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News for 16 July 2017

All the news for Sunday 16 July 2017

Egypt stun South Africa on Derby Day 8 in Johannesburg

Egypt kept alive hopes of reaching the competition quarter-finals with a narrow win over hosts South Africa. Copyright: FIH / Getty Images

Johannesburg, South Africa: Four continental derbies took centre stage on on a sold-out Day 8 of the Hockey World League Semi-Finals at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand, with Spain, Australia, Egypt and Germany all claiming crucial wins in the men’s competition.

In the first of the regional head-to-heads, Spain (FIH Hero World Ranking: 10) were given a stern test by France (WR: 17) before emerging 2-0 winners in Pool A to move onto six points and remain in the hunt for a top of the table finish. The Red Sticks - coached by former France international Frederic Soyez - had to wait until the end of the third quarter before Pau Quemada scored from the penalty spot, with Enrique Gonzalez adding a second after France had replaced their goalkeeper with an outfield player in search of an equaliser.

While Spain were worthy winners, France showed yet again that they are capable of competing with the best, having gone through a tough pool phase without being outclassed by any of their opponents. That said, France now have to wait until the completion of the pool phase on Monday (17 July) before knowing their final placement and who they will face in the cross-over quarter-finals.

“We are pretty disappointed about the result today”, said France’s Guillaume Deront, who reached the milestone of 100 international appearances in the contest. “Our pool was very tough and we are sure to play a tough opponent in the quarter-finals, but we have played well here and we will do our best.”

The second match of the day was also in Pool A, with reigning world champions Australia (WR: 2) battling back from a goal down to beat New Zealand (WR: 8) in the Oceania derby. It was a third win in succession for the Kookaburras, who now need just one point in their final pool match against Japan to confirm their place at the top of the standings and set up a quarter-final contest with the team that finishes fourth in Pool B.

The Black Sticks held their own against the higher-ranked Australians throughout the match, taking the lead when Jared Panchia bundled home from close range after the Kookaburras defence failed to deal with a searching Hayden Phillips’ cross from the right. However, for the second time in the competition, Australia scored twice in the final quarter to claim all three points with a ferocious Jeremy Edwards’ backhand finding the roof of the net before an outstanding final minute penalty corner drag-flick from Jeremy Hayward gave Australia all three points.

"It was a tough match, New Zealand came out pretty hard and had the number on us for most of the game so we we pretty lucky to sneak the win”, said goal-scorer Hayward post match. “It feels good to be sitting at the top of the pool but we need to perform in our next match against Japan before we look to our quarter-final.”

In Pool B, the home fans turned up in their thousands to watch South Africa (WR: 15) in action against Egypt (WR: 19), but the team from north Africa spoiled the party by taking a 2-1 victory. Egypt went into the contest knowing that only a win would be enough for them to have any chance of reaching the competition quarter-finals, which in turn would keep the World Cup and World League Final qualification dream alive.

After 29 minutes without a goal, two came along in quick succession with Houssam Ghobran’s clever reverse flick putting Egypt ahead before Daniel Sibbald levelled for the home side just before half time. Ghobran netted a second before the end of the third quarter, which proved to be the winner despite Egypt playing most of the fourth quarter with nine players due to yellow card suspensions. South Africa threw everything they had at their opponents, but found goalkeeper Wael Noureldin in inspired form to give his side a vital win.

Egypt captain Ahmed Ezz was understandably delighted with his team’s performance. “I think this is a good win for us, to beat South Africa here. We didn’t start the competition very well but we have been getting better and nearly got there against Ireland, but today we did it and it is a good three points for us.”

The day’s final match was arguably the best of the four, with Belgium and Germany showing exactly why they are two of the world’s best teams in a contest of great skill, intensity and high energy. Die Honamas ended up taking a 3-2 win over the Red Lions, putting themselves three points clear at the top of Pool B ahead of the final round of pool matches on Monday.

Marco Miltkau gave Germany the lead on the stroke of half time before a brilliant solo effort from Arthur van Doren tied the scores early in the third period. Simon Gougnard scored one of the best goals of the day, receiving an overhead pass before volleying past Germany goalkeeper Tobias Walter to give Belgium a lead that would last just three minutes, with Lukas Windfeder’s penalty corner making the score 2-2 going into the final quarter. Germany’s winner arrived six minutes from full time, with Dieter Linnekogel getting a crucial touch on a speculative pass into the Belgian circle, while shot-stopper Walter produced a stunning acrobatic save in the dying seconds to guarantee victory for Die Honamas.

“We had a great defence today and were good on the counter-attacks”, said Germany goalkeeper Tobias Walter after the match, before discussing his match winning save that arrived in the final seconds. “It is always a bit lucky when you save one of these [shots], maybe 20 or 10 seconds before the end of the game. I think it is lucky.”

On Sunday 16th July, the final four matches of the women’s pools will take place to decide the line up for the quarter-finals. Japan and Germany take to the field for their Pool A contest at 1200 South African Standard Time (UTC +2) before England and Ireland, who also compete in Pool A, face-off at 1400. Pool B draws to a close with the day’s two final matches, with hosts South Africa needing a win against USA at 1600 ahead of the Argentina versus India clash at 1800.

FIH site

Another frustrating afternoon for SA

The South African men’s hockey team lost a very frustrating match against its African archenemy, Egypt 2-1.

It was a day of missed opportunities for the home team in the FIH World Hockey League Semi-Finals. South Africa had 13 shots at goal and Egypt only two.

After going scoreless for almost 28 minutes the score was 1-1 at halftime. Egypt scored first with Houssam Ghobran getting the scoreboard going. Less than 30 second later South Africa equalised with Dan Sibbald hitting the back of the goal-box after a brilliant pass from Daniel Bell. It could have been 2-1 for the home team, but Ignatius Malgraff missed a great opportunity earlier in the second chukka.

The third chukka presented South Africa with some brilliant chances to score especially the one from Julian Hykes with an open goal-box, but it was Egypt who took the lead with Ghobran second goal of the match. With 15 minutes left Egypt was leading 2-1.

It was a match in which the South Africans just did not get the basics right. The trapping skills and injections for penalty corners lacked accuracy on the day. The home team had more than enough opportunities to score field goals and from penalty corners – South Africa got eight penalty corners.

South Africa is 15th on the world rankings and Egypt 19th.

Tomorrow the SA women’s team come up against the USA at 16:00. The South Africans need to win this match if they want to stand any chance of advancing to the quarterfinals.

The SA men’s team is up against Belgium on Monday at 18:00. Belgium played in the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics. The only way the team can reach the next round is by beating Belgium who is in rampant form.

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

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

SA Hockey Association media release

Kookaburras have third win with a 2 - 1 victory over New Zealand

Next up, Japan

Holly MacNeil

The Kookaburras won their third pool game at the World League Semi-Finals in Johannesburg tonight, coming back from being one down to defeat the New Zealand Black Sticks 2 – 1 in their third win of the tournament.

New Zealand were up for the first chance at goal just minutes into the game, however their efforts went unrewarded as Australian goalkeeper Tyler Lovell easily saved the ball.

Australia had the next opportunity for a penalty corner with the shot on goal from Aaron Kleinschmidt flying into the net, however the goal was reversed on review by the video umpire leaving the score at nil – all.

The second quarter saw some fast paced and skilful hockey with both teams having opportunity at goal but the score remaining deadlocked at nil all going into the half way break.

New Zealand were the first to break the drought coming back from the half time break to have Jared Panchia score a field goal in the 39th minute of play, giving the Black Sticks a one goal advantage.

With seven minutes of play remaining it was Australia’s turn at goal; Jeremy Edwards scoring a penalty corner to take the game to deadlock once again.

In the final minute of play the Kookaburras were at it again. A penalty corner goal from Jeremy Hayward giving them the lead for the first time in the game and ultimately a 2 – 1 win over the New Zealand Black Sticks.

Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said: “We fell behind in the third quarter and came back to score two goals in the last quarter; we weren’t at our best tonight. New Zealand started very confidently which made it a tight, tough game.

“This is the third game in a row that we’ve had to fight for everything, and so it’s pleasing that we were able to come back and score towards the end. We still want to build towards a good performance for the semi-finals, and we want to develop our own game, so we need to improve for the game against Japan and for the semi-finals.”

The Kookaburras next play Japan on Monday 17 July at 6pm AWST / 8pm AEST. Tune into the game Live on Fox Sports Australia.

Kookaburras Match Schedule
Monday, 17 July: AUS v JPN 6pm AWST / 8pm AEST
Wednesday, 19 July: Quarter Finals TBC

Jeremy Edwards 53 (PC)
Jeremy Hayward 60 (PC)

Jared Panchia 39 (FG)
Kookaburras squad v New Zealand
Athlete (Hometown/State)
Kiran Arunasalam (Doncaster East, VIC) 7/1
Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW) 36/13
Matt Dawson (Killarney Vale, NSW) 74/10
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD) 298/26
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA) 87/0
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA) 114/50
Matt Swann (Mackay, QLD) 154/6
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD) 126/49
Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW) 88/6
Dylan Wotherspoon (Murwillumbah, NSW) *plays for QLD 38/9
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA) 109/15

Used Substitutes
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD) 99/16
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT) 130/0
Jeremy Edwards (Hobart, TAS) 20/2
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT) 81/27
Aaron Kleinschmidt (Melbourne, VIC) 21/6
Josh Pollard (Melbourne, VIC) 21/2
Tom Wickham (Morgan, SA) *plays for WA 14/2

Hockey Australia media release

Vantage Black Sticks sunk in final seconds

Photo: FIH/Getty Images

A last minute goal has seen Australia snatch a 2-1 win over the Vantage Black Sticks Men at the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johannesburg.

The Kiwis were first to score but couldn’t stop the Kookaburras who powered home with two goals in the final 10 minutes to snare three points.

The result sees New Zealand currently sitting at fourth in Pool A ahead of their final pool match against Spain on Monday night, with live coverage on SKY Sport from 11:55pm (NZT).

The outcome against Spain will determine who the Black Sticks meet in the cross-over quarter finals phase at the tournament.

Head coach Darren Smith said it was a disappointing final result in a game they had set up well.

“We were expecting a tough, hard-nosed game coming in and I thought we played well for the first three quarters but then allowed Australia to take control,” he said.

“We put together some good hockey but in the fourth quarter we sat back too deep and were a bit tentative which Australia capitalised on.

“The next game against Spain is very important as we need to display a good performance to try and finish as high as we can in the pool.”

It was an evenly poised first half which saw few scoring opportunities for either side and a 0-0 score line at halftime.

New Zealand broke the deadlock in the 39th minute when Hayden Phillips sent a crashing ball across the face of goal for a diving tap in from Jared Panchia on the far post.

Australia equalised midway through the fourth quarter from a penalty corner with Jeremy Edwards picking up the initial save and sending a reverse shot over the shoulder of Devon Manchester.

The Kookaburras then delivered the winning strike with just 40 seconds remaining on the clock when Jeremy Hayward ripped a penalty corner flick into the back of the net.

AUSTRALIA 2: (Jeremy Edwards, Jeremy Hayward)
Halftime: 0-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Australia grab dramatic win over New Zealand

JOHANNESBURG: Australia confirmed their reputation as comeback kings at the Men's Hockey World League in Johannesburg by snatching a 2-1 victory over great rivals New Zealand Saturday.

Jared Panchia finished off a move on 39 minutes to put the Kiwis ahead in the Pool A matchday 4 clash at the University of the Witwatersrand.

But the never-say-die spirit of an Australian team in transition, with several young stars being blooded, surfaced during the final quarter.

Jeremy Edwards levelled from a 53rd-minute penalty corner, smashing the ball into the goal at the second attempt after his initial shot was blocked.

With 38 seconds remaining of a match that captivated the capacity crowd, Josh Pollard struck the winning goal off another penalty corner.

Australia came from two goals behind to edge France 3-2 in their opening match before scoring twice in the closing minutes to beat Spain 2-0 two days ago.

"We are getting used to coming from behind to win matches and this emphasises the wonderful fighting spirt within the squad," said Australia coach Colin Batch.

"There is still a lot of work to do, however, as we should be scoring more goals given the number of circle penetrations that we make.

"It was a very tough match for us with New Zealand playing really well, especially in defence after they took the lead."

Australia captain Mark Knowles hailed the youngsters as Australia took a three-pont lead in the pool with a match against bottom team Japan to come Monday.

"The younger players are wonderful to be with. They carry no 'baggage' and just want to play hockey.

"That is what it is all about -- playing the game and grinding out victories, like this one against New Zealand."

Spain got back on the winning trail, with a goal one minute from time by Enrique Gonzalez sealing a 2-0 victory over European neighbours France.

Pau Quemada had put the Spaniards ahead at the end of the third quarter from a penalty corner.

Australia have nine points, Spain six and New Zealand and France four, and all have secured quarter-finals places, leaving pointless Japan to contest ninth place next week.

A brilliant one-handed save from goalkeeper Tobias Walter ensured Germany a 3-2 victory over Belgium in a top-of-the-table Pool B showdown.

Belgium won silver and Germany bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the showdown lived up to expectations with both sides leading before Dieter-Enrique Linnekogel fired a late winner.

Marco Miltkau gave the Germans a half-time lead that was overturned during the third quarter as Belgians Arthur van Doren and Simon Gougnard scored.

Lukas Windfeder converted a penalty corner to leave the teams level entering the final quarter and Linnekogel gave his team maximum points with a 54th-minute goal.

An unhappy weekend for South Africa continued with a 2-1 defeat by Egypt, leaving the host nation staring at elimination from the tournament.

A Houssam Ghobran brace earned Egypt victory and left South Africa needing to beat Belgium Monday to scrape into the quarter-finals on goal difference.

Germany have nine points, Belgium and Ireland six, Egypt three and South Africa none.

The South African women's side are in a similarly difficult position and must beat the higher-ranked United States Sunday to survive.

The Times of India

Great start of the Central American Championship in Managua

Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the host, started playing the Central American Hockey 5 Championship in Luis Alfonso Velásquez's Park.

Ma. Josefina Chávez Díaz

With an excellent start of the tournament, the 5 Central American teams played thier first international Hockey 5 match.

Honduras and Panama opened the day. The 32 degrees chastised the two teams equally, but Honduras was the first to surprise. They opened the score right from the start. Only a minute later, Panama scored and was the protagonist of the afternoon and made Honduras feel thier experience in Hockey 5 , they won 7-1.

The second shift was for the ladies. Guatemala and Honduras made their debut and the ones directed by Hans Higueros made the difference and won 7-0.

A strong wind and rain hid the 30° sun  and delayed the debut of the Nicaraguan men, who were playing agiant the experienced Guatemala. With a collective game, but without precision, the locals made a round-and-neck match, although the ones of Amaury González made the difference, Guatemala won 9 to 0.

People had already crowded the stands around, Nicaragua and Costa Rica were closing the womens afternoon.

The most trained and experienced ones were the Costa Rica’s Women Team, but Nicaragua came as a surprise. They opened the score (minute 7) and tried to keep the result. Minutes later, Costa Rica tied it the game.

With  a great move of  Maria Saravia, Nicaragua’s best forward, they extended the score for the locals. Final whistle and the stadium was a party. Nicaragua opened the Championship with a win.

With welcome words of, Alejandro Romero, Nicaraguan Hockey Federation Preseident and Laura Macchiotti, PAHF Events and Development Coordinator the opening ceremony began. The players and referees made the athlete's oath and the teams celebrated being part of event. With all of the crowd cheering, and after the opening ceremony, Hockey 5 Championship was on.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Five Irish players confirm moves to European clubs

Five Irish players have had their moves to European clubs confirmed this week with a pair of the women’s team moving to Bloemendaal while a trio of men are going to Crefelder in Germany.

Chloe Watkins and Anna O’Flanagan will move from Hermes-Monkstown to Bloemendaal for the upcoming 2017/18 season where they will be coached by hockey legend Teun de Nooijer.

They join a club that finished 10th in the Dutch Hoofdklasse last season and avoided relegation via the playoffs courtesy of a three-legged win over HGC.

On the men’s side, Michael Robson, Neal Glassey – both from Lisnagarvey – and Matthew Bell (Banbridge) move to Crefelder THC, linking up with the club where Ronan Gormley is a long time player.

Speaking about their arrival, Krefeld coach Matz Mahn said: “Irish international players have already had positive experiences in Krefeld, as Ronan Gormley has been a firm fixture in the defensive block.”

It brings to seven the total of international players confirmed to be moving to clubs on the continent with Lee Cole moving to Royal Oree and Jeremy Duncan going to Herakles in Belgium.

The Hook

Hockey targets more schools

Pravin Narain

Teresia Colaitiniyara, middle, of Adi Cakobau School on attack against St Joseph Secondary School during their Hockey match at the St Joseph Secondary School in Suva on Friday, July 14, 2017. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE Suva Secondary Schools Hockey Association is planning to include more schools in the competition.

Association president Mafai Rudolph Mausio said they were expecting tough competitions from the schools.

"The schools have come prepared since the players are fighting for a place in the team for the national competition," he said.

"We hope for new schools next year.

"We have seven schools which are competing which includes St. Joseph's Secondary School, Adi Cakobau School, Gospel High School, Lelean Memorial School, Sacred Heart College, Marist Brothers High School and Suva Grammar School."

He said they wanted to select the best players.

Meanwhile, in the under-16 grade Adi Cakobau School and St. Joseph Secondary School played to a nil-all draw while ACS U19 team proved too strong for SJSS beating them 2-0.

The Fiji Times

Each home in 'hockey village' has players

Fareeha Iftikhar

Children at a hockey training session in Ghumanhera village of Delhi (DNA)

The clock strikes five in the evening and the usually deserted streets of Ghumanhera begin to flood with youngsters. Donning colourful jerseys with hockey sticks on their shoulders, the small army is headed for their daily practice.

Far from the city's hustle-bustle, located on the southwest Delhi border, the hamlet of Ghumanhera has a special bond with the national game and has been nurturing sportsmen for the last 25 years. Nearly every home in the village has members who have either played or are playing, hockey.

According to a rough estimate, nearly 2,000 Ghumanhera residents have played hockey at zonal, state, and national levels.

Baljeet Singh says: "We started training children in 1992. Initially, it was difficult for us."

Singh is a former national-level hockey player and is popular in the area as 'coach sir'. He says, "We had to convince parents to send their kids for practice. We had to buy the children shoes and hockey sticks to encourage them."

"Our children have played for the Indian Army, Navy, and Railways as well," says PK Jha, Principal of the Government Boys Senior Secondary School (GBSSS), Ghumanhera. The school has played a vital role in promoting the sport, not only among the villagers but also among people from the adjoining areas.

Recently, the Delhi government constructed an international-standard, artificial-turf hockey field at the GBSSS, motivating even more youngsters to play the sport. "As many as 10 students from private schools have taken admission in our school this year, just to practice on this field. We hope that more of our children get selected for national camps," Jha adds.

As the popularity of the game gradually diminishes, however, the desire to represent the country is also dying down. Still, forced by the lack of education and employment opportunities, hordes of children join the practise every year.

"Most parents were not happy about their children playing hockey after a certain age. But as they started getting admission in universities under the sports quota and jobs in Railways and Navy, more and more parents started encouraging their children to play," says Surendar Kumar, who is currently employed in the Indian Navy's mechanical department in Mumbai, and also plays for its hockey team.

According to Kumar, as many as seven members in the present Navy hockey team are from Ghumanhera. "They got employed in the Navy after being selected in its hockey team. Now, they are making their parents proud," he says.

"At present, nearly 18 girls from our village are also employed with the Railways and playing hockey for their respective teams," he adds.

So while the sport lives on, it has not been an easy journey, especially in view of the lack of funds. According to villagers, nearly 60 per cent of the population in the village can be described as poor. "The Delhi government has made a world-class field here but a lot more has to be done to train world-class players. People don't have money to give proper diet and equipment to their children. How can you expect them to compete with those coming from affluent backgrounds?" rues coach Singh.

Echoing the sentiment, Harendra Singh, former Indian hockey player and former coach of the World Cup-winning junior Indian hockey team, says: "Ghumanhera is the place from where you can select the entire Delhi team.

But the government has to provide the youngsters with world-class facilities, in addition to the field."

Back on the lush-green GSSB ground, 18-year-old Monika is practicing. "I want to become a coach as our village has so many girls playing hockey but not even a single coach for them," she says as she skillfully drives the ball to the goal post.


Hockey great Sardar Singh turns 31

Sardara Singh, who has also been honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2012, became known when he became the youngest player to captain the Indian team, leading his side in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2008, He turned 31 on Saturday.

Sardar Singh turned 31 on Saturday.

Former India hockey captain Sardar Singh, who is now one of the senior players in the team, turned 31 on Saturday. Sardar is probably the most known hockey player after the likes of Dhyan Chand and Dhanraj Pillay.

The Veteran hockey player, who has recently been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, made his debut for India in the junior team against Poland during the 2003-04 season.

Sardar, who has also been honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2012, became known when he became the youngest player to captain the Indian team, leading his side in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2008, after advancing to the senior side in 2006.

Born in Santnagar, he was also awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015. He became the highest-paid player at the first-ever Hockey India League auction, being purchased by Delhi for $78,000. He captained his side Delhi Waveriders to a second-place finish in its inaugural season and was awarded the ‘Player of the Tournament.

The hockey great, however, has also been part of a controversy, that is still continuing. Last year, Sardar was accused in a case of rape and sexual harassment by British-Asian hockey player. Sardar reportedly didn’t play the 2016 Champions Trophy in London where India reached the final.

Sardar has, however, led India’s campaign on numerous occasions and made the country proud. In the absence of PR Sreejesh, India’s goalkeeper, Sardar remained one of the few senior players to guide India in the Hockey World League Semi-Final 2017 where they stood sixth.

The Times of India

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