All the news for Saturday 7 May 2011
So close yet so far for Malaysia
It was heartbreak for Malaysia as they were defeated 2-1 by Australia in the Azlan Shah Cup match with only 35 seconds left on the clock.
Indeed it was a bitter pill to swallow as Malaysia led for much of the match only to concede two goals in the final 11 minutes.
If there was one significant change that lifted the spirits of the Malaysian side, then it had to be the inclusion of keeper S. Kumar who was outstanding in the match.
He denied Christopher Ciriello three times off penalty corners in the first half, pulling of saves that were spectacular. And Kumar pulled off another fine save from the attempt of Jason Wilson in the 19th minute.
Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner in the 6th minute but Mohd Razie Rahim sent his attempt inches wide of the upright.
The hosts had another opportunity to go ahead through their second penalty corner in the 18th minute but Razie failed to execute the set piece properly and the chance was lost.
Australia were awarded a penalty corner in the 19th minute and Kumar once again denied Ciriello, Off the quick counter attack, the ball was played to Mohd Azammi Adabi on the right but he skied his shot with only the keeper to beat.
Malaysia however were not to be denied a goal and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin duly delivered in the 23rd minute.
He turned Brent Dancer and unleashed a reverse stick hit that gave Andrew Charter in the Aussie goal no chance whatsoever.
In the second half Faisal Saari had the chance to double Malaysia’s advantage but shot wide in the 41st minute.
The Aussies had Malaysia pinned in defence for long periods in the second half but could not turn the domination into goals.
A mistake by Mohd Madzli Ikmar, who gave the ball away present Australia with a chance to draw level, and though Kumar saved the initial attempt from Glenn Turner, the rebound hit Madzli on the face and umpire Ripudaman Sharma awarded a penalty stroke.
Simon Orchard sent Kumar diving the wrong way to draw Australia level from the spot in the 59th minute.
Malaysia were awarded a stroke in the 63rd minute when the attempt by Azlan Misron hit Fergus Kavanagh on the leg. There was some confusion before umpire Martin Madden awarded the stroke after consulting fellow umpire Ripudaman Sharma.
But Malaysia squandered the opportunity as Faisal Saari sent in a weak shot that was easily saved by Andre Charter.
And they were duly punished by Jason Wilson who scored in the dying seconds of the match.
Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site
India defeat Great Britain
India defeated Great Britain 3-1 in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match in Ipoh this evening.
And they had Rupinder Pal Singh to thank for the win as he scored all the three goals via penalty corners to ensure that India took the three points at stake.
The two teams had contrasting fortunes in the opening day. While Great Britain defeated hosts Malaysia 3-1, India let slip a two-goal advantage and lost 2-3 to South Korea.
India knew that they had to get points on the board and thus raised their game while Great Britain were their usual industrious type, hard running and tactical in nature.
But Great Britain were not their normal self in terms of performance, perhaps affected by the hard match they endured against Malaysia the previous night.
In contrast India played a very intelligent game, slowing down the pace and controlling the tempo, using the flanks to stretch the British defence.
India took the lead in the 10th minute when Rupinder Pal scored off a penalty corner.
A fine run by Gurbaj Singh on the right flank earned India their second penalty corner in the 22nd minute but this time Rupinder failed to get his shot off after being laid up by Dhananjay Mahadik.
Although Great Britain created chances, they were denied an equalizer by an outstanding Bharat Chetri Kumar in the India goal.
Great Britain was awarded their fourth penalty corner and while Mantell beat Bharat this time, Vikas Pillay was on hand to turn the ball around the post to save India.
Rupinder scored two penalty corners in the space of two minutes, in the 55th and 57th minutes and Great Britain were a beaten side.
James Tindall reduced the deficit in the 62nd minute but this time India were not about to let go off their two goal advantage
Official Azlan Shah Cup site
Second win for Pakistan
Pakistan registered their second win in as many days in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup with a come from behind 4-2 win over South Korea.
Three goals in the final nine minutes gave Pakistan the full points. In their opening match Pakistan had defeated New Zealand 4-2.
Korea had the first look at goal in the third minute as Kim Young Jin picked up a pass from Jang Jong Hyun in the semi circle with defenders Muhammad Imran and Syed Kashif Shah caught napping.
But Pakistani keeper Imran Shah was quick of the blocks to thwart Kim.
At the other end Muhammad Umar Bhutta came close in the sixth minute as he was a trifle slow to connect a cross from the left by Muhammad Zubair.
Korea went ahead in the 14th minute when Hyun Hye Sung played a neat 1-2 with Jang Jong Hyun before slotting it past a despairing Imran.
Though Pakistan were awarded two penalty corners in quick succession, in the 18th and 19th minutes, both Sohail Abbas and Muhammad Imran could not find the mark.
However an uncharacteristic mistake in defence by the Koreans allowed Zubair to pick up the ball before relaying it to Rehan Butt who sent in a reverse stick hit through the pads of Korean custodian Lee Myung Ho and Pakistan were on level terms in the 21st minute.
But Korea went 2-1 ahead in the 46th minute when off another set piece from a penalty corner, Hye Sung scored.
The tide turned in the 61st minute when Sohail scored off a penalty corner. And two minutes later he sent in a cross to Abdul Haseem Khan who made it 3-2 in favour of Pakistan.
Waqas Akbar made sure Pakistan got all three points scoring just ten seconds before time.
Official Azlan Shah Cup site
Rupinder's treble helps India down Britain in Azlan Shah
With a display that was as stunning as it was scintillating, India subdued the tournament favourite, Great Britain, riding on the crest of a hat-trick by the gangling 23-year-old Rupinder Pal Singh in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament on Friday. India won 3-1 and led 1-0 at half-time.
Shrugging off the blues arising from the reverse against Korea on Thursday, the Indians were a picture of confidence from the start.
Prompted well by the mid-field, where Halappa and Gurbaj were proficient as ever, the frontline featuring Ravipal, Chandi and Roshan Minz wove intricate patterns to push the redoubtable British defenders into errors.
Nothing testifies to it better than the five penalty corners — three in the second half, two of which resulted in goals.
Indisputably, it was the three perfect penalty corner hits by Rupinder Pal Singh that brought Great Britain down. Heartening was the confidence level of the combination.
None symbolised this as much as Rupinder, with Mahadik and goalkeeper Chetri playing stellar roles in equal measure.
Chetri kept the tempo at a high pitch, effecting a couple of lovely saves from James Tindell, who was also guilty of flunking a couple of chances just yards from the post.
Even Richard Mantel's scorching shots held no terror for Chetri who padded them away with beaming nonchalance.
The team blended impressively, especially in the mid-field and in the attack.
The role of the deep defenders cannot be appreciated in the same breath for they created a few tense moments for themselves, at least in the final stages when they conceded a goal to James Tindell.
Quite predictably, chief coach, Harendra Singh, was elated.
He was happy that Rupinder Pal Singh is shaping well. “We lost the fitness and not a hockey match,” remarked Jason Lee, GB's coach.
Pakistan downs Korea
Korea tumbled out from a position of advantage after having enjoyed the lead twice to Pakistan. There were two stages when the game swung Pakistan's way.
First was the goal with charm written all over it by Rehan Butt that fetched the equaliser in the first-half.
The second was the bewitching penalty corner drive by Sohail Abbas for restoring parity 2-2.
The Korean goalkeeper was flummoxed by the velocity of the shot. That happened seven minutes before the final whistle.
Then Haseem Khan took credit for the lead and Waqas Akbar increased it on the stroke of full time.
Zubair provided an element of danger every time he wove in earned the recognition for his hard work as Man-of-the-match.
The Koreans for whom, Jong Jang Hyun was the pillar of strength, helped Hyun Hye Sung net both the goals in penalty corners.
Faisal Saari flunked a penalty stroke six minutes before close for Malaysia but Australia snatched the match 35 seconds from the hooter when Jason Wilson pumped in from a penalty corner sequence for a 2-1 victory. Saturday is a rest day.
The results: Pakistan 4 (Rehan Butt, Sohail Abbas, Haseem Khan, Waqas Akbar) bt Korea 2 (Hyun Hye Sung 2); India 3 (Rupinder Pal Singh 3) bt Great Britain 1 (James Tindell); Australia 1(Simon Orchard, Jason Wilson) beat Malaysia 1 (Tajuddin).
Rupinder warms the Indian hearts with his hattrick
Young Rupinder Pal Singh seemed to have decided to carve a niche for himself in Ipoh where he made his international debut last year.
His graduation to senior side last year went unnoticed what with him even finding it difficult to get his share of time. Brasa had the luxury of Sardar Singh -- who missed out this year due to his commitment to a Belgium league -- and well-settled Dhananjay Mahadik at his disposal. Instant Ipoh
However, Rupinder, who had just joined Chennai based Indian Overseas bank in a comfortable officer grade, was played in four out of six matches, albeit in short spells. It was then felt he is bit of stiff, lacking in flexibility, and such remarks any new comer would elicit.
Despite being in the team, and taken to Europe tour, Rupinder had to miss the both Commonwealth and Asian Games buses, on merit to Sandeep Singh.
A player is one who grabs his opportunity. In sports where timing of what you do count, Rupinder seemed to be on right side of the history.
As both Haryana Hurricanes, Sandeep Singh and Sardar Singh, decided not to strike the ipoh shores, and making a casual way for others, Rupinder and Diwarkar Ram entered the scene. They were drafted into the first major tournament of India this year, the ongoing Azlan Shah Cup. Rupinder has now grabbed the opportunity that has come his way. He has chosen right time to do that.
After a not so great performance yesterday to Korea, the Indian defence was in an awkward position. The Great Britain, today’s rivals, were far more superior in preparation and execution, even their world No. 4 ranking would suggest that.
It was at this juncture, Rupinder came on his own. Like Dhananjay Mahadik did timely against Egypt in the last edition, he scored a heart warming hattrick of goals.
For a new comer, a hattrick against such a awesome team as England, Delhi World Cup semifinalist, the team that is tipped to be in the final of the tournament here, must be a wonderful turnaround to happen.
India did not get many penalty corners yesterday, but had sort of luxury today – four. The lad from Chandigarh Hockey Academy, converts three of them, against such goalie as Fair James (30 year old, 91 caps). A great beginning, indeed.
With Diwakar ram breathing down his neck – he is also an established star in the junior ranks coming back to the scene after Delhi World Cup, hoping to cement his place in the national team – Rupinder has definitely sent a notice to his competitors. In his debut last year, at Ipoh, he posted a token goal, one against Egypt in the 46th minute. This year, on second match he made his hattrick. Its a baby step or giant leap forward, only time will let us know.
In the customery press conference after the Great Britain match, coach Harendra Singh praised him, but definitely not willing to compare with any other players, definitely not with Sandeep Singh. The coach was correct, as it is too early for Rupinder to think big, blow out of proportion as we Indians normally indulge in, but he has taken a definitive step toward that with today’s fabulous goals.
Brief Profile of Rupinder Singh
Rupinder Pal Singh, the six- plus-footer, is youngest of the family, took up hockey seeing his elder brother playing it. Faridkot, his hometown, is one of the known hockey centers in Punjab. His interest in hockey got a boost when got selected for the Chandigarh Hockey Academy, where he got training for 3, 4 years before joining a college in Chandigarh. He was called for Singapore 4-Nation (Under – 18) Cup camp in 2006 but was not selected. He made it to the team next year for the same tournament. He was also in the Bangalore camp preparing for Chile Olympic Qualifier.
He made it to the Junior India side for the Malaysia 8-Nation Cup, was part of the Argentina test series, before earning senior spurs in the 2010 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. He is a good defender, useful penalty corner negotiator. He has in 2010 joined the Indian Overseas Bank, a top domestic team down south, as an officer.
Tournaments / international matches played by Rupinder Pal Singh
Azlan Shah Cup 2010 (4 matches)
Hamburg Masters 2010 (3 matches)
Belgium Test Series 2010 (1 match)
France Test Series 2010 (2 matches)
Azlan Shah Cup 2011 (2 matches and counting)
Rupinder lifts India to win over Britain
Rupinder 3, Britain 1
Rookie drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh fired in a hat-trick as India made amends of their first match loss with a convincing 3-1 victory over Britain in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament here today. Young Rupinder, who was included in the squad due to the absence of penalty corner specialist Sandeep Singh, struck in the 10th, 54th and 57th minutes to give depending champions India the upper hand against a strong Britain who had come here with a nearly full-strength side.
With the win today, India, who had come here without at least half a dozen senior players, bounced back into the tournament in style after going down to South Korea 2-3 in their campaign opener.
India junior team regular member Rupinder, who had featured in a few internationals with the senior side last year, sent three low drag-flicks to sound the board of the opposition goal. India, who dominated the midfield, converted three of the five penalty corners they earned in the match and led 3-0 before Britain pulled one goal back through James Tindall in the 62nd minute.
Britain, who are fine-tuning their team for next year's Olympic Games at home, had defeated Malaysia 3-1 yesterday. After a couple of initial forays into rival territories by both teams, Rupinder opened the scoring for India in the 10th minute with a grounder that surprised Britain goalkeeper James Fair to sound the board.
At the other end, Indian goalkeeper Bharat Chhetri padded away three penalty corner shots as the defenders rushed out to narrow the angle for the British strikers.
Just before the breather, Indian striker Roshan Minz broke into the rival circle from the left flank, but found no support from other forwards.
India increased the lead midway through the second session when Rupinder found the mark with a low push into the goal past the outstretched pads of the custodian in the 55th minute.
Two minutes later Rupinder completed his hat-trick, this time directing the drag-flick into the right side of the board as the goalkeeper moved to the other corner in anticipation of the shot.
India then went into the defensive to hold the lead, allowing Britain mid-field space. Britain had a couple of cracks at the Indian citadel. Tindall found the target in the 62nd minute off a cross from the right. He also got another chance but shot wide past the bewildered Indian goalkeeper.
In the earlier match of the day, Asian Games gold medallists Pakistan asserted their strength by scoring thrice in the final 10 minutes to edge past defending champions South Korea 4-2.
Trailing 1-2 until the 60th minute, Pakistan went all out into the attack to create several openings and succeeded in breaching the Korean defence thrice for their second victory in the tournament.
Pakistan had defeated New Zealand by a similar margin in the tournament-opener yesterday.
Hyun Hye-Sung converted two penalty corners in the 13th and 46th minutes for South Korea, while Rehan Butt scored an opportunistic goal for Pakistan in the 21st minute.
Pakistan's rally began in the 61st minute when penalty corner ace Sohail Abbas scored his first goal of the tournament with a drag flick to restore 2-2 parity.
Abdul Haseem Khan capitalised on the confusion in the Korean defence when he managed to take a second strike in open play after picking up a long diagonal ball in the 63rd minute to put Pakistan in the lead for the first time in the game.
Continuing to assert themselves, Pakistan's strikers opened up a couple of more openings in the last two minutes and Waqas Akbar picked up Muhammad Zubair's pass to sound the boards with eight seconds to go for the hooter.
Tindall strikes again as GB lose to India
Penalty corners ultimately proved the difference as Great Britain’s men lost to Commonwealth Games silver medalists India on day two of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.
While Great Britain saw India’s goalkeeper keep out a series of corner efforts, Rupinder Pal Singh scored a hat-trick at the other end to consign GB to a 3-1 defeat.
In truth, it was a low key performance from Great Britain who had performed well on day one in a 3-1 victory over Malaysia. Head Coach Jason Lee said afterwards that he felt his side would learn a lot from the match after falling short of the performance levels they are capable of.
“We’re not here to make excuses about the conditions,” he said. “We’re here to see how the group performs under pressure and today we were off our game technically and tactically.”
Great Britain Hockey media release
Stick check - Glad our plan came good
I am relieved! This was a very important match for us. Having lost the first match to Korea, playing Britain on Friday added to the pressure. And my boys delivered when it mattered. I had mentioned on Friday that more than the skills and talent, my main concern was to make sure the team was mentally fresh ahead of this game.
We had a small team meeting before the match and I was supposed to motivate the players. I personally feel that there can be no greater motivation for any player than representing his country.
I am not a great talker but I had only one thing to tell them: It's what you do on field that counts. It's the effort in those 70 minutes that counts; the rest is nothing. I am glad we could do everything that we had planned.
I wanted my boys to forget the defeat against Korea but remember the lessons; not one mistake was repeated. It was a complete team effort but credit is due to the back four who managed to ward off the attacks. Dhananjay Mahadik took a lot of pressure in the back and structured the game well.
During the team meeting, some of the players mentioned Arsenal and Barcelona and their style of play. Most of us are football fans and follow it closely.
The point was that the two teams play beautifully, they have not lost the art of football to the brutalities of result, and they still remain among the top teams in the world. At the same time, they are technically perfect --short passes, one-touch game, ball control, exquisite passing and creating gaps and exploiting them. That's all that is needed to succeed in modern hockey as well. And our game against Britain was an attempt to do the same. I am glad we succeeded.
The only time we faltered was when Britain tried to come back in the second half. I am glad we managed to get the full three points from this game.
Harendra Singh: Our structure delivered us today
Indian coach Harendra Singh praised his team on the eve of defeating England 3-1 on the second day of the Azlan Shah Cup.
“The key today was we were able to play a sort of game that we wanted to play all along, and that revolves around maintaining a sound structure throughout 70 minutes of the games.
“With Dhananjay Mahadik directing the defence, our structure persisted unlike yesterday, the beaming coach said in the post match press conference.
He was often referring to Indian team conceding too many goals yesterday against Korea, as ‘we lost the structure due to the loss of the service of Dhananjay due to injury’.
He called the victory as good win. We wanted to play technically a sound game, what count is playing well rather than the result.”
He also wondered as to why the midfield of the England today was not unforgiving as it used to be otherwise, or like Korea yesterday.
“Yes we got lot of leeway in the middle. I am quite surprised their liberal was not pressing hard enough, which helped us to continue attacking.
Besides praising Dhananjay for the fantastic defence today, he said, “all the defenders barring him are new, and are playing against a team that qualified for the Olympics. They are learning, and it is very important. I really congratulate the boys for the success and the way they are improving”.
On a specific question as to Rupinder Pal singh who scored a hattrick today is a match for Sandeep Singh, the victorious coach said, “too early to say. Other than goals, which I appreciate, he is improving on one to one tackling, recovering the ball, and other vital aspects of the game. I am happy to see youngsters improving and delivering.
By Jugjet Singh
Malaysia’s Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin (left) tries to get past Australia’s Christopher Ciriello in their match at the Azlan Shah Cup yesterday. — Picture by Ikhwan Munir
MALAYSIA almost did the unthinkable, but then lost 2-1 to Australia in an Azlan Shah Cup match in Ipoh yesterday.
A missed penalty stroke, a bloody nose, and a bruising encounter was what Malaysia were left with after an absorbing tie but coach Tai Beng Hai saw plenty of positives despite the defeat.
"We played well and I must congratulate the boys for Australia are a very good side," said Beng Hai during a pitch-side interview.
"We will use what we have learnt from the first two matches for the coming ties."
Due credit for Malaysia as they started brightly and the strikers caught Australia napping in the first half with swift counter attacks which resulted in two penalty corners and a super goal in the 23rd minute.
Both the penalty corners were wasted, but Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin brought the roof down when his stylish goal gave Malaysia an unexpected lead.
Receiving an overhead ball from Radzi Rahim at the back-line, Tengku Ahmad controlled the pass and beat Brent Dancer at the tip of the semi-circle, before racing in and then beating goalkeeper Andrew Charter with a deft reverse stick shot.
The second half also belonged to Malaysia, but Asia's best goalkeeper S. Kumar had to produce some super saves to deny Australia the equaliser.
Upfront, Tengku Ahmad, Faizal Saari and Hafifihafiz Hanafi created many chances, but could convert none.
They paid a heavy price for the misses as Australia finally got the break they were looking for when a poor pass from Madzli Ikmar was intercepted and off a goalmouth melee, Madzli was hit on the face by a goal-bound shot and a penalty stroke was awarded.
Simon Orchard stepped up to the spot and beat Kumar in the 59th minute.
Malaysia refused to be cowed and continued attacking but a 63rd minute penalty stroke, taken by Faizal Saari, was easily stopped by goalkeeper Andrew Charter.
Then came the cruel blow as Australia won a penalty corner in the last minute of the match, and it was heartbreak for Malaysia as Jason Wilson scored the winner with 35 seconds remaining on the clock.
Earlier, India upset the formbook when they beat Britain 3-1 with Rupinder Singh helping himself to a hat-trick of penalty corners in the 10th, 55th and 57th minutes.
The Britain goal was scored by James Tindell in the 62nd minute.
New Straits Times
Australia punish Malaysia with a late goal
By S. RAMAGURU
Close fight: Australia’s Fergus Kavanaghl (left) tries to dribble past Malaysia’s Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin yesterday. Australia won 2-1. — SAIFUL BAHRI/The Star
IPOH: It was a typical Malaysian display yet again as they succumbed 2-1 to world champions Australia in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium here yesterday.
They led 1-0, thanks to a brilliant reverse hit goal by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin in the 23rd minute.
Then they sat back, inviting the Australians to attack at will.
After absorbing the pressure for 59 minutes, coach Tai Beng Hai’s men wilted and Australia equalised through Simon Ochard’s penalty stroke goal.
But Malaysia had a chance to regain the lead when they were awarded a penalty stroke in the 64th minute. However, Faizal Saari’s attempt was saved by Andrew Charter.
Then, Australia delivered the killer blow just a minute before the end through a Jason Wilson penalty corner goal.
It was Malaysia’s second defeat in the tournament, having lost 1-3 to Britain on the opening day.
Still, there was no shame in yesterday’s defeat. The Malaysians deserved credit for their valiant effort, especially goalkeeper S. Kumar and his defensive team of Baljit Singh, Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim and Mohd Madzli Ikmar for their tireless work.
Beng Hai was full of praise for his men despite the defeat, describing their performance as one of the best against a top class side.
“We were playing against the world and Olympic champions and we managed to take the lead,” he said.
“We even missed a penalty stroke and it was only in the last 10 minutes that we showed lapses in concentration and our lack of fitness.
“If not, we could have taken a point off them.”
Beng Hai also said that performance-wise, his players did what they were told to do.
“It was only our lapses in concentration, lack of fitness and Australia’s relentless pressure that broke us,” he said
“These are areas we have to work on.
“Our players must learn to go on the offensive and not switch to a defensive mode once they are in the lead.”
The Star of Malaysia
Last minute goal gives Kookaburras last minute Azlan Shah win
The Kookaburras have made an unimpressive start in their first match of 2011, with a goal in the dying seconds of the match giving them a 2-1 come from behind win over Malaysia tonight in their first game of the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.
Malaysia, ranked 15th in the world, really took it up to the reigning World Champions. Malaysia lead for the majority of the match, with two goals to the Kookaburras in the final 11 minutes of the match, including the last goal with only 35 seconds remaining on the clock, giving them the victory.
The Malaysian defence was extremely impressive against the Kookaburras, denying all of Australia’s penalty corner attempts.
After 20 minutes had passed and the scores were still level Malaysia continued to grow in confidence and eventually scored the first goal of the match at the 23 minute mark to take the lead against Kookaburras debutant goalkeeper Andrew Charter.
Malaysia continued to have the upper hand in the second half, and an upset seemed a real possibility as the minutes ticked by.
However when the Kookaburras were awarded a penalty stroke mid way through the second half Simon Orchard made no mistake, levelling the score and bringing the Kookaburras back into the game.
When Malaysia were awarded a penalty stroke at the 63 minute mark the seemed certain to regain the lead. However a weak shot from Faisal Saari was easily saved by Charter in goals and the scores remained level.
Malaysia were made to pay for their mistake in the final minute of the match when Jason Wilson scored with only seconds remaining, helping the Kookaburras escape from jail and record the win. The Kookaburras next match will be against India on Saturday 7 May at 6.05pm EST.
Kookaburras 2 Malaysia 1 (0-1 half time)
Goals – Mal Ahmad Tajudin 23m FG, Aus Simon Orchard 59m PS, Aus Jason Wilson 70m PC
Hockey Australia media release
Australia defeat Malaysia 2-1
Pakistan thrash South Korea 4-2 in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
IPOH: Asian Games champions Pakistan came alive in the last 10 minutes of a Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match Friday, defeating former champions South Korea 4-2 to go top of the standings. Despite trailing the Koreans twice in the match, three goals in the last few minutes turned the tide and gave them full points. Jubilant team manager K. M. Junaid said it was a great day for Pakistani hockey as the team played as a family and more importantly, was able to withstand 70 minutes of good hockey. “We are never a 70-minute team and many times we have faltered at the later stages of a match. This is a turning point and it shows the mental strength of the players here,” said Junaid.
“To come back after trailing twice is also great and there is the fact that we managed to score three goals in the last seven minutes. I am pleased and this augurs well for the team,” he added. Surprisingly, it was the Koreans who were stronger in the first half, scoring an early goal in the 13th minute from a penalty corner taken by Hyun Hya-sung. Rehan Butt pulled his team level in the 21st minute for a 1-1 half time score. The Koreans again took the lead in the second half with Hya-sung scoring in the 48th minute with another set piece move but the Pakistanis slowly clawed back into the game and soon were attacking in greater numbers. The turning point came in the 63rd minute from their fifth penalty corner when Sohail Abbas scored with a high flick against goalkeeper Lee Myung-ho.
A minute later, youngster Abdul Haseem Khan scored a field goal and Waqas Akbar ended a great day for the Pakistanis with a 70th minute field goal. The Pakistanis will face Britain on Sunday while the Koreans have New Zealand in their sights. In the second match of the day, 23-year-old Rupinderpal Singh turned hero for India as he scored the firtst hat-trick of the tournament when defeating Britain 3-1. A much improved Indian team took to the field with Rupinderpal scoring the first goal in the 10th minute for a 1-0 first half lead and was again on target in the 55th and 57th minutes.
James Tindell pulled a consolation goal back for Britain in the 62nd minute. Indian coach Harinder Singh was pleased with the effort which he said was better than the first day. “The young players had more confidence in their abilities and it showed in the game. It was a good result for us and put us back in the fold for a podium finish,” he said. India, Britain and South Korea now have three points after two matches in the seven-nation meet. Saturday is a rest day and there will be no matches played.
The Daily Times
Mentally strong Pakistan reap rewards
PAKISTAN coach Junaid Khawaja had every reason to smile, while his South Korean counterpart Shin Seok Kyo gave his players a lashing in the dressing room after the end of their Azlan Shah Cup match in Ipoh yesterday.
Junaid was especially pleased that his charges played good hockey for 70 minutes in the 4-2 win, unlike previous Pakistan teams.
"I am extremely pleased with my players' commitment, as they played 70 minutes of good hockey unlike our previous teams who would buckle in the final stages of a match.
"This is what we have been working on, and it has reaped results," said Junaid.
The fact that Sohail Abbas finally scored off his trademark drag-flick also brought cheers to the Pakistan team.
"We scored from open play and also off penalty corners and that was improvement from our first match against New Zealand (on Thursday).
"And our fitness was also excellent, and I believe if we had to play another match tomorrow (today) my players would still deliver."
Today is a rest day and Pakistan play Britain tomorrow.
As for the Korean coach, he shut the door of the dressing room, and gave his charges a dressing down for losing the match in the final seven minutes of the game.
The Pakistan goals were scored by Rehan Butt (21st), Sohail Abbas (63rd), Abdul Haseem (64th) and Waqas Akbar (70th).
The Korean goals were scored by Hyun Hye Sung (13th, 46th).
New Straits Times
Pakistan go top of standings after come-from-behind victory
Brilliant strike: Rehan Butt scored the first goal for Pakistan in the 21st minute.
IPOH: Pakistan scored a stunning come-from-behind 4-2 win over South Korea to lead the standings in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium here yesterday.
The Pakistanis trailed the Koreans twice, but three goals in seven minutes gave them an emphatic win that sees them lead the standings with six points. On Thursday, Pakistan had also defeated New Zealand 4-2.
Yesterday, former champions South Korea took the lead through a Hyun Hya-sung penalty corner goal in the 13th minute.
However, a defensive mistake by the Koreans allowed Mohamed Zubair to pick up the ball and relay it to Rehan Butt, whose reverse stick hit sailed through the pads of goalkeeper Lee Myung-ho in the 21st minute. But the Koreans went ahead again in the 48th minute when Hya-sung scored his second goal from a set piece move.
Again the Pakistanis hit back, with Sohail Abbas finding the net off a penalty corner move in the 63rd minute. A minute later Pakistan found themselves ahead for the first time, thanks to Abdul Haseem Khan’s field goal.
Pakistan then made sure of victory when Waqas Akbar scored the fourth goal for the Asian champions in the 70th minute.
Pakistan manager K.M. Junaid was pleased with his team’s fightback, saying it augured well for his side.
“I am pleased with the way they played. And they were focused for the full 70 minutes.
“We are not known to play well for the whole match ... we have lost crucial matches at the last minute,” said Junaid.
“To score three goals in seven minutes is a good effort and it speaks volumes of their mental strength.”
In the second match, India bounced back from their first day loss to cruise past Britain 3-1.
India, who lost 2-3 to South Korea on Thursday, were 3-0 up before Britain managed to get a goal back.
India seem to have found a new penalty corner striker in 23-year-old Rupindserpal Singh, who notched the first hat-trick of the tournament with goals in the 10th, 55th and 57th minutes.
Britain, who beat Malaysia 3-1 on Thursday, pulled one back through James Tindall.
The Star of Malaysia
Pakistan beat South Korea for second-straight Azlan Shah win
Pakistan's Shakeel Abbasi vies for the ball in the match against South Korea. —Photo courtesy Azlan Shah Cup
KARACHI: Pakistan showed their credentials as one of dark horses at the Azlan Shah Cup by defeating a strong South Korean side on Friday.
In their second match of the tournament, Pakistan came back from a goal down to register a 4-2 win over their Asian Games semi-final rivals.
South Korea dominated the opening moments of the match, as Jang Jong Hyun sent a defence-splitting pass but Kim Young Jin failed to convert it. The move was enough to awaken Pakistan, who started to string together passes into the Korean half.
Pakistan had their first chance in the sixth minute, but Muhammad Zubair’s cross to Muhammad Umar Bhutta did not achieve the desired outcome.
Korea earned their first penalty corner in the 12th minute but failed to score. However, their second corner, which came a minute later, was met with success as Hyun Hya-sung converted to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Pakistan were unable to hold back the Korean attack following the goal, as they made several basic errors in their tactics.
The first penalty corner for the green shirts came in the 18th minute, which was followed by another a minute later but both remained unsuccessful as captain Muhammad Imran failed to score.
Veteran striker Rehan Butt brought Pakistan their first goal in the 21st minute from open play to make the score 1-1, which remained unchanged until half-time.
Ten minutes into the second half, South Korea earned two penalty corners in the space of a minute, the second of which was converted by Sung for his second goal of the match.
With ten minutes to go until full time, Pakistan launched a series of attacks in the Korean half but were unable to get a clear shot on goal. It was left up to penalty corner maestro Sohail Abbas to bring his side level as he convert in the 61st minute.
Two minutes later, Abdul Haseem Khan slotted home to give Pakistan a 3-2 lead and a chance of scoring yet another win over their Asian rivals. Pakistan’s attack remained relentless in the dying moments of the match and a goal from Waqas Akbar from the team’s fourth penalty corner sealed the win for the Asian Games champions in the last minute.
Pakistan will play Great Britain in their third match on Sunday.
Shootout to replace tie-breakers in Azlan Shah hockey
IPOH (Malaysia): The play-off and the final matches of 2011 Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament will be decided through a shootout instead of the usual penalty stroke tie-breakers.
The FIH has put the shootout under trial before the 2012 London Olympics. It will be put to practice at the Champions Trophy and the Olympic qualifiers if it is converted into a rule by then.
In a penalty stroke, the striker takes a shot at the goal with the ball placed on the penalty spot 6.4 metres from the back line. In a penalty shoot-out, the ball is placed on the 23-metre line. When the whistle is blown the striker has 8 seconds in which to try and score a goal. The striker can move the ball forward before taking the shot.
The FIH Competition Committee has decided to take this new step as they felt it replicates the real game situation better, requires more skills and makes the game interesting.
The Times of India
FIH praises Malaysia's efforts
INTERNATIONAL Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre yesterday congratulated Malaysia for being the first country in the world to set up an academy to promote hockey in the region.
The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF), in collaboration with the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), will set up the academy in Ipoh with the official launch on Monday.
"Malaysia has always taken the lead in many new projects, and I am really pleased that an academy, the first of its kind in the world, will be based in Malaysia to promote hockey in the region," said Negre in Ipoh yesterday.
"I must applaud the initiative by AHF and the role played by Malaysia is an example for others to follow.
"On our part, the FIH is ever willing to assist in any manner we can to ensure the continued success of the academy."
The FIH is also keen for the revival of the Five Continents Hockey Tournament and is looking towards 2013 for the first tournament to be held.
The plan is to hold the tournament a year between two major events -- the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 World Cup.
Secretary general Tan Sri P. Alagendra said Asian Hockey Federation was prepared to host 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.
New Straits Times
FIH looks at India to host inaugural World Inter-Club hockey
IPOH (Malaysia): International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre on Friday said that India has offered to host the inaugural edition of the World Inter-Club Championship in 2013.
Negre, in Ipoh to witness the ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, said the FIH was considering making the proposed tournament an eight-team event for both men and women.
"India has agreed to bear the cost of the World Inter-Club Championship, which will be a knock-out competition played over one weekend," said Negre at a seminar for young umpires conducted jointly by the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).
"Five of these teams will be the top clubs from different continents, while three other clubs will be wild-cards decided by the FIH," he said.
"We believe it will be a good thing to give club sides such a platform to develop players and also unearth new talent for member nations," said the FIH chief, an Olympian himself.
Negre said the FIH was also considering the proposal to introduce a Five Continents Hockey Tournament.
He said the FIH was considering 2013 as the year to introduce this event in the international calendar, but only after resolving the question of congestion and financial burden on the continental federations.
"We're considering this event a year after the 2012 Olympic Games in London and again after the 2014 World Cup in The Hague," Negre said.
"This tournament will ensure that the best players get to represent their respective continents," the FIH chief added.
Asian Hockey Confederation's (AHC) secretary general, P Alagendra said that the AHF had informed the FIH of its offer to host the inter-continents hockey.
"We're hopeful that the inter-continental event will be held in 2013," said Alagendra.
The Times of India
FIH in talks with sponsors for hockey league in India: Negre
IPOH ( Malaysia): International Hockey Federation on Friday said that it was in talks with sponsors to start a top-class league in India but made it clear that such a tournament will be held only through its affiliated association.
FIH chief Leandro Negre said that four groups have approached it for a hockey league in India and the world body is looking into the financial aspect of such a tournament with a couple of them.
"FIH is assessing the situation in India, four different groups have approached us for a hockey league. We are assessing them all and discussing the financial situation with a couple of them," he said.
"Any league can only be organized under the FIH purview and through our affiliated association in India. The FIH alone will give the approval for the players and the league will bring a lot of money for the players," said Negre who is here in connection with the Azlan Shah hockey tournament.
Negre said it was not true that FIH was only interested in getting money from India.
"I have read some criticism that the FIH is in India to make money, but I need to emphasize that this is not true. We are there to take profits out of India and are treating India just as another nation," he said.
"We had a very successful World Cup and have had an (informal) agreement with Hero Honda (mobike manufacturer) that it will sponsor all FIH events in years to come," he added.
The FIH had said that it will not give sanction to the World Hockey Series which was proposed to be held under the aegis of Indian Hockey Federation which is yet to get recognition from the world body.
FIH had warned that it would ban players who take part in the WSH.
The Times of India
Series of empty shots from the big-mouth FIH
The International Hockey Federation seems to be getting new ideas every day without really figuring out how to go about executing it. The latest in this line is the proposed Five Continents Hockey Tournament, with 2013 being seen as holding the first edition. That it’s still two years away while things in hockey change within days, if not months, in another matter.
FIH president Leandro Negre has said the plan is to hold the tournament a year after major events -- the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 World Cup. "This will ensure the best players are picked to represent their respective continents," said Negre. Which means it will be a biennial event i.e. once in two years.
The main issue, however, for the FIH remains finance, something they have always struggled with. "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," he said.
That is not surprising, since despite being completely Europe-centric in its operations and bias, the FIH hardly gets any decent percentage of its revenue from Europe. And, as always, it will be bailed out by an Asian nation. "The President of AHF, Sultan Azlan Shah has communicated our desire to host the event," said Asian Hockey Confederation Secretary General P. Alagendra.
A World Inter Club Championship has also been planned for January 2013 in India – interestingly, a country with no concept of a club culture. "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. Asked how India figured in the picture with no club culture, Negre’s concept of a club was very different from what it is generally presumed to be. “Any company, university or any team that plays hockey can be recognized as a club,” he said. A definition that definitely not fits into the generally accepted view.
Another supposedly brilliant concept from the FIH happens to be the World Series League, which is being seen as an alternative road to qualifying for the Olympics and the World Cups. "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 process of qualification," Negre said. Except that the system is completely vague on details. Negre has said six teams will qualify but earlier only four were supposed to, and that too only for the 2014 World Cup. For Olympics, nothing has been decided. Plus, if there are five continental champions and one host, that’s six slots already gone. With the continental quotas -- so important for the FIH to keep the power restricted to a closed European group – how does the FIH expect so many teams? As usual, there are no answers.
Negre satisfied with preparation
International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Leandro Negre has expressed satisfaction over the progress made for holding the Champions Trophy in Delhi this December. He hoped it would be as much a success as the World Cup last year at the same venue.
Mr. Negre deprecated the assumption that FIH was India-centric in allotting tournaments for making a “profit.” He emphasised that the FIH was treating India as any other member. However, he was confident that Indian hockey would stand to benefit by hosting important events like the WHL and even the World Club events.
The FIH boss touched upon the details being worked out regarding the 2012 World Hockey Series.
At another function in the morning, Mr. Negre even hinted at reviving the Inter-Continental tournament sought by the Asian Hockey Federation.
Mr. Negre is planning a visit to Delhi in a day or two to oversee the arrangements in connection with the Champions Trophy and sealing the sponsorship deal.
Women target fourth spot
THE Malaysian women's hockey team left for Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday to play in the Champions Challenge II starting today..
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. After the pool matches, all teams will advance to the quarter-finals as only eight sides are involved. This will give us 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.
Today -- Group A: Chile v Italy, Canada v Austria; Group B: Belgium v Malaysia, Russia v Belarus; Tomorrow -- 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.
New Straits Times
Southerns in the finals!
Both Kaspersky Southerns teams are in the finals of the SA U21 IPTs!
In Durban the Kaspersky Southerns Men convincingly beat WP 5-1 after leading 4-0 at halftime. They face Free State in the final - the only team to beat them in the pool rounds of the competition and they will be wanting to avenge that defeat. Third place play-off is between SA U19 and WP.
In Cape Town the Kaspersky Southerns Women finished 0-0 against Northerns Blues at full-time, 3-3 after the first round of strokes and won on sudden death. The Kaspersky Southerns Women play North West in the final with Northerns Blues playing KZN Coastals for third place.
Southern Gauteng Hockey Association site
Round 1 results - women's Australian Hockey League
The results and match reports from the first day of the Women's Australian Hockey League in Sydney and Adelaide
NSW Arrows 2 Canberra Strikers 0
Goals - Hollie Webster 10m PC, Jade Close 41m FG
Full match report
Victorian Vipers 5 Tasmanian Van Demons 0
Goals - Goal scorers: Tegan Purser 8m FG, Georgia Nanscawen 14m PC, Stacia Joseph 17m PS, Renee Trost 38m FG, Danielle Schubach 41m PC
Full match report
OAMPS Queensland Scorchers 3 def WA Diamonds 2
Goals – OAMPS Queensland Scorchers - Renae Ashton (FG 22ndmin, FG 68thmin), Jodie Schultz (PC 32nd min)
WA Diamonds – Ash Nelson (FG 57th min, PS 61 min)
Full match report
OAMPS Southern Suns 6 def Darwin Airport Resort Territory Pearls 0
Goals – OAMPS Southern Suns – Holly Evans (FG 4th min, FG 28thmin) Clarissa Eshuis (PC 17th Min, PC 63rd min) Brooke Buchecker (FG 54th min, FG 55th min)
Full match report
Hockey Australia media release
QPCC veterans keep perfect record
Gary Chin scored a pair of goals as Queen’s Park maintained its 100 per cent winning record in the T&T Hockey Board Veterans Division with a narrow 3-2 win over Police at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua, on Thursday night. Gary Griffith chipped in with the third all important item for the Parkites, now with maximum 12 points from four matches. Joint second on the eight-team table are Notre Dame and Corona Fatima with eight points each. Earlier in the week, Fatima edged Paragon 3-2 and Notre Dame battled to a 3-3 draw with Defence Force. Today, attention will shift to the Men’s Championship Division where second placed Queen’s Park comes up against Defence Force from 6 pm with a chance to go top of the table.
The Parkites currently sit in second spot with 13 points from six matches, three behind Paragon and will go top with a win due to their superior goal-difference. Defending champion, Petrotrin is third, a further point behind with a match in hand, while Defence Force is next with six points from three matches and can join the Oilmen on nine points with a win. The Parkites go into the clash with Defence Force on the heels of a 3-0 loss to Petrotrin last weekend, while the “Teteron Boys” last played on March 20, in a 3-1 triumph over Notre Dame.
Prior to the QPCC/Defence Force clash, Harvard Maritime Checkers and Paragon will square off in a Women’s Championship Division encounter from 4.15 pm. Checkers are coming off their first win of the season, 2-0 over Petrotrin and lie fourth with five points from four matches, while Paragon is a point behind from a match less. Reigning champion, Shandy Carib Magnolias which had their perfect start to the season ended in a 1-0 loss to rivals Stag Malvern last week, lead with 12 points from five matches, three more than Malvern which has a match in hand. Promoted Notre Dame is third with seven points.
Teams P W D L F A Pts
Paragon 6 5 1 0 24 12 16
QPCC 6 4 1 1 24 9 13
Petrotrin 5 4 0 1 14 9 12
D/Force 3 2 0 1 6 5 6
Paradise 5 1 1 3 8 18 4
Fatima 6 1 1 4 11 21 4
Notre Dame 5 1 0 4 8 11 3
Malvern 6 1 0 5 8 16 3
Magnolias 5 4 0 1 21 4 12
Malvern 4 3 1 0 11 3 10
Notre Dame 4 2 1 1 15 4 7
Checkers 4 1 2 3 5 5 5
Paragon 3 1 1 1 6 8 4
Ventures 4 1 1 2 7 13 4
Petrotrin 5 0 0 5 0 24 0
Defence Force 3 (Nicholas Wren, Kirth Davis, Donny Gobinsingh) vs Notre Dame 3 (Kenneth Whiteman 3).
Fatima 3 (Mark Nieves, Desmond Dougall, Derek Lee) vs Paragon 2 (Sherbert Mc Kie, Gideon Dickson).
Queen’s Park 3 (Gary Chin 2, Gary Griffith) vs Police 2
Venue: National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua:
Girls’ Under-19: Magnolias vs Ventures, 11.30 am
Trinity Men: QPCC vs Petrotrin, 1 pm
Trinity Women: Magnolias vs Ventures, 2.45 pm
Championship Women: Checkers vs Paragon, 4.15 pm
Championship Men: QPCC vs Defence Force, 6 pm
Venue: Dwight Yorke Stadium Training Field, Bacolet.
Trinity Men: Paradise vs Shape, 8.30 am
Girls’ Under-19: Paradise vs Shape, 10.15 am
Boys’ Under-19: Paradise vs Shape, noon.
Venue: National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua:
Trinity Men: Petrotrin vs Police, 1 pm
Trinity Women: Magnolias vs Checkers, 2.45 pm
Championship Women: Malvern vs Ventures, 4.15 pm
Championship Men: Petrotrin vs Defence Force, 6pm.
The Trinidad Guardian
TBSS, MSSP on fire
By Ajitpal Singh
MSSP-USM’s Muhamad Rahimi Iskandar Baharom (left) scores in their match against Johor yesterday. — Picture by Osman Adnan
TUNKU Besar Secondary School (TBSS) and MSSP-USM reached the Division Two final of the Junior Hockey League after scoring easy semi-final victories at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
The Tampin side turned in a powerful performance to beat Malacca High School (MHS) 4-1 while MSSP-USM defeated Johor 2-0.
TBSS and the Penang side will be gunning for their first major title in recent times in tomorrow's final at the same stadium.
Both teams will also join the top six teams from Division One in the main tier quarter-finals on May 13.
A second half hat-trick from Muhd Syabariq Samsuri sealed a comfortable victory for TBSS. The 16-year-old scored in the 49th, 61st and 66th minutes.
Rosdi Abu Roslan had put TBSS in the lead with a first half penalty corner set-piece in the 12th minute. MHS replied through Amir Farhan Kamaruddin in the 63rd minute.
"We started slowly and allowed MHS to dictate the pace in the first half. Luckily, they failed to convert their chances. However, we came back strongly after the breather to record a good victory," said TBSS manager M. Vivekananda.
In the other semi-final, MSSP-USM scored in each half to overcome a stubborn Johor side through goals from Azwar Abdul Rahman (eighth) and Rahimi Iskandar Baharom (70th).
"We are happy to reach the final in our debut season. My boys played with confidence to control the entire match but wasted too many chances.
"However, I am not complaining as we won the match, which also earned us automatic qualification to Division One next year. We have only a day to rest before the final. I hope my boys can recover in time," said MSSP-USM coach Yap Gark Soo.
TOMORROW -- 3rd placing: Johor v MHS (4pm); Final: MSSP-USM v TBSS (6pm) -- matches at Tun Razak Stadium
New Straits Times
Pakistan not to participate in U-18 girls event
LAHORE: Pakistan has pulled out of 3rd Under-18 Girls Junior AHF Cup due to unavailability of players.
A spokesman for the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) said on Friday that the national junior girls team was scheduled to feature in the event, to be played from June 4-12 in Bangkok, but due to unavailability of players the federation had decided not to send the team.
“A training camp was in progress at National Hockey Stadium but we have decided not to send our team because of there were no under-18 players,” he added.
The Daily Times