All the news for Saturday 4 February 2012
Japan and New Zealand qualify for 5th place play off
Argentina FIH Champions Trophy – Day 5
Argentina FIH Champions Trophy - Day 5 - New Zealand v China. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)
Day 5 of the Argentina FIH Champions Trophy started with a surprising win from Japan defeating Korea 4-3 in extra-time. The second match in Rosario saw New Zealand beat China 3-2 also in extra-time. Japan and New Zealand play off for the 5th place while Korea and China compete for 7th ranked place. The Semi Finals are played on Saturday with Germany facing Great Britain before it comes down to the giants meeting between the Netherlands and host Argentina.
Komazawa’s Golden Goal gives Japan victory
5/8 – KOR 3-4 (AET) JPN
Despite of high temperatures this afternoon both teams started off with great pace as they knew that a victory would lift them into Sunday’s 5th place play off. It took Japan not even two minutes until they penetrated the circle for the first time. Their attack led to an early penalty corner which was converted by Rika Komazawa (3’). Afterwards the Japanese goalkeeper Sakiyo Asano got into action when she saved Korean Lee Seon-Ok’s drag-flick at a penalty corner and also cleared the rebound afterwards. However, Korea equalized when Han Hye-Lyoung (31’) scored her first ever Champions Trophy goal.
Just before halftime Korea took the lead after team-captain Lee Seon-Ok (34’) scored from a penalty stroke. The stroke was awarded due to an aggressive stick-tackle in the circle. Japan took their team referral on this decision but their request was denied. It was the first time that Korea led at half-time at Rosario 2012. Japan struck back in the second half when Akane Shibata (53’) managed to lift the ball into the net after the Korean goalkeeper Moon Young-Hui has saved a flick with her glove.
The next goal in this match came from a penalty corner. Lee Seon-Ok (64’)’s drag-flick went into the top corner of the goal and made Korea lead 3-2. Japan fought back again when Rika Komazawa (68’) tied the score to 3-3. Korea were unhappy with the decision and used their team referral to ask whether there had been a five metre distance from a side-line-hit just before the ball was played into the circle. The video umpire confirmed that the match umpire’s decision to award the goal was correct. Korea were short-handed at the end of the match as Cheon Eun-Bi and Hong Ji-Seon were sent off with yellow cards within one minute.
In the second half of the extra-time it was Komazawa again scoring her third goal in this game made Japan win their first Champions Trophy encounter with Korea ever. The game winning goal was confirmed after the match umpire Wendy Stewart had taken the umpire referral to be absolutely sure in such a crucial action.
For more information on KOR v JPN click here.
Michelsen’s Golden Goal makes New Zealand win
5/8 – NZL 3-2 (AET) CHN
New Zealand and China have met seven times in Champions Trophy competition before with New Zealand only winning their last encounter; 4-3 in the 2010 5th place play-off. China, who were close to defeating the World Champions from Argentina in Thursday’s Quarter Final, proved that they really wanted to play off for the 5th place. They won an early penalty corner which was saved by New Zealand’s goalkeeper Bianca Russell. Afterwards New Zealand missed the opportunity to take the lead when they failed to score from four successive penalty corners. All of flicker Clarissa Eshuis’ attempts were either run down by a Chinese player or saved by goalie Li Dongxiao.
China took the lead thanks to Gao Lihua (24’) who made her team lead for the first time at halftime in this competition. At the beginning of the second half Song Qingling (41’) doubled the lead after a great penalty corner variation. The ball was played precisely to the injector Song who was able to shoot into the empty goal. New Zealand fought hard but the Chinese defense stayed strong.
Cathryn Finlayson (60’) finally put New Zealand on the score-board when she managed to tip in the ball, which was difficult to control, into the goal. If the ball has really crossed the goal-line needed to be confirmed by the video umpire. This goal gave New Zealand confidence. They penetrated the Chinese with a lot of pressure from that point on. Three minutes before the final whistle Finlayson (67’) equalised and brought her team into extra-time.
In the first half of the extra-time China could have decided this match but Ma Yibo’s penalty corner shot went wide. Instead it were New Zealand who won two successive penalty corners converting the second. Stacey Michelsen (77+’) was the goal scorer.
For more information on NZL v CHN click here.
Flash quotes on Day 5
Lim Jung Woo (KOR coach)
“First of all I would like to congratulate Japan. We have come from the 4-Nations in Cordoba, a hard previous competition, and the players feel tired now. We have already two injured players who won’t be able to play any match in this tournament anymore. Moreover there are another three players who are not physically fit.”
Lee Seon-OK (KOR team-captain)
“Today we haven’t performed as we would have liked to perform.”
Zenjiro Yasuda (JPN coach)
“I’m really happy with our victory today. The Korean team is very good one but their tiredness helped us. Now we have to work on many mistakes we made in our defence and our attacks. We must improve if we want to succeed.
Yukari Yamamoto (JPN team-captain)
“We started this match winning and never gave up. This victory is thanks to our persistence and perseverance”.
Sang Ryul Kim (CHN Coach)
“We played very well. We had a good first half but in the last 10 minutes New Zealand played very well. We lost because were unable to convert our opportunities.”
Mark Hager (NZL Coach)
“China played a great game. And we were lucky as they controlled almost all the match. But we were able to score in the right moments. The players are really tired. We have many young players in this team who made a great effort tonight”.
Kayla Sharland (NZL team-captain)
“We are disappointed with the first half we played where we couldn’t even control the ball. We played better in the second half, but we couldn’t score easily. We finished the match really tired and we decided to do our best in the extra time.”
Black Sticks Women beat China in extra time 3-2
The Black Sticks have won their game against China 3-2 at the FIH Champions Trophy thanks to a double from Cathryn Finlayson that took the game to extra time, and then a golden goal from Stacey Michelsen.
Assistant Coach Greg Nicol says that the team showed a lot of fight and determination to come back from a 2-0 deficit in the final stages of the game and win.
“Overall, our performance was much better today. In the second half we started attacking and putting a lot more pressure on the Chinese and although we could have converted more opportunities, in the end we got the one that counted,” says Nicol.
Although the Black Sticks played well in the first half, they picked up the tempo in the second stanza and in the 60th minute, there was a goal mouth scuffle and it took a video referral to confirm that Finlayson had pushed the ball across the line.
With three minutes left on the clock, Charlotte Harrison crossed the ball into the circle and a Chinese defender mistrapped it and Finlayson hit it past the goalkeeper from close range.
In extra time, both teams showed real determination with lots of action on and off the ball. It was right at the end of the first period of extra time that the Kiwi’s were awarded their ninth penalty corner of the match. While the initial shot was saved, Michelsen made no mistake when she picked up the rebound at the post and knocked it in.
Outstanding performances today included Black Sticks Kayla Sharland, goalkeeper Bianca Russell, Clarissa Eshuis and Stacey Michelsen.
The Black Sticks will now play in the fifth and sixth play off against Japan at 7am on Monday (NZ time). The game will be live on Sky Sport.
Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.
Full time: 3-2 (NZ win from golden goal)
Half time: 1-0 (China lead)
NZ goal scorers: Cathryn Finlayson x2, Stacey Michelsen
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Michelsen seals golden goal win for Black Sticks
By Michael Burgess
Stacey Michelsen celebrates her golden goal. Photo / Hockey NZ
It's been a long time coming but was well worth the wait.
In the most dramatic way possible, New Zealand won their first game at the Champions Trophy when they beat China 3-2 today with a golden goal with time up in the first period of extra-time.
Stacey Michelsen got the final touch, forcing the ball home after several other players had a swing.
New Zealand had trailed 2-0 with just 10 minutes left in the match and showed great spirit to come back, with striker Catherine Finlayson scoring goals in the 60th and 67th minute to send the match into extra time.
"It's a great feeling," said Finlayson, "more of a relief than anything. It wasn't always pretty but we never stopped trying."
They also scored their own slice of history, becoming the first team to win a Champions Trophy game from 2-0 down since 2002.
It was also only the second time that a penalty corner had been converted in extra-time in Champions Trophy history, New Zealand finally making one count after 17 previous failures.
Earlier the Black Sticks had been lucky to still be in the game, with only some brilliance from goalkeeper Bianca Russell, combined with some wasteful finishing from the Chinese, keeping the score to 1-0 at halftime.
The result means that New Zealand will finish no lower than sixth, and have their final match (playoff for fifth place) against Japan on Monday.
Coach Mark Hager was a picture of relief after the match.
"It was an very important victory," said Hager." Though we were very loose in the first half, their effort to come back in the second was something special. We got belief after the goal."
In the early evening conditions the game was frenetic from the start, end-to-end as players thrived in the sightly cooler conditions.
The first half followed a similar pattern to previous matches for New Zealand at the Champions Trophy. The Black Sticks had their share of field position, without managing to carve out clear-cut chances and the opportunities they did have were not taken.
The Black Sticks also had five penalty corners in the first half; at one stage four in succession but the set piece is not functioning well and they rarely made good contact.
The Chinese had the better opportunities and only the efforts of Bianca Russell in goal kept the scoreline down to one in the first half.
She made a brilliant save from a penalty corner in the 10th minute, and the Chinese were inches away from scoring in the 21st minute while they hit the post from a penalty corner.
China finally made a chance count three minutes later and extended their lead in the 41st minute before New Zealand's dramatic comeback.
* Herald on Sunday writer Michael Burgess travelled to Argentina with assistance from Hockey NZ.
The New Zealand Herald
Black Sticks notch first Champions Trophy win
New Zealand grabbed their first win at the Champions Trophy in Argentina with a 3-2 extra time thriller against China.
In a result that sets them up for a playoff for fifth against Japan tomorrow, the women's Black Sticks were a picture of relief after their golden goal win.
It was their first of the tournament after struggling through the pool phase and then losing comprehensively to the Netherlands in yesterday's quarterfinal.
Stacey Michelsen was the late hero, tapping in from a goal circle scramble, capping an excellent comeback after New Zealand had trailed 2-0 with 12 minutes remaining in regulation time.
China had deserved their lead to that point but New Zealand finished much the stronger in the Rosario head to score twice through Cathryn Finlayson and set up the punishing extra time.
Earlier, Japan also needed extra time to beat Korea 4-3 in an equally-exciting affair.
Champions Trophy semi-final line-up complete
ROSARIO: The Netherlands, Argentina, Great Britain and Germany booked their spots in the last four of the Champions Trophy in Rosario on Thursday.
The Netherlands, intent on retaining their crown from a year ago in Amsterdam, signaled their title credentials with a commanding 3-0 victory over New Zealand.
The Dutch will face hosts Argentina in the semi-finals after the Argentines scored a late goal to knock off China 3-2 in a hard-fought battle at the Estadio Mundialista.
Great Britain, meanwhile, cruised to a comfortable 4-1 win over South Korea after three goals in a span of five minutes gave them an almost unassailable lead.
Seonok Lee pulled a goal back for the Koreans, but Helen Richardson restored the three-goal advantage as Team GB set-up a last four meeting with Germany.
First-half strikes from Nina Hasselmann, Marie Maevers and Celine Wilde put the Germans 3-0 up at the interval against Japan, and although a spirited fight back enabled the Japanese to reduce the deficit, Germany eventually prevailed 3-2.
The semi-finals are scheduled for Saturday with the final slated to take place on Sunday.
The Times of India
Black Sticks must improve before Olympics
On the bright side, there will be no danger of complacency when the women's Black Sticks dissect a disappointing Champions Trophy hockey campaign in Argentina.
They still have two playoff matches for the minor placings remaining, starting with today's fixture against China, but yesterday's comprehensive 3-0 quarterfinal loss to world No 1 the Netherlands highlighted how much they have to improve before they can challenge for a medal at the London Olympics.
Black Sticks coach Mark Hager certainly thinks so, yesterday putting his squad on notice.
"By no means have we got close to figuring out an Olympic squad," he said.
"Some players are playing themselves in and some are playing themselves out.
"We've got a big challenge ahead of us."
The sixth-ranked Black Sticks were underdone heading into 2012 but were keen not to use their lack of matchplay as an excuse.
They lost all four matches at the Four Nations tournament last month, also in Argentina, recorded their only win of the year with a Champions Trophy warmup victory over Japan, lost a warmup to China and have so far been winless - two draws and two losses - in the Champions Trophy.
They're leaking too many goals and Hager has consistently lamented a lack of individual discipline and a loss of structure, particularly in the second half of matches.
Last year's dream bronze medal run at the Champions Trophy seems like a lifetime ago, with the other teams having improved and the Black Sticks arguably going in the other direction.
They were simply outclassed yesterday by the Netherlands, who remain on track to medal for the 15th consecutive time at a Champions Trophy and win a record-breaking seventh title.
The Dutch led 1-0 at halftime courtesy of yet another goal from Kim Lammers, her fourth of the tournament, and stretched away in the second half through a penalty corner strike from captain Maartje Paumen.
They made the game safe with 13 minutes remaining when Lidewij Welten's reverse stick shot took a deflection from New Zealand's Alana Millington and found the back of the net.
There were some positives for the sixth-ranked Black Sticks. They made a reasonable start and held out the Dutch for 25 minutes, and in the second half they had several chances to get themselves back into the match.
Cathryn Finlayson, Stacey Michelsen and Katie Glynn were all denied, although Charlotte Harrison had the best chance when she was free at the far post and with an open goal, but a bobbling ball resulted in an air swing.
Hager threw his arms in the air, knowing it wasn't going to be.
Germany, Great Britain and Argentina were the other winners yesterday, setting up a predictable semifinal lineup.
Meanwhile, Michelsen was named the women's FIH young player of the year. The skilful midfielder was presented with the award at the Champions Trophy, while Paumen collected the player of the year award.
Michelsen, 20, held off competition from Dutch pair Joyce Sombroek and Willemijn Bos, US star Katelyn Falgowski and fellow Kiwi Charlotte Harrison.
Michelsen made her debut in 2009 and has already played in 70 internationals.
SA Hockey Men beat Great Britain
The world number 12 SA men's hockey team upset world number 4 Great Britain 5-3 in the first Test of the three-Test series in Cape Town on Friday.
The second and third Test matches are at the Stellenbosch Astro on Tuesday, February 7 and on Saturday, February 11, both matches starting at 7 pm.
Captain Austin Smith’s world number 12 SA line-up will also play two international matches against top Dutch club Pinoke on Thursday, February 9 at 7 pm and Sunday, February 12 at 12 pm.
SA MEN’S TEAM
Rassie Pieterse, Lance Louw, Clint Panther, Thornton McDade (all Southern Gauteng); Andrew Cronje, Austin Smith (capt), Ian Haley, Lloyd Norris-Jones (all Western Province); Brendon Botes (Eastern Province); Justin Reid-Ross, Rhett Halkett, Jonty Robinson (all Northern Blues); Wade Paton, Lloyd Madsen, Gareth Carr, Tim Drummond, Marvin Harper (KZN Coastal Raiders); Julian Hykes (Amatole-Border). Head coach: Gregg Clark.
07 Feb SA vs GB at Stellenbosch at 19h00
09 Feb SA vs Pinoke at Hartleyvale at 19h00
11 Feb SA vs GB at Stellenbosch at 19h00
12 Feb SA vs Pinoke at Hartleyvale at 12h00
SA Hockey Association media release
South Africa too Strong for GB
GREAT Britain Men made a disappointing start to their three-match test series against hosts South Africa in Cape Town on Friday evening, losing 5-3.
Despite taking the lead after 12 minutes it was against the run of play, and South Africa soon opened their account and eased into a 2-1 lead at half time - a lead which they held to the end.
“It was a disappointing start to the test series,” said Team Manager Andy Halliday. “We were slow out of the blocks and were punished by a clinical South Africa team, but we had plenty of chances to get back into the game which we didn’t take.
“But on the plus side, it was great to see more than 2,000 hockey fans in Cape Town for the match, which was the first men’s international in the city for eight years.”
Reading’s Nick Catlin put Great Britain into the lead after 12 minutes when he followed up on a penalty corner by Richard Mantell.
After a sloppy start GB came back into it and looked dangerous on the counter-attack but they couldn’t get the final touch, and it was instead South Africa who scored next, Catlin’s former team-mate at Reading Austin Smith – the South African captain – scoring from a 24th minute penalty corner.
Indecision in the GB defence let their hosts in after 30 minutes, Julian Hykes pouncing on the ball to beat Brothers in goal.
Shortly after play resumed South Africa doubled their lead with Ian Haley scoring a good individual goal on 43 minutes, attacking down the right and scoring from the top of the circle.
However, GB were not finished and they pulled it back to 3-2 the very next minute, Reading’s Simon Mantell following up his own shot which had rebounded out.
GB pushed for an equaliser, but they left themselves overstretched at the back, and on 49 minutes Lloyd Norris-Jones scored to make it 4-2 to the home side.
Hykes scored his second goal on 64 minutes after good work down the right, and left GB with too much to do.
Surbiton’s Rob Moore smashed home a 70th minute consolation after good work by Harry Martin in getting into the circle, but it was too little too late for GB, who head to Stellenbosch on Tuesday for the second match of the series.
South Africa 5 (2)
Austin Smith - 24 (PC)
Julian Hykes - 30 64 (F, F)
Ian Haley - 43 (F)
Lloyd Norris-Jones - 49 (F)
Great Britain 3 (1)
Nick Catlin - 12 (F)
Simon Mantell - 44 (F)
Rob Moore - 70 (F)
GREAT BRITAIN’S FIXTURES v SOUTH AFRICA
Date - GMT - Local Time
Friday 3 February - 17:00 - 19:00 - South Africa v GB
Tuesday 7 February - 17:00 - 19:00 - South Africa v GB
Saturday 11 February - 17:00 - 19:00 - South Africa v GB
GREAT BRITAIN SQUAD FOR SOUTH AFRICA TRAINING CAMP
Name (Club) [Home Nation] GB Caps/GB Goals - Home Nation Caps/Home Nation Goals - Age
Richard Alexander (Surbiton) [England] 46/5 - 130/13 - 30
Alastair Brogdon (Bowdon) [England] 5/0 - 43/4 - 24
Nick Brothers (Reading) [England] 8/0 - 28/0 - 28
Nick Catlin (Reading) [England] 8/2 - 45/3 - 22
Jonty Clarke (Reading) [England] 43/11 - 138/28 - 31
Matt Daly (Surbiton) [England] 43/12 - 95/44 - 28
Adam Dixon (Beeston) [England] 18/0 - 58/2 - 25
James Fair (Cannock) [England] 26/0 - 87/0 - 31
Ken Forbes (Surbiton) [England] 6/0 - 3/0 - 33
Dan Fox (Hampstead and Westminster) [England] 5/0 - 23/0 - 28
Mark Gleghorne (East Grinstead) [England] 8/1 - 0/0 - 26
Ben Hawes (Wimbledon) [England] 78/19 - 125/25 - 31
Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead [England] 50/16 - 71/49 - 24
Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead [England] 57/5 - 145/7 - 29
Iain Lewers (East Grinstead) [England] 16/0 - 15/1 - 28
Iain Mackay (Reading) [England] 19/1 - 63/11 - 26
Richard Mantell (Reading) [England] 48/19 - 115/49 - 30
Simon Mantell (Reading) [England] 51/9 - 83/35 - 27
Harry Martin (Old Loughtonians) [England] 15/1 - 8/0 - 19
Barry Middleton (East Grinstead) [England] 88/29 - 159/43 - 28
Rob Moore (Surbiton) [England] 71/18 - 148/19 - 30
Mark Pearn (East Grinstead) [England] 85/23 - 157/50 - 34
George Pinner (Beeston) [England] 3/0 - 6/0 - 25
Richard Smith (Loughborough Students) [England] 7/3 - 64/7 - 24
Niall Stott (East Grinstead) [Scotland] 82/8 - 120/0 - 30
James Tindall (Surbiton) [England] 53/19 - 126/56 - 28
Alastair Wilson (Beeston) [England] 45/0 - 103/6 - 28
Great Britain Hockey media release
Hammered Down Under
Well it was back to reality as Malaysia lost 1-8 to Australia in their fourth and final friendly against the world number one ranked team in Perth this morning.
Reality because even here in Malaysia some over zealous officials and journalists went overboard with praises after Malaysia had defeated the Aussies 5-2 in the third match on Thursday.
Obviously either these people do not know hockey or were fed with wrong information on the opponents line up.
Suffice to say that Australia did not field their first team in any of the four matches.
So a 8-1 defeat and the excuses will be learning curve, players not following instructions, defensive errors, not following game plan, over whelmed by the occasion and yes before I forget, we did not have our full team as Razie was out injured.
Let's face the fact, we still have a chance at Dublin, the players can do it as I am confident in their ability, just stay focused and be consistent as your coaches are in their excuses.
Malaysian Hockey blogspot
Razie’s fit for Olympic qualifier after injury scare
By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: There was good news from Perth when Malaysian defender Mohd Razie Rahim’s injury turned out to be not as serious as feared.
In fact, he will be able to play in the Olympic hockey qualifier in Dublin next month.
The national team are in Perth for a five-match series against Australia and Holland.
Razie, who was struck on the head by the ball during the match against Australia on Thursday, has been discharged from the hospital although he had to go back yesterday to have the cut above his left eye stitched up.
The doctors have told the team management that there is no fracture and Razie will be fit for action after some rest.
Stand-in-team manager Stephen van Huizen was relieved to hear that the defender would recover in time for the qualifier.
“We were concerned because there was a lot of blood and we were worried about internal injuries. But the doctors have cleared him and all he needed was stitches on the cut, which was quite deep. He will not play in the remaining two matches and will return home with the team on Monday,” he said.
Stephen said there are three players – Mohd Shukri Mutalib, Azreen Rizal and Mohd Shahrun Nabil – who can replace Razie in the defensive position.
“All these players have been tried out in central defence,” he said.
Razie was hit on his forehead in the sixth minute of the third friendly against Australia on Thursday and was stretchered out.
Malaysia, who won 5-2, will play the fourth match against the Australians this morning before wrapping up their tour with a game against Holland tomorrow.
Malaysia lost the first two matches to Australia 1-3 and 2-5.
Stephen said the coaches were pleased with the efforts put in by all the 21 players in the three friendlies thus far.
Goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin seems to have fully recovered from the knee injury he sustained earlier last month.
“He showed good form in the first two matches. We will try him out again in the next match. So far, the players have adapted well to the positional changes we have introduced. All these are part of the selection process to pick the final 18 for the qualifier,” said Stephen.
“We are looking at the players to perform consistently. We also want to see them maintain the structure at all time.”
On their return, the players will attend a three-day motivational camp in Port Dickson from Feb 17-19.
They leave on Feb 28 for Cardiff, where they are scheduled to play two matches against the Welsh team, and arrive in Dublin on March 5.
The Dublin qualifier, from March 10-18, also features South Korea, Ireland, Ukraine, Russia and Chile.
The Star of Malaysia
Faiz thankful for the experience despite being dropped
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Faiz Helmi may have been dropped from the Malaysian national hockey team last week but the pint-sized Johor player is far from disheartened.
Faiz, who was a member of the Project 2013 squad that won the Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor Baru last November, feels that it is all part of the learning curve in graduating to the senior team.
“Being called up to join the national team last year was a big morale boost,” he said.
“It was also a good learning experience as I got to train with the senior players.
“I’m not disheartened at being dropped as I still lack experience.”
The national team are preparing for the Olympic qualifier in Dublin from March 10-18.
Faiz, who led Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt to the overall title in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) last year, said his dream was to play for the country and he would continue to train hard to make the grade.
“Right now my focus is on winning a place in the team for the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca in May,” said Faiz.
The tournament serves as a qualifier for the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in 2013.
Project 2013 coach K. Dharmaraj said Faiz was a real talent who was an integral part of his squad.
“He’s a versatile player with a great future ahead of him. He played well for Tenaga Nasional in the MHL (Malaysia Hockey League) and was the toast of the team in the Sultan of Johor Cup,” said Dharmaraj.
“He was dropped from the national senior squad because there are many more experienced players. But he will be a regular in the team one day soon.”
Dharmaraj said one thing for certain was that Faiz would be in the squad for the Junior Asia Cup. There are 26 players in the training squad and the final 18 will be named at the end of April.
The Star of Malaysia
Black Sticks will need to lift game against Korea
By Terry Maddaford
The pace is picking up for the Olympic hopefuls in the New Zealand men's hockey squad. From the 27 players who will get game time in this week's five-test series against the sixth-ranked Koreans, coach Shane McLeod will eventually name his 16 for the London Olympics.
The Black Sticks warmed up for the matches against the team that is ranked one place higher than them with a series of non-official matches against Japan.
New Zealand won three, lost two, and drew one of the six matches - the third was drawn 2-2 - but McLeod admitted his players were "a bit rusty".
There will be no excuses when the pace picks up in the Korean series.
"We need to ask more questions of the players," said McLeod. "We are back into a test environment [against Korea] and have our sights firmly set on the Olympics. Against Japan we were more concerned about the way we played rather than the results."
All the Black Sticks players are in Auckland this weekend including goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex who did not play against Japan.
McLeod said he expected the Koreans to be much tougher.
"They have been in the top six for a long time and will be much more patterned in their play than the Japanese."
After the matches against Korea, New Zealand players will be restricted to mainly weekend camps until April 16 when 25 players will be centralised in Auckland.
Three weeks before the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in May, McLeod will name an 18-strong squad which he says should be 85-90 per cent of the eventual Olympic team.
"We will then play three tests against Australia in Australia in late June after which we will name the 18 players who will go to Europe for final preparations," said McLeod.
"After matches against Belgium and Holland in Belgium and Spain and Germany at the Olympic venue, we will select the 16 for the Olympics."
NZ v Korea
(all Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium)
February 11: 3pm
February 12: 3pm.
The New Zealand Herald
Black Sticks Men beat Korea 4-2 in first test
In the first of five tests at Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium in Pakuranga, the Black Sticks Men have beaten Korea 4-2 with goals from Hugo Inglis, Simon Child, Richard Petherick and debutant Kane Russell.
“We certainly didn’t play as well as we would have liked today, and over the next few days although the score line might not improve, our performance must get better,’ says Black Sticks Men’s coach Shane McLeod.
It was Korea that held most of the ball possession in the first half and led 1-0 at the break, thanks to a goal from Jong Hyun Jang in the 25th minute.
In the 42nd minute, Simon Child sent a great reverse pass to an unmarked Hugo Inglis in the circle who smashed it past the Korean goalkeeper.
Child turned from provider to goal scorer in the 62nd minute when he broke past three Korean defenders and smashed the ball into the roof of the net with a reverse strike to equalise.
With just three minutes on the clock the Black Sticks were awarded their first penalty corner of the match and Petherick made the most of it when he flicked the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
With the full time hooter sounding, debutant Kane Russell successfully converted the team’s second penalty corner with his own powerful drag flick.
The two sides will meet again tomorrow at 1.30pm at Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium. Tickets are $5 for children and $10 for adults, gate sales only, eftpos available. For the remaining game times and more details go to www.hockeynz.co.nz.
Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.
Full time: 4-2 (NZ win)
Half time: 1-0 (Korea lead)
NZ Goal Scorers: Hugo Inglis, Simon Child, Richard Petherick, Kane Russell.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Paumen & Michelsen thrilled by FIH Player prizes
FIH Player of the Year title is a "real honour", says Maartje
Dutch delight as Maartje Paumen is named 2011 FIH Player of the Year. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)
Netherlands captain Maartje Paumen and Black Sticks midfielder Stacey Michelsen, who yesterday were named as the FIH Player and Young Player of the Year for 2011, have both expressed their delight at being honoured by their fellow international players.
Paumen was genuinely moved by getting the recognition from her peers in winning the FIH Player of the Year title, saying that it was a “real honour” to win the prize. “Last year was a great one for me, and I am really happy”, said the 26-year-old, who led her team back to the top of the FIH World Rankings in 2011 following tournament wins at the EuroHockey Nations Championships and the Rabo FIH Champions Trophy.
Like Paumen, New Zealand’s Stacey Michelsen was clearly stunned to win such the prestigious Young Player prize. “I’m pretty excited about winning this award… I really didn’t expect it,” said the modest 20-year-old, who has become the first New Zealander to win an FIH Player of the Year title. “It is a big surprise to me, but I am thrilled.”
The two winners were presented with their prizes at the Argentina FIH Champions Trophy in Rosario by FIH President Leandro Negre following Thursday's Quarter Final meeting between The Netherlands and New Zealand, a match which featured both players in action. The Netherlands emerged as 3-0 winners in the contest, with Paumen putting her mark on the game with a typically accurate penalty corner conversion in the 41st minute.
The announcement of the two winners proved to be a hugely popular one amongst the players of The Netherlands and New Zealand, with both teams cheering and hugging the newly crowned FIH Players of the Year in recognition of their wonderful achievements.
The FIH would like to congratulate both Maartje Paumen and Stacey Michelsen on winning their awards.
India has talent to beat any team in the world: Canada coach
NEW DELHI: It is a side in transition but Canada head coach Robin D'Abreo feels India's hockey team is very creative "offensively" and it would be "unwise" to take it lightly in the upcoming Olympic qualifiers.
The upcoming Olympic qualifiers, also featuring Italy, Poland, Singapore and France, will be held from February 18-26.
India, being trained by Australian Michael Nobbs, is expected to do well in home conditions and qualify for the London Olympics this year.
"India is always a very talented and capable team. They are very creative offensively and are deadly on penalty corners," Robin said.
"India has the talent to beat any team in the world on a given day. To think they will be at anything but their best at this tournament would be unwise.
"We are not taking any of the opposing teams for granted. Each is coming to the tournament with the same goal of qualification and should be taken seriously," he added.
India had failed to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, which marked a new low for the eight-time gold-medallists, battling to regain the lost aura amid administrative wrangling and inconsistent performances on the field.
Robin said Canada had prepared well ahead of the qualifiers and the experience of playing at the Major Dhyan Chand National stadium - the venue of the event - during the Commonwealth Games would benefit the side.
"Preparation has been going well. We have had to be flexible and creative to deal effectively with some unpredictable weather during the last few months but the team has adapted well," he said.
"Outside of a few notable exceptions we are still a developing side however being more familiar with the facilities and the environment in Delhi will certainly be of benefit," he added.
Robin also feels Indian spectators are the best in the world.
"Indian fans are some of the best in the world. They are knowledgeable, loud, and very enthusiastic. I feel that both home and visiting teams have the opportunity to feed off that kind of energy," he said.
The Times of India
Young guns focused & ready to fire: Sreejesh
Any team which is beleagured by controversies over selection issues can be forgiven for facing problems with morale. But reserve goalkeeper PR Sreejesh believes that the Indian hockey team is unaffected by the drama over the axing of senior players and is focused on clinching an Olympic berth.
Chief coach Michael Nobbs and the selectors dropped several senior players from the 18-member squad for the qualifiers to be held in New Delhi from February 18-26 on form and fitness. The decision peeved former skipper Rajpal Singh who alleged that the promised fitness test never took place. Veteran midfielder Arjun Halappa threatened to go into retirement.
Sreejesh insisted that the young players are eager to prove themselves in Indian colours. “We are just doing our job. We are focusing more on the tournament. We are not thinking about what happened during the South Africa series or what happened with the seniors. All we are thinking about is our performance on the field,” Sreejesh told The Pioneer.
“Practice is going very well. The team is doing fine. We are practicing really hard and are looking forward to the qualifiers,” he added.
The experienced custodian was confident that Olympic qualification should not be too difficult for India but warned that rival teams should not be taken lightly. “It is all in the hands of God. But we will try our best, that much I can tell you,” he asserted.
“We cannot take any team lightly. Even teams like Poland and Singapore can be dangerous. On the field, the team that plays better will win. They will try to raise the level of their game against us,’ he added. “Poland and Canada are very good teams and have the ability to draw against us.”
The Indian team made heavy weather of things against a lower ranked team like South Africa during the Test series last month, conceeding 10 goals in five games, but Sreejesh asserted that his team mates played quite well despite the presence of several inexperienced young players in the line-up.
“Personally I feel that we have done a very good job. We never played one team consistently. We always changed at least two or three players in every match. So that affected the performance a bit,” he said.
“It was like our selection trials. It helped to expose the weak points. So we should be totally prepared for the qualifiers,” he added.
India’s defence though has looked a bit fragile at times and conceding goals in almost every match in the recent past which have led to questions being raised over the fitness levels of Sandeep Singh, and V R Raghunath. But Sreejesh insisted that everything will be sorted out.
“It was only due to minor mistakes which we had committed. We are trying to rectify those in the camp. Dilip Tirkey is assisting our defence now. So that will help us improve our defence and our strategy,” he stated.
Talking about the strong points of the team Sreejesh highlighted penalty-corner conversion and the forward-line as the positives.
“Penalty corner conversion is very good. And our forward line is also doing a very good job. They are scoring a lot of goals nowadays.”
The hero of last year’s Asian Champions Trophy final also admitted that he was impressed with the performance of several young players during the Test series against the Proteas.
“Everyone is doing good. There are a couple of young players like Kothajit (Singh) (SK) Uthappa, who is a newcomer. Then there is Manpreet Singh. They are all doing well,” Sreejesh said.
“I am also in good form and also very confident. looking forwars to a great tournament.”
Rajpal targets WSH to get match fit for internationals
MUMBAI: Former captain Rajpal Singh has taken his axing from the Indian team in his stride and is confident he will be recalled to the national squad after the London Olympic Qualifiers in Delhi later this month.
The 27-year-old Chandigarh player is also aiming to use the upcoming World Series Hockey to get the much needed match practice if and when he gets a call-up for national duty.
"I have played only one match in 2012 (in the recently held Test series at home against South Africa). I will get to play between 11 and 14 matches in World Series Hockey which will help me when I play international hockey again. I am confident I will be recalled (to the national squad)," Rajpal said on Friday.
Rajpal, an Arjuna Awardee and a member of the national squad that won the Junior World Cup in Hobart in 2001, was dropped from the 18-strong Indian squad which was picked on "form and fitness", according to chief coach Michael Nobbs, and has been replaced at the helm by goalkeeper Bharat Chetri.
The right winger, who led India in the 2010 World Cup in Delhi, the Commonwealth Games (at Delhi) and the Asian Games (at Guangzhou) held later that year, would play for Delhi Wizards in the February 29-April 2 USD 2 million prize money WSH - a city-based franchise league floated jointly by Nimbus Sport and the Indian Hockey Federation.
He underwent an appendix operation on October 31, 2011 and had been advised a rest of six weeks before he played in the Test series against South Africa last month.
Rajpal, who has been capped 147 times and scored 52 goals, said he did not know his current state of fitness though he felt fine when he turned out against the Proteas in the Test series.
"I felt my fitness was okay when I played in the Test series. I would not know how fit I am unless I am given a proper fitness test. I am training daily for 2-3 hours, both on my fitness and skills, in Chandigarh," said the man, who led India to the 2010 title triumph in the Azlan Shah Cup tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia.
Rajpal did not think that he has been dropped after he was on the forefront of the players' revolt against what they considered as pittance (the award announced) by Hockey India, the body recognised by the International Hockey Federation, for winning the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy by beating Pakistan last year.
"I don't think the selectors would have dropped me for that reason," said the Grade A (Rs 10 lakh) signee for the inaugural WSH.
Rajpal was optimistic about India qualifying for this year's London Olympics through the February 18-26 qualifiers at Delhi.
"We have very good chances to qualify. Our main threats are Cananda and France who, I feel, can be tough opposition. We had a tough time against Canada when he went over there in 2009 and though we won the Test series against France in 2010 they proved to be a tough opposition," said Rajpal.
The player, who had opposed the holding of WSH though he was a signee when it was originally planned in December-January as he felt it would be a distraction before the Olympic qualifiers, however, feels the new dates for the tournament are fine.
"The timing (after the qualifiers) is right," he said.
The Times of India
Azlan’s double strike helps PQA sink WAPDA
NBP crush PAF 5-0, Army outplay PHF Academy 2-1
KARACHI: Ali Azlan Khan struck twice as Port Qasim Authority (PQA) shocked Pakistan WAPDA to register an exciting 3-2 victory in the 59th National Hockey Championship at Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium here on Friday. Talented Azlan, son of former Olympian and chief selector Hanif Khan, slammed both goals in the first session as PQA inflicted first defeat on a powerful WAPDA side.
Swift Azlan opened the account for his team in third minute with a superb field goal and added the second by converting a penalty stroke in 27th minute. Owais Khan netted the winner for PQA six minutes from the hooter. This was PQA’s second win in six games while WAPDA have now slipped to third position with 13 points in six games with one draw and one defeat.
Arsalan Qadir smashed four goals including a hat-trick as star-studded National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) crushed hapless Pakistan Air Force (PAF) 5-0. Arsalan completed his superb hat-trick in just 11 minutes with goals in 23rd, 28th, 33rd minutes and added one more in 42nd minute. Full-back Muhammad Ateeq scored the other goal for the winners. This was NBP’s fourth win in five matches with one defeat and they are placed at fourth position with 12 points. Rehan Butt scored both goals for WAPDA. The match locked 2-2 at lemon break.
Led by Pakistan captain Muhammad Imran, Pakistan Army continued their fine run in the event by chalking out their fifth win beating fighting PHF Academy 2-1. Imran blasted both goals by converting penalty corners. Muhammad Abrar Khan scored the consolation goal for the Academy team. Pakistan Army have now jumped to second spot with 15 points in six matches.
HBL vs Navy
PIA vs PAF
NBP vs Army
PQA vs SSGC
The Daily Times
Early birds Sapura
Debutants check in easily into last four
By JUGJET SINGH
BJSS’ Muhammad Hafif Elkan Nordin (centre) tries to evade USM-MSSP players in their match yesterday. Pic by Supian Ahmad
SAPURA became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of Division Two, when they outclassed Politeknik PKT 4-0 in Group A of the Milo-Junior Hockey League at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium yesterday.
The finalists from Division Two will play in the quarter-finals of the Overall title, and the early indications are that Sapura will also qualify for a shot at the Overall title.
Yesterday, Sapura took an early lead when Soffian Kamaruddin scored in the fifth minute, while Ahmaed Iqwan Shah increased their advantage in the 26th minute, before Soffian scored their third in the 28th minute.
After the breather, P. Ahrujunan scored a penalty corner goal in the 59th minute for a 4-0 win.
"The early goals gave us a good boost to control the match against the second placed team in our group. And now we are looking forward to playing in the semi-finals of Division Two.
"In the remaining matches, I will plan to keep the winning momentum and also prepare for the knock-out stage so that we can also play in the quarter-finals of the Overall title," said Sapura coach I. Vickneswaran.
In Division One, Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) scraped past USM-MSSP 4-3 while MBI Anderson beat Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) 5-2 to move up from third to second in the standings.
MBI-Anderson took the lead in the third minute through Haneffi Razali and they were 2-0 up in the 21st minute when Amirul Iman Razali scored.
But MBPJ reduced the deficit on the stroke of halftime when T. Ganeisha converted a penalty corner.
It turned out to be a minor setback for the Ipoh side as they went on to score three more goals off Najib Abu Hassan (40th, 52nd) and Azril Misron (49th) for a 5-1 lead before MBPJ got their consolation off Faiz Haiqal two minutes from time.
Division One: BJSS 4 USM-MSSP 3, TBSS 5 BJSS Juniors 0, MBPJ 2 MBI Anderson 5.
Division Two, Group A: Nur Insafi 3 MSSPP-USM Juniors 1, Kedah HA 4 Negri HA 0, Politeknik PKT 0 Sapura 4.
Division Two, Group B: Padang Midin 2 Yayasan Pahang 3, Tunas Pahang 1 Olak-PKT 2.
TODAY -- Division One: BJSS Juniors v USM-MSSPP (Ministry of Education, 6pm), MBPJ v SSTMI Juniors (Bukit Jalil, 7pm), BJSS v UniKL (Ministry of Education, 8pm).
Division Two, Group A: Negri HA v Anderson Juniors (Azlan Shah, 4pm), Sapura v Kelantan HA Juniors (KLHA, 6pm), KHA-MSNK MSSPP-USM Juniors (Alor Star, 4pm).
Division Two, Group B: Yayasan Pahang v Olak-PKT (Kuantan, 4pm), Malacca High School v KL Sports School (Malacca, 4pm), Datuk Taha v Tunas Pahang (Seremban II, 4pm).
New Straits Times
Anderson back in the title chase with win over MBPJ
KUALA LUMPUR: MBI-Anderson beat Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) 5-2 to reignite their title hopes in the MHC-MILO-NSC Junior Hockey League.
The win moved Anderson into second spot in the nine-team Division One with 10 points – just two behind leaders Thunderbolt. Second-placed UniKL are third but with a game in hand.
Anderson now have both the title favourites, Thunderbolt and UniKL, in their sights as they play these two teams next.
The Ipoh outfit underlined their title credentials with an efficient demolition of MBPJ at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Anderson’s goals were scored by Muhammad Haneffi Mohd Razali (third minute), Mohd Amirul Iman Razali (21st), Mohd Najib Abu Hassan (40th, 52nd) and Azril Misron (49th).
MBPJ got their goals through T. Ganeisha (35th) and Mohd Faiz Haiqdal (68th).
In another Division One match at the Ministry of Education Turf, former champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) were given a scare before edging MSS Penang-USM 4-3 with the winning goal coming five minutes from time.
Wan Mohd Hazrul Wan Nawi (21st, 31st), Mohd Redzhwan Jaafar (40th) and Mohd Fitri Ismail (65th) scored for BJSS while Izadi Ismail (13th), Mohd Azwar Abdul Rahman (41st) and Mohd Rahimi Iskandar Baharom (51st) replied for the Penang team.
Tunku Besar Secondary School from Tampin, meanwhile, recorded their first win in Division One whey they thrashed Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors 5-0 at the Seremban Two Hockey Stadium.
Two goals each by Mohd Irsyaduddin Abu Yaziz (10th, 37th) and Mohd Ikhwan Ishak (48th, 67th) and a Mohd Asraf Zulzali strike (49th) gave Tunku Besar the big win.
The Star of Malaysia