain paid dividends as Richard Smith scored the second goal just 35 seconds before the halftime hooter.
Britain led 2-0 at halftime.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin reduced the deficit in the 41st minute when his reverse stick hit gave Fair no chance whatsoever.
Britain weathered the storm and against the run of play went 3-1 ahead through a neat deflection from Robert Moore in the 51st minute.
And try as the hosts did, they were always a step behind.
Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site
Korea come from behind to defeat India
South Korea recovered from a 2-0 deficit to defeat India 3-2 in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match in Ipoh on Thursday evening.
It was a remarkable performance by the Koreans as they fought every inch to defeat India who had beaten them to the bronze medal at the Asian Games in November last year.
Korea forced a penalty corner in the 7th minute but failed to find the mark. And India then woke up from their slumber to put together some good moves but they fizzled out before the Koreans 25 yard line.
And in the 20th minute India struck. They were awarded a penalty corner and Diwikar Ram squeezed his shot past a despairing Lee Myung Ho in the Korean goal. There was an element of luck involved as the push was directed to Dhananjay Mahadik but he failed to stop cleanly and played it to Diwikar.
All hell broke loose in the 24th minute as the Koreans claimed that their attempt off a penalty corner had gone into goal but umpire Martin Madden of Great Britain ruled otherwise.
In the ensuing confrontation, Korea’s Lee Seung II and Jang Jong Hyun were shown the green card for protesting and the team even walked off the pitch. But they soon returned as the umpire stood firm.
But there was no question of luck for India’s second goal as Danish Mujaba unleashed an unstoppable reverse stick hit in the 27th minute to give India a 2-0 lead.
However the Koreans were not to be denied as Cho Suk Hoon scored from an acute angle, his flick going into the roof of the Indian net giving Adrian D’Souza no chance at all in the 31st minute.
And it took Korea just six minutes into the second half to draw level as Yoon Sung Hoon scored after the initial penalty corner attempt by Nam Hyun Woo was saved.
In the 56th minute, India’s Vikram Pillay made a hash challenge on Korea’s Yoon Sung Hoon and umpire David Tomlinson did not hesitate to award a penalty stroke which Jang Jong Hyun duly tucked away to give Korea a 3-2 lead.
And Korea held on to register the win.
Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site
Pakistan get off to a winning start
Pakistan defeated New Zealand 4-2 in the opening match of the 20th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh.
It ended a run of five consecutive defeats at the hands of the Kiwis for Pakistan and gave them a good start to a tournament they hope to win.
Pakistan went on the offensive from the first whistle and came close to scoring in the second minute, but Muhammad Umar Bhutta sent his attempt wide with only keeper Kyle Pontifex to beat.
However Muhammad Rizwan Senior made his shot count in the third minute to give Pakistan a 1-0 lead.
The Kiwis then got their act together but failed to get the better of the Pakistani defence marshaled by skipper Muhammad Imran. With only Stephen Jenness showing some deft touches, New Zealand failed to get a decent shot on goal in the opening 15 minutes.
Pakistan were awarded their first penalty corner in the 24th minute and although the pus out was off the mark, Sohail Abbas managed to get a drag flick on target but was padded away by Kyle only to see it fall onto the path of Syed Kashif Shah who made no mistake to put Pakistan 2-0 ahead.
Though New Zealand were awarded two penalty corners at the stroke of half-time, they failed to make them count and the two teams trooped off with Pakistan leading 2-0.
In the 40th minute Pakistan were awarded their third penalty corner and Sohail’s low drag flick was well saved by Kyle yet again.
Pakistan went 3-0 up in the 51st minute when Abdul Haseem Khan managed to steer the ball past Kyle after a fine run by Muhammad Waqas on the right.
However Andrew Hayward reduced the deficit by converting a penalty corner in the 59th minute. But the joy was shortlived as Umar Bhutta put Pakistan 4-1 ahead in the 61st minute.
Though Hugo Inglis scored in the 63rd minute, the failure of New Zealand to take their chances from the six penalty corners they were awarded put paid to their chances of gaining anything from this match.
Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site
India loses to South Korea in Azlan Shah
Ipoh: India squandered, rather tragically, a 2-0 lead and eventually succumbed to Korea by the odd goal in five in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament here on Thursday. India and Korea were the joint winners in the last edition.
It was anguishing to witness the new-look squad led by Arjun Halappa crumbling like leaves in a gale against the pace and precision and pugnacity of the Koreans. The Indian team’s inadequacy in the defence was embarrassingly exposed.
True, there were phases when the Indians held the dominance early in the first half—Gurbaj, Chandi and Halappa held the team together- but there was utter lack of strategy to guard the lead, leave alone the effort of venturing to enlarging it.
A penalty corner by Diwakar Ram after Mahadik failed to stop the ball well, evoked spontaneous cheer as did the brilliant finish of Danish Mujtaba for the second goal late in the first half.
But the Koreans were demanding and delivered a series of quick sallies. They even hinted at one stage of walking out, protesting a decision from the Britain’s umpire Marin Badden when trailing 1-2.
It resulted from a penalty corner hit by Jang Jong. The team members argued, rather unsuccessfully, and resorted to an ugly demonstration in front of the crowed arguing that the ball had clipped through the netting. Unable to persuade the umpire to change the ruling there was a threat of a walk out—the gestures of the players clearly suggested that until the table officials and the TD intervened.
Eventually better sense prevailed. The Koreans roared back into attack to level at 2-2 when Yoon Suk Hoon scored after the break. Pressing hard Korea then snatched victory in the final minutes from a penalty stroke which surfaced after Vikram Pillay obstructed Yoon Sung Hoon.
Jang Jong made no mistake with the stroke, a blinding push that gave Adrian no chance. But it must be admitted that Adrian made a few good saves in the match, especially in the dying moments when the defence was reduced to smithereens by the Korean attack taking advantage of the injury to Mahadik. The contrast cannot be more telling than the penalty corners-six for Korea against the one for India.
Notwithstanding the spells of ennui forged by the inconsistent mid-field and poor capitalization of penalty corners, Pakistan earned more than a flattering victory over the Kiwis.
Put into an encouraging start of scoring within three minutes through Rizwan (Sr), Pakistan struggled midway through against the New Zealanders who forced six penalty corners, scored from one by Andrew Hayward.
While the handful of youngsters in the squad remained in focus now then, the attack leaned heavily on the surges by Shakeel Abbasi and the seasoned star did not disappoint. He did give a tough time to the Kiwi defenders.
Great Britain showed quite forcefully why it cannot be reckoned as the main contender for the cup this time with a 3-1 victory by Malaysia, reflecting a refreshing approach that underlined the essence of power hockey and clinical execution.
Pakistan 4 (Rizwan Sr. Kashif, Haseem Khan, Umar Bhutta) beat New Zealand 2 (Andrew Hayward, Hugo Iglis) HT 2-0
Korea 3 (Chun Suk Woon, Young Sung Hoon, Jang Jong Hyun) beat India 2 (Diwakar Ram, Danish Mujtaba) HT 1-2.
Great Britain 3 (James Tindell, Richard Smith, Robert Moore) beat Malaysia 1 (Tenku Tajuddin) HT 2-0
Friday’s matches: Korea v Pakistan (1-35 p.m. IST), Britain v India (3-35 p.m.); Australia v Malaysia (5-35 p.m.)
Pak defeats NZ 4-2 in the Cup opener
Pakistan takes first step towards success, beats NZ 4-2
Pakistan scored a brace of goals in half to beat New Zealand 4-2 int eh opening match of the 20th Azlan Shah Cup. Te Cup opener which appeared a an one-sided affair from the word go, when Pakistan amassed three goals, came alive late in the last quarter, with NZ scoring their quota of a brace of goals, but it was too less and too late.
New Zealand was done in by poor penalty corner drills, wasting both the awards at the end of first half, and then three in the second half. Only a short corner was converted by the Kiwis.
Shakeel Abbasi, the forward behind many a Pakistan move, was declared the man of the match.
It was Rizwan Sr. who set the pace for the winning side in the third minute, sending a gentle diagonal pass inside the net, which got the NZ defence in a blind. in the 24th minute, Kashif added another one before in the 51st minute ever-green Haseem Khan sent in a solo effort (3-0)
Only the second part of the second half, New Zealand showed some urgency, and came with worthwhile moves. Between five minutes from 59th minutes, they posted two goals ( 59th minute goal by Hayward Andrew and main striker, Iglo, who came a couple of times in scoring before, made amends.
India squander two-goal lead, lose to Korea 2-3
India frittered away a two-goal advantage to lose their opening game in the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament 2-3 against South Korea in Ipoh on Thursday. In the opening match of the day, Asian Games champions Pakistan defeated New Zealand 4-2 to end a string of five consecutive defeats at the hand of the Black Sticks.
India, who shared the Cup with Korea last year, were comfortably placed scoring two goals in the second quarter of the game. First Diwakar Ram converted a penalty corner in the 20th minute and seven minutes later Danish Mujtaba was on target.
South Korea, who lost to India in the bronze medal play-off at the Guangzhou Asian Games last November, fought their way back to score twice. Cho Suk Hoon sneaked in the first Korean goal from the goalmouth in the 31st minute and Yoon Sung Hoon found the equaliser, pouncing on a rebound from their fifth penalty corner six minutes into the second half.
Korea's winner came in the 56th minute from a penalty converted by Jang Jong Hyun and India could not force the equaliser as they themselves were under pressure defending their goal.
After Korea failed to find the mark from a penalty corner, India put together some good moves only to lose their way in the approach to the goal. When they forced a penalty corner, Dhananjay Mahadik pushed it for Diwakar to score with a scorcher.
Soon, the Koreans had an opportunity to neutralise the lead, but to their disappointment their penalty-corner conversion was disallowed by British umpire Martin Madden.
Lee Seung II and Jang Jong Hyun were shown the green card for protesting and the team even walked off the pitch. They had to return as the umpire stood his ground.
India scored again when Mujtaba trapped Shivender Singh's pass on the run and sped past the Korean defence to slam home with a reverse shot.
The Koreans were not to be denied as Cho scored from an acute angle, his flick finding the roof of the net, giving Adrian D'Souza no chance.
India went into the breather leading 2-1.
Korea stepped up the attack and got two back-to-back penalty corners, but Adrian, who made some good saves, kept them at bay. He, however, could not hold on for long as Yoon seized the opportunity with the rebound after the penalty-corner attempt by Nam Hyun Woo was saved.
An ungainly challenge by Vikram Pillay to on Yoon prompted umpire David Tomlinson to point to the spot and Jang Jong Hyun converted it (3-2).
India will play Britain on Friday.
In the first match, Pakistan were quick to take a 2-0 lead with goals from Muhammad Rizwan (3rd minute) and Khan Abdul Haseem (24th min). Syed Shah Kashif (51st min) made it 3-0 after the breather.
New Zealand pulled one back through Andrew Hayward (59th min) before Pakistan made it 4-1 through Umar Bhutta Muhammad (61st). New Zealand got a consolation game through Inglis Hugo (63rd).
India go down 2-3 to South Korea in Azlan Shah campaign opener
IPOH ( Malaysia): India paid the price of a listless show in defence as they squandered a two-goal advantage and went down 2-3 to South Korea to begin their Azlan Shah campaign on a losing note on Thursday.
The double defending champions were leading 2-0 till the 31st minute when the South Koreans, the joint champions with India last year, pierced open the Indian defence with their brisk pace to begin the fightback before pumping in three goals.
India, outright winners of the Azlan Shah Cup in 2009 and joint champions in 2010, failed to match the speed of the young Korean side, who at one stage were reduced to nine players after the referee flashed green cards to two players following their vehement protest, resulting to their temporary suspension.
It was South Korea who forced an early penalty corner in the eighth minute but Hong Eun-Song shot wide.
India took the lead in the 20th minute from their first penalty corner with Diwakar Ram sounding the board with a powerful grounder after Dhananjay Mahadik squared the ball to him.
Three minutes later, the Koreans got another penalty corner and a mid-field ruckus followed after umpire Martin Madden signalled that Hong Eun-Song's shot had gone wide to the right.
The Koreans protested strongly, arguing that the ball had gone through the goal netting and play was held up as two Korean players - captain Lee Seoul-Il and Jang Jong-Hyun - shown green cards and sent to the sidelines. Play resumed five minutes later after the jury affirmed the umpire's decision.
With South Korea down to nine players, the Indian strikers had plenty of gaps in opposition defence but they failed to capitalise on that.
SV Sunil missed a sitter by failing to trap Shivendra Singh's pass across the goalmouth in the 25th minute, but Danish Mujtaba increased India's lead with a stringing reverse drive from top of the circle in the 27th minute.
The Koreans waged a gallant fightback, dominating the midfield and got their first goal in the 31st minute through Cho Suk-Hoon after he broke down the right flank. The Indian defence grimly held on as South Korea forced two penalty corners in the last three minutes before half-time.
The Koreans capitalised on India's shaky defence to restore parity six minutes into the second session (41st minute) as Yoon Sung-Hoon deflected Nam Hyun-Woo's push on a penalty corner attempt.
Yoon Sung-Hoon was also instrumental in South Korea's match-winner in the 56th minute, earning them a penalty stroke as Vikram Pillay hooked his stick inside the scoring zone. The penalty stroke was duly converted by Jang Jong-Hyun.
India thereafter made some desperate effort to get the equaliser, but the strikers failed to get a clear shot at the goal as South Korea bolstered their defence.
The Korean strikers mounted two counterattacks as 10 Indian players went into the rival half. Goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza brought off two saves to deny the Koreans any more goals.
India play Britain in their second round robin league on Friday.
The Times of India
Koreans stage comeback to beat India
INDIA blew a two-goal lead to lose tamely 3-2 to South Korea in a match of two contrasting halves.
In their last meeting, India won the Asian Games bronze medal with a 1-0 score when Tushar Khandekar scored, but he is missing from India's Azlan Shah Cup line-up.
Korean coach Shin Seok Kyo was hoarse from shouting to his players and later admitted that his charges lost the plot in the first half.
"I almost lost my voice shouting instructions because we only have 10 players from the Asian Games squad while eight are new.
"Also, I only had one week to prepare the team as all the players were with their clubs playing in our league. We lost to India the last time and many players retired. Now I am rebuilding a team for the Olympic Qualifiers," said Seok Kyo.
From the seven teams in Ipoh, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Pakistan have qualified for the Olympics. India, Malaysia and Korea are building sides for the Qualifiers.
"This is a very important tournament for Korea as four Olympic teams are playing and my young side need the exposure," the coach added.
And his view of Asian Games champions, Pakistan?
"I feel this team are better than the Asian Games side. They move very swiftly and change their attacking format on the run.
"On a lighter side, I would like to see my players in the final where I expect Pakistan to be waiting for us."
India took the lead off Diwakar Ram in the 20th minute before Danish Mujtaba added the second seven minutes later only to suffer a massive collapse after that.
The Korean scored through Cho Suk Hun (31st), Yoon Sung Hoon (41st) and Jang Jong Hyun (56th).
New Straits Times
South Korea edge India in ‘extension’ of last year’s final
SOUTH Korea got off to a winning start yesterday, defeating India 3-2 in a match seen as an extension of the final last year when both teams were unable to play the match because of rain and were declared as joint champions.
The Koreans prevailed after a tough first half in which India led 2-1.
They pulled their game together and ran out winners.
India were the early aggressors and were two goals up by the 27th minute. Diwakar Ram was on target with a penalty corner conversion in the 20th minute and Danish Mujtaba increased their lead with a reverse hit from the top of the D.
It looked as though India would run riot over the Koreans. But the former Asian champions managed to regain their rhythm and Cho Suk-hoon reduced the deficit in the 31st minute off the penalty corner.
The Koreans took control in the second half and drew level in the 41st minute through Yoon Sung-hoon. The winning goal came from a penalty stroke conversion by Jang Jung-hyun, who was fouled in the D in the 56th minute.
Korean coach Shin Seok-kyo said that they had to be patient against an Indian side who had skilful players.
“But we knew that the best way to beat them was to apply pressure. We gave away some soft goals but the players managed to get back to the game plan in the second half,” he said.
Asian Games champions Pakistan finally ended a five-match losing run against New Zealand. Pakistan, whose last win over the Kiwis was in 2008 at the same tournament, chalked up a 4-2 win.
And Pakistan manager K.M. Junaid was happy that they were back on the winning track against New Zealand.
“It’s great to have won an opening match as it is always a tough one in any tournament,” he said.
“We have several young players in the team and I am pleased to see them performing well. I must also give credit to the senior players for their guiding hand and this is important for us to try and have the best from both age groups.”
Pakistan led 2-0 at half time with goals by Mohamed Rizwan Sr (3rd) and Syed Kashif Khan (24th). They got their goals in the second half through Abdul Haseem Khan (51st) and Mohamed Umar Bhuta (61st).
The Kiwis replied through Andrew Hayward and Hugo Inglis in the 59th and 63rd minutes respectively.
Pakistan will play against South Korea today while the Kiwis have a two-day break before they meet the Koreans on Sunday.
The Star of Malaysia
South Korea trump India in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
Pakistan humble New Zealand 4-2
IPOH: South Korea beat fellow defending champions India 3-2 in a stunning comeback from two goals down in one of the opening matches of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Thursday. Both teams are defending the title after being declared joint champions when heavy rain caused play to be abandoned last year, and they showed their mettle in an exhilarating match of two very different halves. India had the upper hand in the first half with early goals coming from Diwakar Ram and Danish Mujtaba. Ram struck from a penalty corner in the 20th minute while Majtaba scored with a reverse hit seven minutes later.
The Koreans, ranked sixth in the world, did not give up and pulled one back in the 31st minute through Cho Suk-Hoon from their third penalty corner. In the second half, they were the dominant team and had the Indians in sixes and sevens as they attacked the faltering Indian defence with relative ease. Yoon Sung-Hoon put them level in the 41st minute and Jang Jung-Hyun grabbed the winner with a penalty stroke conversion in the 56th.
Indian coach Harinder Singh said his team lost the plot in the second half after two of their players, Mahdik Dhananjay and Shivendra Singh, were injured. “The Koreans are always fast with their game and in the second half applied a lot of pressure on us. The players failed to say focused and we paid the price by letting them get the goals,” he said. India will play Great Britain on Friday. Meanwhile, Asian Games champions Pakistan got off to a winning start when they beat New Zealand 4-2, breaking a run of five defeats at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup since 2008.
The Pakistanis dominated the first half with two goals, the first coming in the third minute through Muhammad Rizwan Snr while Syed Kashif Shah added the second in the 24th from a penalty corner rebound. In the 51st minute, Abdul Haseem Khan added the third goal from a field attempt after being put through by Shakeel Abbasi. But New Zealand fought back and from their third penalty corner Andrew Hayward scored their first goal in the 59th minute. But the Kiwis allowed Pakistan to hit back two minutes later through Mohammad Umar Bhuta.
By then, the game was effectively over but New Zealand managed to get another goal in the 63rd minute off a field attempt by Hugo Inglis. Pakistan team manager K.M. Junaid said it was an important victory as opening matches were usually tougher. “I thank the Almighty for the win as it is a good start for us. We have several young players and they came away good as this is their first time playing in such humid conditions,” he said. Pakistan play the Koreans on Friday while the Kiwis have two rest days before their match with South Korea on Sunday. In the last game of the day, Great Britain got off to a winning start when they defeated hosts Malaysia 3-1. The British will meet India on Friday while hosts Malaysia have a date with world number one Australia.
The Daily Times
Harendra Singh: “Mahadik’s injury did us in”
Explaining the defeat of India at the hands of Korea, Indian chief coach Harendra Singh opined that the injury of Dhanjanjay Mahadik did us in. India today lost the opener to Korea 2-3, despite taking 2-0 lead. India conceded three goals subsequently, two in the second half.
"Dhanjanjay Mahadik is the senior man in the defence. As long as he was there, we could maintain a system, which kept the Koreans in check. However, his injury sustained in the 31st minute spoilt our rhythm. I had to play even midfielder Arjun Halpppa in the defence”, he said.
"When our defence was good, we had the double benefit. We could score two goals, and the Koreans were struggling. Once that is broken with this key player's injury, we struggled”, he added.
On asked such injuries are expected in a game, and that the team should have a plan B, he pointed out to the fact that Dhananjay was a key player and his role cannot easily be filled in.
"We tried both Vikas and Arjun. The point was not only defence but also scoring. I feel Sunil was in a position to score India’s third goal, but he missed. Had we taken the three-goal need, we would not have landed in the position in which we are in now", he added.
Mahadik who got the ankle injury, came back to play, but it was too late, in the last five minutes.
“A draw would have been an ideal result”, he felt.
Mahadik's absence in 2nd half disturbed team formation: Coach
IPOH ( Malaysia): India's hockey coach Harendra Singh on Thursday attributed team's opening match loss to South Korea in the Azlan Shah Cup to the absence of penalty corner specialist Dhananjay Mahadik in the second half.
Mahadik injured his ankle in the 31st minute when a Korean player stamped on his foot and from there on, he missed the game until the last five minutes when India went all out.
Singh said Mahadik's absence resulted in players taking up unaccustomed positions.
"It was very disappointing. We played well in the first half, but our team's structure fell apart after the injury sustained by Mahadik just before half-time," Harendra Singh said after India's 2-3 loss.
"The team's structure could not be maintained and we had to use Vikram Pillay and later Arjun Halappa as sweeper-backs. Halappa is not used to playing in that position," Harendra said.
"The advantage went to South Korea as we faltered with the structure of our game after a senior defender went out," the coach said. "It was only after Mahadik was brought back in the last five minutes that we looked to play in our usual structure," he said.
Harendra said the penalty stroke awarded to South Korea which resulted in the match-winner in the 56th minute was not justified.
"The massive blow for us came when the Koreans were given a penalty stroke. The Korean striker had already taken a shot and was not in control of the ball at that stage. Even the goalkeeper was covering him at that stage, so the penalty stroke award was harsh on us," he said.
The coach said it was disappointing to start the tournament with a defeat but he would take positives from the match as his side has come here without at least half-a-dozen senior players.
"I'm obviously quite upset at the score-line, despite dominating the first session, but this match was good education for the youngsters in the team," he said.
Harendra is hoping that Mahadik would recover in time for Friday's match against Great Britain.
"I hope Mahadik recovers for tomorrow's match against Britain, which is almost their full strength and a lot of their players are from England's team whom we defeated in the Commonwealth Games semifinal. It's going to be a very interesting encounter," he said.
The Times of India
Below-par umpiring robbed us of a point
was never supposed to be an easy game but there is still a lot of disappointment at our first loss in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. We went in knowing Korea are among the fittest and strongest teams in the world. And we played accordingly, which was reflected in the score-line when we led 2-0 inside the first 25 minutes. And we played accordingly, which was reflected in the score-line when we led 2-0 inside the first 25 minutes.
We went into the match knowing well that giving them extra space would be suicidal. Our game plan in the first 35 minutes was to close that space and nullify their sprints. We executed it well, and we could see they were getting frustrated.
That was the time we should have pressed ahead and gone for the kill but unfortunately that did not happen. Having played with You Hyo Sik in the Premier Hockey League, I knew he would be a crucial player and must be curbed. Instead, we let in a goal in the last few minutes of the first half, which I think was a mistake.
But there is only so much a team can do when you are struggling with injuries. Worst is when your players pick up those injuries during the course of play. We had Dhananjay Mahadik going down after being hit on the ankle, Diwakar Ram had a cut above his eye and Chandi was also injured. Hopefully, they will all be fine in time.
At the same time, it is disappointing to see umpiring not up to the standard. It wasn't just us; even the Koreans would feel done in by what they claimed was a disallowed goal. I am not saying we would have definitely won if it wasn't for the umpiring, but I think we would have at least got a point from this game. Especially the penalty-stroke that gave them the winner, since I was present barely a few feet from the spot and could see there had been no infringement.
My point is not to blame the umpires; they are also human and can make mistakes. My point is that if there is technology for use, it should be utilised.
The FIH has already tested and approved television referrals and used it during the World Cup last year. However, since then it has been a pick-and-choose system, with the organisers having the right to do as they please.
No team can escape bad umpiring and if using technology can reduce mistakes, it should be welcomed by all and made mandatory by the FIH in all competitions. However, my immediate concern is to make sure that by the time the players get ready for the second game against Britain on Friday, they have already forgotten Thursday's loss but not its lessons.
This is a young side and they are talented but they have not played under pressure situations too often. As captain and the senior-most player, it is my responsibility to make sure they are completely fresh, especially mentally, on Friday morning.
About our next opponents, they have proved, time and again, that they are a dangerous side.
They have climbed to world No. 4 in a very short time and that shows their talent and intent.
Against them, we will have to be at our best and go for full points. A draw won't suffice. Hopefully, we will be able to get our best players back in action in time for that.
Pakistan set Azlan Shah pace with win over New Zealand
South Korea turned their match against India around to win 3-2 in the second match of the day. —Photo courtesy Azlan Shah Cup
KARACHI: Pakistan finally managed to put one over New Zealand when the two teams met in the opening match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Thursday.
Pakistan, who overturned a five-match deficit against the Kiwis, won the match with a 4-2 score-line at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, Malaysia.
With a new captain – Muhammad Imran – at their helm, Pakistan made an aggressive start to the match as Umar Bhutta made the first attempt on goal in the opening minute. While Bhutta’s shot went wide of the goal, Muhammad Rizwan Sr. was on target with his third-minute strike.
The goal awakened the New Zealand attack but the strong Pakistan defence denied the Kiwis any chance of getting back on level terms. Instead, in the 24th minute, Pakistan consolidated their lead when a rebound off Sohail Abbas penalty corner was slotted in by Syed Kashif Shah.
The 2010 Asian Games champion went into half-time with their lead intact after New Zealand failed to convert from the two penalty corners they were awarded in the dying moments of the first half.
Five minutes into the second half, Sohail Abbas was back in action as he drag-flicked from a penalty-corner. The leading goal-scorer in the world was unlucky again as New Zealand goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex made a diving save.
Muhammad Waqas put former under-19 star Abdul Haseem Khan through in the 51st minute and Haseem duly converted from close-range.
Pakistan’s solid defence line was broken by Andrew Hayward in the 59th minute, as he converted from a penalty corner. Two minutes later, Umar Bhutta scored his second to ensure a three-goal cushion for his team but Hugo Inglis scored in the 63rd minute to reduce the goal margin.
Pakistan team manager K.M. Junaid said it was an important victory as opening matches were usually tougher.
“I thank the Almighty for the win as it is a good start for us. We have several young players and they came away good as this is their first time playing in such humid conditions,” he said.
South Korea’s dramatic comeback against India
Pakistan play their second match of the tournament against their Asian Games semi-final opponents South Korea, who beat India in Thursday’s second match.
The two Asian giants of the game squared off in what turned out to be a five-goal thriller as South Korea overturned India’s 2-0 lead to register the win.
The opening goal of the match came in the 20th minute, when Diwikar Ram scored from a penalty corner to put India in the lead.
The match truly sparked into life in the 24th minute as a Korean ‘goal’ from a penalty corner was disallowed by umpire Martin Madden. The ensuing heated debate Korea lost two players, Lee Seung II and Jang Jong Hyun, to green cards. Their protest continued as Korea walked off the pitch but returned as the umpire refused to let the goal stand.
Korea’s fate worsened three minutes later when Danish Mujtaba’s reverse stick-hit made it 2-0 for India.
The Koreans, ranked sixth in the world, did not give up and pulled one back in the 31st minute through Cho Suk-Hoon from their third penalty corner.
In the second half, they were the dominant team and had the Indians in sixes and sevens as they attacked the faltering Indian defence with relative ease.
Yoon Sung-Hoon put them level in the 41st minute and Jang Jung-Hyun grabbed the winner with a penalty stroke conversion in the 56th.
In the last game of the day, Great Britain got off to a winning start when they defeated hosts Malaysia 3-1. The British will meet India on Friday while hosts Malaysia have a date with world number one Australia.
Both teams are defending the title after being declared joint champions when heavy rain caused play to be abandoned last year, and they showed their mettle in an exhilarating match of two very different halves.
Indian coach Harinder Singh said his team lost the plot in the second half after two of their players, Mahdik Dhananjay and Shivendra Singh, were injured.
“The Koreans are always fast with their game and in the second half applied a lot of pressure on us. The players failed to say focused and we paid the price by letting them get the goals,” he said.
Hosts downed by British
In the last game of the day, Great Britain got off to a winning start when they defeated hosts Malaysia 3-1.
The British will meet India on Friday while hosts Malaysia have a date with world number one Australia.
Pakistan start with facile 4-2 win over New Zealand
IPOH (Malaysia): Asian Games champions Pakistan launched their campaign in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament with a facile 4-2 victory over a fighting New Zealand on Thursday.
Enjoying territorial dominance against the Black Sticks, Pakistan opened the scoring in the third minute through an opportunistic goal by Muhammad Rizwan Senior, who picked up the ball in crowded goalmouth and flicked past hapless goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex.
Kashif Shah increased the lead for Pakistan on the first penalty corner, capitalising on a rebound after a rising drag flick from Sohail Abbas was palmed away by the New Zealand goalkeeper.
Pakistan was not able to score a single goal directly from five penalty corners shots, but their firepower in field play was enough to give them a three-goal lead in the 51st minute when Abdul Haseem Khan scored with a flash strike.
Pakistan's defence came under pressure when the New Zealanders forced a string of penalty corners, and succeeded in scoring their first goal on their fifth penalty corner through a low drag flick by Andrew Hayward in the 59th minute.
Pakistan shot back within two minutes to increase the lead again as Umar Bhutta beat the goalkeeper with a rasping shot from top of the circle to make it 4-1.
New Zealand reduced the margin in the 63rd minute on a fine counter by Hugo Inglis.
In the last match of the opening day, Britain beat hosts Malaysia 3-1 to launch their campaign on a winning note.
James Tindall opened England's scoring in the 17th minute on a penalty corner rebound and Richard Smith made it 2-0 at the stroke of half-time with a field goal.
Malaysia pulled a goal back when captain Tengku Ahmas Tajudin shot on target in the 41st minute, only to see Robert Moore make it 3-1 for England in the 51st minute by deflecting a long shot from the left flank.
The Times of India
Pakistan coach unhappy despite win
PAKISTAN got off to a roaring start by beating New Zealand 4-2 but manager Khawaja Junaid was far from pleased with their penalty corner conversions.
The Asian Games gold medallists won five penalty corners but converted only one and that too off a rebound by Kashif Shah in the 24th minute.
"I am happy with the way my juniors clicked with the seniors, but there is cause for worry because we won five penalty corners but could only convert one.
"Pakistan have always been strong in the penalty corner department, so it looks like we will have to work on it further to collect points in the remaining matches," said Khawaja.
Sohail Abbas, who scored one goal when Pakistan beat Malaysia in the Asian Games final last year, could not find his touch against the Kiwis.
Sohail holds the world record of having scored 313 goals in 259 matches and could provide the spark that Pakistan need to lift the Azlan Shah Cup. Pakistan also broke the Kiwis' four-match winning streak against them in their fifth meeting yesterday.
The other Pakistan goals were scored by Muhammad Rizwan (third), Haseem Khan (51st) and Umar Bhutta (61st).
The New Zealand goals came via Andrew Hayward (59th) and Hugo Inglis (63rd).
New Straits Times
Opening defeat for Black Sticks at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
Despite a promising performance from debutant Matt L’Huillier and a goal in his fiftieth international by Otago’s Hugo Inglis, the Black Sticks Men’s team slipped to a 4-2 defeat against Asian champions Pakistan in their opening match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia tonight (Thursday 5 May).
In incredibly hot and humid conditions, both teams found the conditions challenging and the opening period saw many errors and turnovers.
The Black Sticks, hoping to continue an excellent run of five successive victories over Pakistan, conceded a goal in only the third minute. Punishing a New Zealand turnover, Pakistan counter-attacked quickly and Muhammad Rizwan Senior put the finishing touches to Sohail Abbas’ right wing cross.
From its first penalty corner, Pakistan went further ahead when Kyle Pontifex in the New Zealand goal pulled off a great save from Abbas who did a drag flick only to see Syed Kashif Shah react first to the rebound and put Pakistan 2-0 ahead.
In the closing stages of the first half, the Black Sticks started to edge their way back into the match and Wellington’s Matt L’Huillier playing his first international match, saw two drag flicks at penalty corners well saved by Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah.
In the second half, the Black Sticks continued to push forward looking to reduce the deficit, but Pakistan grabbed their third in the 51st minute when Abdul Haseem Khan punished another New Zealand turnover by converting Abbassi’s right wing cross. In the 54th minute, Tauranga’s Andy Hayward stepped up to fire home a well-taken penalty corner drag flick to reduce the deficit for the Black Sticks to 1-3.
The killer blow for the Black Sticks happened straight from the restart, though, when Pakistan punished another turnover in the New Zealand defence to put the game beyond the Kiwi’s reach, with Muhammad Zubair showing exquisite skill to unlock the Black Sticks defence and slip the ball under the advancing Pontifex in the New Zealand goal.
With the Black Sticks dominating the closing minutes, they continued to push forward looking for further opportunities to reduce the deficit. With seven minutes remaining, Hugo Inglis, playing in his fiftieth international, gratefully accepted a clever pass from Blair Hilton to rifle home an unstoppable reverse stick shot high into the net.
The Black Sticks have two rest days before its second match against Korea on Sunday 8 May 2011. In today’s other matches, Korea recovered from a 0-2 deficit to beat India 3-2 and Great Britain proved too strong for Malaysia with a 3-1 success.
The Black Sticks wore black arm bands for the match against Pakistan in respect for the passing away of former Olympic Gold medallist and former New Zealand women’s coach Paul Ackerley.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Black sticks lose Malaysian tournament opener
The New Zealand men's hockey team slumped to a 4-2 defeat to Pakistan in their opening match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia last night, their first loss to the Asian champions in six matches.
Despite a promising performance from debutant Matt L'Huillier and a goal from Otago's Hugo Inglis in his 50th international, errors and turnovers in the opening half cost New Zealand as they trailed 2-0 at the break.
Pakistan opened their account in just the third minute as they mounted a quick counter-attack after a New Zealand turnover, Muhammad Rizwan putting the finishing touches to Sohail Abbas' right wing cross.
From their first penalty corner, Pakistan doubled the lead when New Zealand goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex pulled off a great save from Abbas' drag flick only to see Syed Kashif Shah react first to the rebound and slot the goal.
The Black Sticks started to edge their way back into the match in the closing stages of the first half, and Wellington's Matt L'Huillier, on debut, saw two drag flicks at penalty corners well saved by Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah.
In the second half, the New Zealand continued to push forward seeking to reduce the deficit, but Pakistan grabbed their third in the 51st minute when Abdul Haseem Khan punished another New Zealand turnover by converting Abbas' right wing cross.
Andy Hayward stepped up to fire home a well-taken penalty corner drag flick to reduce claima goal back for New Zealand three minutes later, but Pakistan landed the killer blow from the restart when they punished another turnover in the New Zealand defence to put the game beyond reach, Muhammad Zubair showing exquisite skill to unlock the defence and slip the ball under the advancing Pontifex.
New Zealand dominated the closing stages and Inglis, playing in his 50th match, gratefully accepted a clever pass from Blair Hilton to rifle home an unstoppable reverse stick shot high into the net, but it was all too late.
New Zealand's second match is against Korea on Sunday.
In other matches overnight, Korea recovered from a 0-2 deficit to beat India 3-2 and Great Britain proved too strong for the hosts, winning 3-1.
Result: New Zealand 2 (Andrew Hayward, Hugo Inglis) Pakistan 4 (Mohammed Rizwan Senior, Syed Kashif Shah, Abdul Haseem Khan, Mohammad Umar Bhutta). Halftime: 0-2.
Tai's boys cut down to size
Malaysia’s Mohd Noor Nabil Fiqri tries to get past Britain’s Alexander Richard in their Azlan Shah Cup match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh yesterday. — Picture by Ikhwan Munir
SIZE does matter, and Malaysia found out the hard way when they struggled to stay on their feet when push came to shove, and lost 3-1 to Britain in the 20th Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.
Watched by 5,000 fans, Malaysia got their basics right and held a tight grip on the World No 4 and Olympic hosts, but a silly mistake in the 17th minute gave away a penalty corner.
James Tindall converted, but Malaysia kept on pushing with Hafifihafiz Hanafi and Faizal Saari making inroads, but failed to click in the semi-circle.
And just as the clock showed 35 seconds remaining in the first half, Richard Smith connected a cross which beat goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin for their second goal.
Yesterday, coach Tai Beng Hai rested first choice goalkeeper S. Kumar and Kelvinder Singh, for skipper Madzli Ikmar, Baljit Singh and Radzi Rahim to take care of the backline.
The national side showed shades of improvement from their Asian Games style, and their confidence was boosted when Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored a stunner in the 41st minute.
Tengku collected the ball on the blind side, and his reverse stick grounder went between the legs of goalkeeper James Fair, and Malaysia were back in the match.
However, in the 51st minute, Robert Moore was gifted an open goal as he was left unmarked to deflect in the third goal past Roslan.
Malaysia are braced to face another torrid time against World No 1 Australia today.
New Straits Times
Malaysia go down to well-organised British side
By S. RAMAGURU
Losing his balance: Malaysia’s Hafifihafiz Hanafi (left) drops his stick while trying to stop Britain’s Alastair Wilson during their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match in Ipoh yesterday. SAIFUL BAHRI / The Star
IPOH: Malaysia’s campaign in the 20th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament got off to a stuttering start as they went down 1-3 to Britain here yesterday.
The Malaysians did play well at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium and even had speed in their game. But the well-organised defensive structure of the Britain team, which was marshalled by Richard Mantell, were a shade better.
The Asian Games silver medallistS, however, can take heart over their spirited play but will have to recover quickly for their match today against the world No. 1 Australia. The Malaysians were adventurous in the early stages of the first half. They earned their first penalty corner in the eighth minute but the attempt was saved by goalkeeper James Fair.
Then in the 16th minute, Britain earned two consecutive penalty corners and in the second attempt, Richard Mantell’s flick hit rebounded off the post for a lurking James Tindell to slot home from close range.
Just before the end of the first half, Britain in a quick attack saw Richard Smith snatching a field goal.
Six minutes into the second half, Malaysia reduced the deficit when Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin broke through and slotted home from the top D. Against the run of play, Britain regained their two-goal lead when Robert Moore connected a long ball into the D to beat a stranded Roslan Jamaluddin.
Malaysia coach Tai Beng Hai was happy with the performance of the team but felt that they did not make better use of the chances that came their way.
“The effort was good and we played well in making sure they were under pressure,” he said.
“But it is clear that we are still not that good enough and have some way to go. The team certainly can play better and it gives me hope that we will improve as we go along.”
Britain coach Jason Lee was pleasantly surprised that his team got off to a winning start.
“Opening matches are usually slow for us and we need time to settle in. But this was a great effort by the players and we hope to keep it up. There are tough matches ahead,” he said.
Malaysia: Roslan Jamaluddin, Mohamed Marhan Jalil, Mohamed Madzli Ikmar, Faizal Saari, Mohamed Shahrun Nabil, Nabil Fiqri Mohamed Nor, Mohamed Razie Rahim, Mohamed Shukri Mutalib, Hafifihafiz Hanafi, Baljit Singh, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.
Substitutes: Mohamed Izzat Rahim, Mohamed Azammi Adabi, Mohamed Firhan Ashaari, Azlan Misron, Izwan Firdaus.
Britain: James Fair, Glen Kirkham, Richard Mantell, Jonathan Clarke, Robert Moore, Alastair Wilson, James Tindell, Niall Stott, Iain Mackay, Iain Lewers, Richard Smith.
Substitutes: Richard Alexander, Simon Mantell, Matthew Daly, Adam Dixon, Richard Daniel Fox.
The Star of Malaysia
Great Britain get campaign off to a winning start
With fewer than 450 days until the London 2012 Olympic Games, Great Britain’s men got their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup campaign off to a winning start as goals from Surbiton’s James Tindall, Loughborough Students’ Richard Smith and Wimbledon’s Rob Moore helped them to a 3-1 victory over hosts Malaysia in Ipoh on Thursday.
In the heat and humidity of Malaysia, Head Coach Jason Lee handed Iain Lewers his Great Britain debut in a starting XI that included Reading’s Euro Hockey League hero goalkeeper Nick Brothers and saw East Grinstead’s Glenn Kirkham wearing the captain’s armband. Dan Fox also made his GB debut, coming on from the bench.
Great Britain created a series of early chances before James Tindall, playing his 70th match for GB, followed up quickly after Roslan Jamaluddin had initially saved a penalty corner. Reacting to the ball rebounding off the goalkeeper, Tindall kept his head to put Great Britain in front midway through the first half.
The goal was no less than Great Britain deserved, although at the other end they had to be alert to keep out two penalty corners; Nick Brothers denying the tournament hosts on both occasions.
Great Britain saw a series of penalty corners of their own kept out before Loughborough Students’ Richard Smith got down well to connect with Jonty Clarke’s square pass across goal to put Great Britain 2-0 in front on the stroke of half time. Having been deployed up front rather than in his more accustomed defensive role, it was the 23 year old’s second goal for Great Britain in just his third appearance in GB colour, adding to his record of five in 50 for England.
The second half saw Malaysia enjoy more possession than they had been allowed in the first and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin gave his side a lifeline in the 41st minute when he scored with a low reverse stick shot after cutting in from the right hand side. The goal could have been the catalyst for a comeback by the hosts but Great Britain held firm and ten minutes later Rob Moore restored the two goal cushion with a deflected shot from Simon Mantell’s cross from the left.
The remainder of the match produced little in the way of clear cut goal scoring opportunities as Great Britain strode to victory.
Afterwards, Jason Lee said: “I’m very pleased. It was a positive performance in difficult circumstances. I think a few of the players had forgotten how tough this climate is.”
Great Britain’s second match is against India, the Commonwealth Games silver medalists, at 11:05 BST on Friday.
MALAYSIA 1 (0)
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin 41 (F)
GREAT BRITAIN 3 (2)
James Tindall 17 (PC)
Richard Smith 35 (F)
Rob Moore 51 (F)
GREAT BRITAIN TEAM v MALAYSIA
Name (Club) [Position]
Nick Brothers (Reading) [GK]
Niall Stott (East Grinstead) [Def]
Richard Mantell (Reading) [Def]
Iain Lewers (Loughborough Students) [Def]
Alastair Wilson (Beeston) [Def]
Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) [Mid]
Jonty Clarke (Reading) [Fwd]
James Tindall (Surbiton) [Fwd]
Richard Smith (Loughborough Students) [Def]
Iain Mackay (Reading) [Mid]
Rob Moore (Wimbledon) [Mid/Fwd]
Adam Dixon (Beeston) [Def/Mid]
Dan Fox (Hampstead & Westminster) [Def]
Richard Alexander (Surbiton) [Def/Mid/Fwd]
Simon Mantell (Reading) [Fwd]
Matt Daly (Surbiton) [Fwd]
Did Not Play
James Fair (Cannock) [GK]
Richard Springham (Reading) [Def/Mid]
THE SULTAN AZLAN SHAH CUP TABLE
1. Pakistan (3pts)
2. Great Britain (3pts)
3. Korea (3pts)
4. Australia (0pts)
5. India (0pts)
6. New Zealand (0pts)
7. Malaysia (0pts)
Visit the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup website at www.azlanshahcup.com
Follow Great Britain at www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk
England Hockey Board Media release
Beng Hai pleased with low score
NATIONAL chief coach Tai Beng Hai expected a tough match against Britain, and was actually pleased that his team managed to keep the score low.
"Britain are a well prepared side, and I had expected the match to be a difficult one, and that is why I am not too disappointed with the score.
"In fact, we are only guilty of not converting our chances, other than that, I am happy with the team's attitude," said Beng Hai.
He has already started planning for another tough match against Australia today.
"We will have to change some tactics, as Australia are very strong and I expect them to come at us in numbers," said Benh Hai.
Britain coach Jason Lee was pleased with the win, and said Malaysia are always tough to beat.
"I was a little worried... what with the weather and a Malaysian side that always play well against us.
"Now that we have gotten over the first match jitters, I expect my players to keep improving," said Jason.
New Straits Times
Malaysia needs to get its act together if they harbor hopes of finishing amongst the top four of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
The team was lacking in character and many a time were second best or a trifle too slow compared to their opponents Great Britain.
And another inept display could well see them punished by reigning world champions Australia whom they meet tonight.
Malaysia has played Australia 72 times and has only won five times, with sixty defeats and seven matches ending in a draw. And Australia has scored 292 times as opposed to Malaysia scoring just 79 goals in those matches.
Malaysian coach Tai Beng Hi is well aware of the dangers that Australia pose as they hammered Malaysia 7-0 in their last encounter during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
High scoring defeats at the hands of Australia is actually nothing new as Malaysia lost 7-0 in Christchurch in 1974, in Kuala Lumpur in 1992 with the biggest margin of defeat being 9-0 in Canberra in 2004 as well as 11-3 also in Canberra as recently as 2009.
“We were rather poor in the second half and need to play much better against the Aussies,” conceded Beng Hai.
“It is not that we were completely outclassed but the fact is that Great Britain are better prepared and is a very good side, as reflected in their world ranking of fourth.
‘We created enough chances, especially the penalty corners, but just could not make them count.”
Beng Hai revealed that he was practicing a rotational policy with regard’s to the goalkeeping department. Roslan Jamaluddin was in goal against Great Britain last night and against Australia it will be S. Kumar in goal.
“We want both the keepers to gain match exposure hence the rotational policy. The same applies for the outfield players as we need to get the younger players to play more so as to improve their match temperament,” said Beng Hai.
“Our journey towards London 2012 starts here in Ipoh and as such I believe that we can only improve as the tournament progresses.
“We must assume that we can take on the worlds best just because we won the silver medal at the Asian Games. It’s a long journey to move up the rankings and make the grade for the Olympics.”
Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site
Fans fill up the Stadium
With rain staying away yesterday, the fans made a beeline for the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Stadium. And they were treated to some world class hockey matches. We pay tribute to the fans via these pictures.
Please note that pictures of matches on day one can be viewed on the gallery page and you can also download the match sheets in the match sheets section. Continue following us on twitter @azlancup for the latest updates.
For those who want to catch up on what the press has written, please go to In The Media section to read news and views from around the globe with regards to the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. But the surprise is that the International Hockey Federation has made no mention of our web nor the tournament on their website.
Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site
AHF umpires course draws 30 participants
IPOH: A total of 30 young participants from 14 countries are attending the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) umpires course, which began yesterday and will end on May 9.
The course, conducted by Japan’s Masako Kamisuki, was opened by AHF secretary general Tan Sri P. Alagendra, who said that they were serious in wanting to improve the quality of umpires in Asia.
“This is the first in the series of courses we planned to hold in Asia. We will use major tournaments in the region towards this end,” he said.
“We will continue to provide the knowledge required to become a top-class umpire. And it is vital that the participants have self-belief and work hard to achieve their objective to become one.”
The participants at the course will also have the opportunity to hear from the FIH president, Leandro Negre, today. He is on a two-day visit to Malaysia in conjunction with the 20th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament.
The Star of Malaysia
Revival of Continental classic
The International Hockey Federation is all for the revival of the Five Continents Hockey Tournament and is looking towards 2013 for the first tournament to be held.
In revealing this, FIH President Leandro Negre said that the plan was to hold the tournament a year after the mojor events, i.e the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 World Cup.
"This will ensure that the best players are picked to represent their respective continents," said Negre who was met after addressing the participants of the AHF-MHC Young Umpires Seminar in Ipoh today.
"However we have to look at two factors before going ahead with the planned revival as there is a question of congestion as so far as the hockey calendar is concerned as well as the financial burdens of the continental federations.
"If we can resolve these two issues, then we hope to have this tournament a year after the Olympics in London."
And in an immediate response, the Asian Hockey Confederation Secretary General Tan Sri P. Alagendra said that AHF was prepared to play host to the event.
"The President of AHF, Sultan Azlan Shah has communicated our desire to host the event to the FIH President and we are optimistic that it will take place in 2013," said Alagendra.
In other developments Negre revealed that India was prepared to play hosts to a World Inter Club Championship, with the first event being staged in January 2013.
"India has agreed to bear the cost of having a tournament where eight men's and eight women's teams will participate in a knock-out competition over one weekend," said Negre.
"Five teams will be from the continents while three other clubs will be wild cards. And we believe that it will be good towards giving clubs a platform to develop players and at the same time unerath new talents for member countries."
And with regards as to why Oceania was given two automatic spots for the London Olympics, Negre explained that it was in line with the regulations in place.
"It is all a question of understanding the ranking system and the qualification system used to determine teams besides the five continent champions and the host country," said Negre.
"But with the World Series being used as a qualification system, there should not be any grey areas as the top six teams will qualify through merit and the system is clear on the proces of qualification."
Negre said that he was all for the change of colours for the hockey pitch after being asked on the plans to have the turf for the London Olympics in 2012 in blue with a pink border.
"Its a question of adapting to change and I am all for it. Infact there is a proposal to have the semi circle in different colour and I am supportive of such a move and do not see why FIH would want to object on this," said Negre.
Meanwhile Negre said that he was happy that the AHF, together with the MHC had initiated the Academy in Ipoh and said this augurs well for the development of hockey within Asia.
"I must applaud the initiative by AHF as its the first time a continental federation has set up an academy of this sort. And the role played by Malaysia is an example for others to follow," said Negre.
"On our part, the FIH is ever willing to assist in any manner we can to ensure the continued success of the academy."
Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site
Our ladies off to Austria
THE Malaysian women's hockey team left for Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday to play in the Champions Challenge II from May 7-15.
Malaysia finished seventh out of eight teams in the last edition in Kazan, and hope to do much better this time.
"We will play against Belgium, Russia and Belarus in Group B. And after the pool matches, even though there are four teams in each group, we will move into the quarter-finals and get another chance to improve our ranking," said Malaysian Women's Hockey Federation secretary S. Shamala.
Former men's international goalkeeper Nasihin Nubli will coach the team in an international tournament for the first time.
"Our target is to finish fourth, because this tournament is a build-up to our Olympic Qualifier next year," said Shamala.
GROUP A: Chile, Canada, Italy, Austria.
GROUP B: Belgium, Russia, Malaysia, Belarus.
SATURDAY -- Group A: Chile v Italy, canada v Austria; Group B: Belgium v Malaysia, Russia v Belarus.
SUNDAY -- Group A: Canada v Chile, Italy v Austria; Group B: Russia v Belgium, Malaysia v Belarus.
TUESDAY: Group A: Italy v Canada, Chile v Austria; Group B: Malaysia v Russia, Belgium v Belarus.
MALAYSIA: Nadia Rahman (c), Farah Ayuni (GK), Siti Noor Hafiza (GK), Norhasikin Halim, A. Kannagi, Noor Hasliza Ali, Siti Nor Amarina, Juliani Mohamed, Norbaini Hashim, Siti Shahidah, Nor Azlin Sumantri, Nuraini Abdul Rashid,
Siti Rahmah, Nur Amirah, Fazilla Sylvester, Nor Hidayah, Rabiatul Adawiyah, Raja Norsharina.
Coach: Nasihin Nubli; Team manager: Ernawati Mahmud.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Match schedule announced for EHL Final Four / ECCC
© Euro Hockey League / Frank Uijlenbroek
As announced earlier this week, the Euro Hockey League Final Four competition will be played in Den Haag (The Netherlands) at HGC, with the event also incorporating the Semi Finals and Final of the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup (ECCC) for women.
We can now tell you that the tournament will be played over three days instead of two, with the matches taking place from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th June 2011. This brings the tournament in line with last year’s hugely successful combined Final Four event that took place at Amsterdam H&BC. It promises to be a fantastic weekend as Europe’s finest teams do battle for two of the most sought after prizes in club hockey.
The official schedule for the tournament sees The ECCC Semi Finals taking place on Friday 10th June, with Larensche HC (NED) playing Leicester HC (ENG) at 17.30 (Central European Standard Time) before Slough HC (ENG) do battle with reigning champions HC’s Hertogenbosch (NED) at 20.00.
On Saturday 11th June, the all important Semi Finals of the Euro Hockey League will begin, with Reading HC (ENG) facing Club de Campo (ESP) at 11.30. This is followed by the exciting all-Dutch Semi Final between Oranje Zwart and host club HGC at 14.30. The final match of the day takes place at 16.30, as the two losing Semi Finalists from the Women’s EuroHockey Club Champions Cup step onto the field at 16.30.
Sunday 12th June is Grand Final day. At 10.30 the 3rd/4th place play-off match for the Euro Hockey League will take place, being followed at 13.00 by the Final of the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup for women. The Euro Hockey League Final will take place at 15.40, bringing a wonderful weekend of European club action to a glorious close.
To see the official match schedule in PDF format, please click here. The match schedule may be subject to amendment or variation by the Tournament Director due to the all important requirements of television.
Ticketing information about the tournament will be announced very soon.
Euro Hockey League media release
AHL Championship 2011 Preview
Will WA continue their dominance at the AHL?
Having dominated the Australian Hockey League in recent years, including four AHL championships out of the past five seasons, the WA Diamonds are surely once again the team to beat in the AHL for season 2011.
Or will the OAMPS Queensland Scorchers finally end their run of bad luck which has seen them finish second in the last five seasons in a row?
Only time will tell as the 2011 AHL season kicks off tonight Friday 6 May in Sydney and Adelade.
Round 1 Matches Women - Sydney
6th May 5pm
Tasmanian Van Demons Vs Victorian Vipers
6th May 7pm
Canberra Labor Club Strikers Vs NSW Arrows
7th May 3pm
Canberra Labor Club Strikers Vs Victorian Vipers
7th May 5pm
NSW Arrows Vs Tasmanian Van Demons
8th May 1pm
Canberra Labor Club Strikers Vs Tasmanian Van Demons
8th May 3pm
Victorian Vipers Vs NSW Arrows
Round 1 Matches Women - Adelaide
6th May 5pm
OAMPS Queensland Scorchers Vs WA Diamonds
6th May 7pm
Darwin Airport Resort Territory Pearls Vs OAMPS Southern Suns
7th May 3pm
OAMPS Southern Suns Vs WA Diamonds
7th May 5pm
OAMPS Queensland Scorchers Vs Darwin Airport Resort Territory Pearls
8th May 1pm
OAMPS Queensland Scorchers Vs OAMPS Southern Suns
8th May 3pm
Darwin Airport Resort Territory Pearls Vs WA Diamonds
Please note: All times shown are local to the venue
Click on the State below to view a complete preview of matches, teams and players to watch.
Hockey Australia media release
Sialkot hang on for a draw in PHF junior hockey
By Our Sports Reporter
LAHORE: A 23rd minute goal by Mohammad Sabir helped Sialkot to a 1-1 draw against PHF Academy in the third PHF Junior Super Hockey League at the National Hockey Stadium here on Thursday.
The Academy team took the lead in the 19th minute when Mohammad Naveed banged home with a field goal. But four minutes later Sabir restored parity.
Three goals from Faisal Ali and two apiece by Osama, Mohammad Zeeshan and Mohammad Adnan inspired Multan to a crushing 10-0 victory against Quetta.
Faisal sounded the board in the 10th, 32nd, 35th minutes while Osama found the net in the 2nd and 3rd minutes. Zeeshan struck two goals in the 33rd and 57th minute while Adnan fired home in the 64th and 70th minute. Arsalan chipped in one goal in the 58th minute.
A goal each by Hafiz Sardar and Mohammad Fahad helped Lahore to carve out a hard-fought 2-1 win against Faisalabad.
Hafiz Sardar hit the board in the 29th minute while Fahad doubled the lead in the 50th minute. Faisalabad scored the lone goal through Ali Hassan Faraz in the dying minutes.
Karachi inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Peshawar with Salman Khan (9th minute) and Ali Noman (14th minute) scoring field goals.
Thriller ties on the cards
THE battle resumes today in Division Two of the Junior Hockey League where the top two teams from each group meet in the crossover semi-finals with the winners qualifying for next week's main tier knockout stage.
MSSP-USM, who topped Group A, face Johor while Group B champions Tunku Besar Secondary School (TBSS) of Tampin play Malacca High School (MHS). Both matches are at the Tun Razak Stadium.
MSSP-USM are unbeaten in the league and have a stellar defensive record, conceding only three goals. The Penang side will start favourites but will need to be wary of their opponents who have also been impressive.
MSSP-USM, who can score goals from open play and penalty corners, are led by their leading scorer Azwar Abdul Rahman (four goals) and have scored 22 in five matches to top Group A. Forward Zulhilmi Muhammad will be the player to watch in the Johor side. The 16-year-old has scored seven of his team's 17 goals in Group B.
The other semi-final between TBSS and MHS is expected to be a classic as both teams have a history of producing players who have gone on to represent the national team.
TBSS manager M. Vivekananda hopes the team's formidable forward line, led by Division Two leading scorer Irsyaduddin Abu Yazizi and Muhd Ikwan Ishak, will be on form again against MHS.
The Tampin side, with 28 goals to their credit, have scored more times than any other team in Division Two. Irsyaduddin and Muhd Ikwan, between them, have scored 15 goals. MHS, who last played in the league six years ago, comprise mostly players from the Malacca side who reached the final of the National Under-16 tournament last month.
"My players, who are mostly 15 and below, have been in training since last June. We are a young team without much experience, so reaching the semi-final is a good achievement," said MHS manager G. Manogaran in Malacca yesterday.
"TBSS are the team to beat. They have several older players with league experience but that will not stop us from giving our best as everyone in the team is eager to play a high quality game."
New Straits Times
MHS to start as underdogs in Div 2 semi-final against TBS
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Malacca High School (MHS) will start as underdogs against Tunku Besar School (TBS) of Tampin in a Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Division Two semi-final match at the Tun Razak Stadium here today.
The other match is between MSS Penang-USM and MSN Johor and it will also be played at the same venue.
MHS assistant manager R. Manogaran said that they had a young team of players with an average age of 15 while their opponents are an experienced side with players who are older by three years.
“We have never played in Division One since making our debut in the MJHL in 2003. I doubt we can make the grade. We are in the league for exposure and our aim is to qualify for Division One in two years’ time,” he said.
TBS coach M. Vivekananda said that they were not going to take MHS lightly.
“My boys have been playing together in school tournaments for five years now and we are ready to give our best to reach the final,” he said.
“I am banking on our three forwards, Mohd Ikwan (Ishak), Mohd Asraf (Zulzazli) and Mohd Shair (Arif), to deliver the goals in the semi-final match.”
The final will be played on Sunday at the same venue.
The top two teams from Division Two not only gain promotion but they will also get to join the top six teams in Division One in the knockout competition for the overall title starting on May 13.
Div. 2 (semi-finals): MSS Penang-USM vs MSN Johor (4.30pm); Tunku Besar School vs Malacca High School (6.30pm) – both matches at the Tun Razak Stadium.
The Star of Malaysia
Junior Black Sticks Men's team to play Malaysia
The Malaysia Under-21 men’s hockey team will play four games against the Junior Black Sticks in Dunedin from the 2-8 June as part of Hockey New Zealand’s new junior high performance programme.
“It is a real coup to have the Malaysia team coming across to play us. This is exactly the type of experience that our younger players need so that we strengthen our talent base and have more people vying for Black Sticks selection,” says Hockey New Zealand high performance manager Toni Cumpston.
A Junior Black Sticks Men’s and Women’s squad will be announced at the end of the National Under-21 Tournament, which is being held this week from the 7-14 May at the Alexander McMillan Hockey Centre in Dunedin.
“Knowing that selectors are in the stands and that both our Junior Black Sticks teams have been invited to participate in international competitions will be an extra incentive for players to give it all they have got when they take to the turf next week,” says Cumpston.
There will be 30 players named in each Junior Black Sticks squad. Players will then be invited to a development camp where a team of 20 will be named.
Both the men’s and women’s team have been invited to international competitions later this year.
The men’s team has been invited to the Junior Seven-Nations Invitational First Sultan Ibrahim Cup Tournament, being held in Malaysia (27 October – 6 November). The women’s team has been invited to the Lal Bahadur Shastri Under-21 Women's Hockey Tournament, being held in India (8 -12 November).
“We want our national age group players to be given exposure to top coaching and international playing opportunities so they can continue to develop their skills. These are our future Black Sticks so it is critical that we give them the support they need,” says Cumpston.
The Malaysia Under-21 team’s visit provides an extra opportunity for our Junior Black Sticks Men’s team to compete against an international team. The Malaysia team will be hosted by Otago Hockey Association.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Hockey New Zealand Board members and officers following 2011 AGM
Two new appointments have been made to Hockey New Zealand’s Board following the sport’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 30 April in Auckland.
New Board members are Elaine McCaw from Wellington (appointed) and Andy Rowe from Marlborough (co-opted).
They join seven incumbent Hockey New Zealand Board members, being John Williamson (Chair), Sue Brewster, Catherine Drayton, Mary Devine, Chris Maister and Brent Miskimmin (elected) and Tone Borren (appointed).
Pam Elgar and Keith Binnie have concluded their six year Board terms.
Hockey New Zealand Chair, John Williamson, noted the huge contribution and exceptional service that Keith Binnie and Pam Elgar had given to the sport.
“It is nonetheless very positive that we have maintained continuity with a high calibre board through robust governance and succession planning,” Mr Williamson said.
Pam Elgar will continue as Chair of the Oceania Hockey Federation and also as a board member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
New Officers were also elected at the AGM. Bill Shepherd (Northland) was elected as Hockey New Zealand’s new President following the death of Noelene Stafford, who lost her battle with cancer in November last year.
Neil Edmundson (Hawkes Bay) and Penny Simmonds (Invercargill) were elected as Vice Presidents.
The Hockey New Zealand Board and Officers are voluntary positions.
Hockey New Zealand Board Members (following 2011 AGM)
John Williamson North Harbour (Previously elected to April, 2012)
Sue Brewster Auckland (Re-elected at 2011 AGM)
Catherine Drayton Canterbury (Re-elected at 2011 AGM)
Mary Devine Canterbury (Elected at 2011 AGM)
Chris Maister Canterbury (Elected at 2011 AGM)
Brent Miskimmin Wellington (Elected at 2011 AGM)
Elaine McCaw Wellington (Appointed at 2011 AGM)
Tone Borren Wellington (Appointed at 2011 AGM)
Andrew Rowe Marlborough (Co-opted at 2011 AGM)
Elaine McCaw – New board member
Elaine is currently Director/Consultant with Comilligan Group Ltd. Previous roles include Principal Bell McCaw Bampfylde Ltd, Senior Consultant Wevers and Company and Corporate Personnel Manager at Works and Development Corporation of New Zealand.
Her governance roles include current Board Member Wellington Hockey Association, current Trustee New Zealand Hockey Foundation, current Chair Hobson Leavy, current Chair Victoria University Foundation.
She is a member of the Institute of Directors and was awarded an Aspiring Directors Study Award (Wellington Branch, 2009)
Andrew Rowe – New board member
Andrew has been involved in all levels of hockey over the past 30 years as a club and representative player. He has been a RNZAF representative player, RNZAF base level player and has played for the Nelson Masters team. He has coached club hockey across all grades for the last two decades – including the RNZAF men’s representative team and also New Zealand representative teams.
He is the current Chair of Marlborough Hockey Board and a Member of the Marlborough Artificial Hockey Surface Development Board. He also has a governance role with Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.
Andrew is currently CEO of Cuddon Ltd.
Bill Shepherd - President
Bill has been playing hockey in Whangarei since 1958 and remains a keen player. Over the years he has been a New Zealand Master’s Representative winning gold medals in Hong Kong and Adelaide.
He is currently the Chair of Hockey Northland. He is Vice President of New Zealand Federated Farmers as well as being a Board member of Enterprise Northland and Destination Northland. He is a Trustee for the Northland Regional Council Community Trust and also the Northland Business Development Trust.
He is a Life Member of Hockey Northland and the Ruatangata Club and has been a joint recipient of the Hockey New Zealand’s Pakistan Trophy.
Penny Simmonds - Vice President
Penny is currently the Chairperson of Hockey Southland, Director of New Zealand Institute of Technology and Polytechnics, Trustee of Southland Outdoor Stadium Trust, Board Member of Venture Southland and Board member of Southland Combined Local Authorities Economic Development Unit.
She is a hockey player, selector and coach at a club and provincial level for Otago and Southland.
Penny is currently the Chief Executive of Southern Institute of Technology.
Neil Edmundson – Vice President
Neil has played hockey from 1975 in Canterbury, Hawkes Bay and for New Zealand Universities. He is currently a Masters player.
Neil was the Canterbury Hockey Association executive from 1976 to 1981 and has been Hawkes Bay Hockey Association Executive from 1983 to present. He has been President of the Hawke’s Bay Hockey Association since 1994. Neil is a Life Member of both Hockey New Zealand and Hawke’s Bay Hockey Association. He was the New Zealand Men’s Manager from 1990-1998.
Neil has been the Director of Oldershaw and Co Ltd for 28 years. He set up the Hawke’s Bay Opera Trust in 1987. Neil has been awarded the Paul Harris Rotary Fellowship (non-Rotarian) for services to the community and also the Napier City Council Citizens Civic Award for services to the Napier Community.
Hockey New Zealand Media release