All the news for Thursday 2 August 2012
London 2012 Olympic Games - Hockey Competition Fixtures & Results
Wednesday 1 August 2012
Pool, Time, Match, Result
A 08:30 Spain vs. Australia 0-5
B 10:45 Belgium vs. Netherlands 1-3
B 13.45 New Zealand vs. India 3-1
A 16:00 South Africa vs. Great Britain 2-2
A 19:00 Pakistan vs. Argentina 2-0
B 21.15 Korea vs. Germany 0-1
Zeller rocket denies Korean charge
Van der Weerden to the rescue for the Dutch, New Zealand tops India, 3-1
2012 Olympic Games (men), London (Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)
Korea v. Germany 0-1 (0-1 half-time)
Christopher Zeller’s picture perfect drag-flick zoning in on the inside of the stick-side post in the 30th minute proved all that could separate Germany and Korea in the final game of the day. How they managed to maintain that advantage to the finish owed a huge amount to Max Mueller and Max Weinhold at the back while You Hyo Sik missed a couple of great chances to level the tie. It leaves Germany with two wins from two, level with the Netherlands, while Korea are three points back after the day’s play.
After Korea had started well, Germany grew into the first half. Oskar Deecke could not apply the full weight of a lusty swing to a decent chance while Benjamin Wess somehow missed at the back post from a right wing cross from two great openings. But when their second corner came along, awarded after Zeller’s reverse was bravely blocked by Kang Moon Kyu, the ace striker whizzing home his 155th international goal just a couple of centimetres from the apex of post and crossbar.
Korea stormed back into contention in the second period despite a series of cards as Kang Moon Kweon nudged into sideboard and Nam Hyun Woo pulled his corner-flick wide. Woon Kon Yeo, after a tricky run, drew the best from Weinhold before You Hyo Sik’s last gasp chance was the best of them but, after beating three men, proceeded to slice his shot from close to the spot to leave them wholly frustrated as Germany ran out time to hold on to the win.
For more info on KOR vs GER, click here
Belgium v. Netherlands 1-2 (first-half 0-0)
The Dutch earned their second win in as many outings with a 2-1 victory against Belgium thanks to the efforts of Mink van der Weerden who scored both goals for his team. The Dutch now lead Group B with six points, while Belgium is still looking for its first point of the Olympic tournament.
Despite dominating the first half, the Netherlands had to settle for a scoreless draw after 35 minutes The early wake-up call came for Belgium when Mink van der Weerden dinged a pentaly corner shot off the post. The play was quickly followed by a point blank chance for Billy Bakker, but Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch did his part to keep the underdogs in the game and keep things scoreless at the break.
There was little Vanasch could do when the scoring silence was broken seven minutes into the second half when van der Weerden ripped in an unstoppable penalty corner shot off the top cross bar for the 1-0 lead. It was ironic that Belgium fell behind in the second half as they played their best hockey of the game but kept missing the target by inches.
Belgium’s frustration finally came to an end with 11 minutes left in regulation when Jerome Dekeyser scored a textbook penalty corner. But the jubilee was short lived when van der Weerden struck again less than three minutes later. His initial strike on a penalty corner was blocked but landed right back on his stick when he then ensured the second shot found the mark,giving the Dutch the 2-1 advantage.
Belgium tried desperately to net the equalizer, but came up short in their second straight loss of the London Games.
For more info on BEL vs NED, click here
New Zealand vs. India 3-1 (half-time: 3-1)
India and New Zealand were both looking for their first points of this Olympic tournament and hoping to keep their semi-final hopes strong in today’s B pool game. New Zealand came out on top of the fast-paced, offensive game with a 3-1 win. New Zealand is now back in the hunt for a semi-final berth sitting on three points, while India must turn things around quickly with two losses in two games.
The teams didn’t waste any time getting down to business with an amazing sequence of action in the first 15 minutes. India struck hard and fast, earning a penalty corner on their first trip down the field. Specialist Sandeep Singh easily converted the chance for the 1-0 lead less than two minutes into play.
New Zealand was awarded a penalty corner on the ensuing play, but it dinged off the post. That misfire was atoned for 10 minutes later when Andrew Hayward looked like a short corner pro himself, easily sinking the 1-1 marker just 12 minutes into action.
The back-and-forth continued in the fast-paced game and it was clear that it was a wide-open affair. Phillip Burrows and Shea McAleese provided some thrifty give-and-go action with Nicholas Wilson eventually finishing the play after a diving pass from McAleese to open up a 3-1 lead late in the first half.
The second half was still speedy, but the goals came to a grounding halt. Despite being whistled for two yellow cards, India still put steady pressure on the New Zealand net, but could not finish their chances as New Zealand hung on for the 3-1 win.
Umpire Ged Curran was presented with the Golden Whistle before the match to recognize his 100th international match.
For more info on NZL vs IND, click here
Pakistan power past Argentina
Jackson rescues English point; Australia cruise to second big win
2012 Olympic Games (men), London. (Photo: Stanislas Brochier)
Pakistan vs Argentina 2-0 (1-0 half-time)
The raw power of Muhammad Imran and Sohail Abbas’ drag-flicks saw Pakistan pick up their first win of the Olympics, condemning Argentina to a second successive defeat. They fired home a corner in each half to see off the South American side who took their time to find any sort of rhythm and now prop up the group after two rounds of games.
With both teams setting up half-court, it meant that, despite a decent tempo, there was little goalmouth action to go around. Rehan Butt’s halfway line steal led to the first shot in anger in the 21st minute, drifting a bit too far left to leave a tough angle to truly test Juan Manuel Vivaldi. The lead was forged when Muhammad Waqas raced clear and was tripped with the circle nearing and – with Sohail Abbas on the sideline – Muhammad Imran dragged home despite Manuel Brunet’s desperate efforts.
The second half proved more open as Lucas Vila finally got in a first shot in anger in the 42nd minute, a rising drive from on his knees. But the margin was doubled when Pedro Ibarra petulantly cleared over his own endline. Sohail Abbas’ first effort from the resulting corner was brilliantly saved by Gonzalo Peillat but went dangerous offering the world’s greatest marksman another chance. He duly obliged with his 346thinternational goal.
From there, Argentina raised the tempo but the best they could do was to rattle the crossbar when Agustin Mazilli latched onto a corner rebound, pumping the ball into the ground so powerfully it rose up and hit the metalwork. Lucas Vila deflected Matias Paredes pass inches wide while another trio of corners went unconverted to see Pakistan home without too much fuss.
They now face a potentially huge game against hosts Great Britain, both sides currently tied on four points after two games while Argentina face Australia needing a win to keep alive their semi-final hopes.
For more info on PAK vs ARG, click here
South Africa vs Great Britain 2-2 (0-1 half-time)
Great Britain and South Africa’s closing ten minutes ran the gamut of emotions, providing enough entertainment to make up from an otherwise scrappy encounter to leave honours even. Ashley Jackson’s first half goal had the hosts ahead for much of the game but a response from Austin Smith and Johnny Robinson’s cracking low drive in the closing stages almost pulled off the biggest shock of the men’s competition to date. But a controversial late goal, credited to Jackson, brought the game back to 2-2 after a pulsating close.
Jackson provided the highlights of a low-key first half, his most notable contribution an excellent rising drag-flick into the roof of the net. He won the 14th minute corner himself with a piercing drive into the circle and he had Britain’s two other shots of note. The first he aerialled over, the other was a drag-flick, which Rassie Pieterse did well to palm away. For South Africa’s part, Thornton McDade nipped in to steal from Ben Hawes’ miscontrol but he was unable to find a route to goal with seconds left on the clock before the interval.
For the most part, Britain could not find the flow that marked their opening win over Argentina as the Africans played a compact game that shrivelled the space available. They began to show more intent as time wore on and, from their only corner while Jonty Clarke was in the sin bin, Smith stepped up to make it a real contest. Robinson bullied his way into space from the left edge for a thunderous lead goal, putting the raucous Riverbank crowd on tenterhooks.
British attacks became fraught and the South African defence desperate as they attempted to withstand a barrage. This stepped over with the replacement of James Fair for an extra outfield player and it paid dividends within seconds. Richard Smith’s angled ball into the mixer took a couple of deflections, one which Roel van Eert saw coming from Jackson’s stick. It certainly also hit a South African foot. They argued it hit Jackson’s back stick but the umpire’s referral showed nothing conclusive to rule out the goal.
And they might have won it with a final second penalty corner but Pieterse did well to block Jackson’s hat-trick bid. It provided a thrilling end to Barry Middleton’s 100th game in a British jersey as his side stay second in the group rankings while South Africa have their first point of the competition.
For more information on RSA vs GBR, click here
Spain v. Australia 0-5 (half-time 0-3)
Australia continues to live up to its billing as the big favorite of the men’s tournament. The current World #1 had no problems dispatching Spain today in a 5-0 decision.
Russell Ford opened the scoring 10 minutes into action when he scooped up his own rebound and popped the ball past Spanish goalkeeper Francisco Cortes. Less than five minutes later Matthew Butturini doubled the lead when Ford threaded a pass through the Spanish defense for the easy marker.
The news got worse for Spain when Pol Amat was led off the field mid-half with an apparent shoulder injury after falling over an Australian player. Spain was already without the services of Santiago Freixa, who is out for the rest of the tournament with a broken arm.
Australia continued to show no weakness in the second half as Glenn Turner promptly put in the 4-0 goal less than five minutes after the break to make it 4-0. In the final two minutes captain Edward Ockenden put the icing on the cake with the 5-0, top shelf, penalty corner goal. There was little hope for the Spaniards in the second half with both the big deficit and an Australian team that was firing on all pistons. That Spain limited Australia to just two goals in the second half was a moral victory as the damage could have been much worse.
Australia now has an impressive 11 goals in its first two outings and sits atop the Group A standings with six points. The outlook is not as bright for Spain, which has one point in its first two games and may now be without the service of yet another one of its key players depending on the severity of Amat’s injury.
For more information on AUS vs ESP, click here
Kookaburras Trounce Shocked Spain
Image: Grant Treeby
Australia has shocked Spain with a dominant 5-0 win at the London Olympics tonight.....another step towards glory!!
Australia 5 d Spain 0
Goals: Australia: Russell Ford FG 9m, Matthew Butturini FG 14m, Simon Orchard FG 29m, Glenn Turner FG 40m, Eddie Ockenden PC 69m.
Best Players: Simon Orchard, Matthew Butturini, Tim Deavin
The World number one men’s hockey team has blown away its opposition, defeating Spain 5-0, in a comprehensive display at Riverbank Arena today.
The Kookaburras fired from the outset and never looked like being challenged for the entire match.
Simon Orchard was best on field and had an impact right from the get go, executing skilful forward forays and setting up plenty of opportunities.
Victorian Russell Ford sent home the first goal with a brilliant deflection, 9 minutes in, after a great build up from co-captain Mark Knowles.
It was a great moment for the man they call Rusty, as it was his first goal at his first Olympics, all the more sweet after missing selection for Beijing four years ago.
Australia’s Matthew Butturini scored the second goal but it did not come without controversy when the Spaniards appeal for the video referral was rejected, as it was deemed they took too long to ask the question.
Amongst the heated debate one of the umpires pushed a Spanish player before play resumed.
Tim Deavin had a solid match controlling midfield and setting up plenty of opportunities and the Kookaburras continued to fire the ball into the circle all game, putting the Spaniards on the back foot.
After lining up without their captain Santi Frexia, who broke his arm in his opening match, Spain suffered another blow when another of its stars, Pol Amat was ruled out with a shoulder injury.
But despite Spain’s woes the Kookaburras did not let up and went to the break 3-0 up after Simon Orchard netted a great ball from Matt Gohdes.
A well-executed pass from Chris Ciriello found Glenn Turner one on one with the Keeper and the star striker made it look easy, slipping the ball past the keeper to seal Australia’s 4thgoal.
Eddie Ockenden rounded out the conversions with a brilliant deflection off Joel Carroll’s penalty corner strike, leaving Spain shell-shocked at the Kookaburra’s dominance.
Hockey Australia media release
World hockey champs Australia thrash Spain
LONDON: World champions Australia routed 2008 Olympic silver medallists Spain 5-0 in men's Olympic field hockey on Wednesday.
Opening up Spain's defence with frequent interchanges, Australia posted their second straight win to stay on top of Pool A with six points.
The Netherlands also took their points tally to six from two outings in Pool B after posting a 3-1 victory over Belgium in a tough contest where the last goal for the Dutch came in the final minute when their opponents were pressing for an equaliser and were playing without a goalkeeper.
Australia opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Russell Ford who deflected in a ball from Mark Knowles. Matthew Butturini was on target five minutes later after creating space.
Simon Orchard's field goal in the 29th minute gave Australia a 3-0 lead at half-time.
Glenn Turner collected a long pass on top of the circle to slam past the goalkeeper in the 40th minute and Edward Ockenden rounded off the scoring with a penalty corner conversion in the 69th minute.
Ockenden, Australia's captain, said the team had played better than in their 6-0 win over South Africa on Monday.
"The free-flowing play is what we like to do, but it doesn't always work out like that," said Ockenden.
Spain, who now have just one point from two matches, saw seasoned player Pol Amat going off the pitch after colliding with an Australian defender.
Amat's injury came after Spain's star striker, Santi Freixa, suffered a fracture in the last match against Pakistan. Freixa has been ruled out of the tournament and replaced on the Spanish team roster.
"We'll see what happens to Pol. Without him and Santi it might get tougher for us," said Spanish goalkeeper Francisco Cortes.
Mink van der Weerden converted two penalty corners for the Netherlands against Belgium.
After a goalless first half, he score seven minutes into the second session, but Belgium equalise with a penalty corner goal of their own by Jerome Dekeyser in the 58th minute.
Van der Weerden's second goal, four minutes later, put the Dutch ahead again, but they came under sustained pressure as Belgium opted for all-out attack, even taking their goalkeeper off the pitch.
The Dutch got their third goal with just 17 seconds left on the clock when Felix Denayer shot into an open goal on a breakaway move.
"We had enough control to take the goalkeeper off, but then gave it away," said Belgium coach Colin Batch. "We wanted a draw but we did not play that phase well."
The Times of India
Smith, Robinson score but Great Britain sneak a draw
By Mark Etheridge in London
A penalty corner strike by captain Austin Smith and a field goal by Jonty Robinson with less than 10 minutes to play saw South Africa go ahead 2-1 in their Olympic Games preliminary stage men’s hockey game at the Riverbank Arena on Wednesday.
But with three minutes to play a hotly disputed goal by Ashley Jackson, his second of the match, saw the hosts draw level and a brave save by goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse in the final second kept South Africa level.
British captain Barry Middleton had the first real chance in the fifth minute when he found himself unmarked with only Pieterse to beat but his lobbed strike went high and left of the SA goal.
South Africa’s first chance came just before the 10-minute mark through Lloyd Norris-Jones who broke down the centre-left channel before whipping a reverse-stick shot harmlessly across ‘keeper James Fair.
First penalty corner of the game came in the 13th minute and it was Jackson, at just 1.55 metres, the shortest player in the GB team, who sent a shot high into the SA goal to lead 1-0.
A second penalty went the hosts’ way in the 28th minute after a foul and once again it was Jackson who was the go-to man but on this occasion he blasted way over the crossbar.
With just under five minutes to the half-time hooter Wade Paton did some good work down the right to get within sniffing distance of the GB goal but the defence stood firm.
South Africa once again went close in the dying seconds but were unable to convert and went into the change-room trailing by that Jackson goal.
The second half started off much like the first with the SA side often pinned in their last quarter and forced to swap horizontal passes and unable to work their way up the field.
Six minutes into the half Andrew Cronje, who celebrated his 100th Test against Australia, was green-carded for a foul and had to sit out for two minutes.
Then Lloyd Norris-Jones went close for South Africa but Fair was up to the task of clearing.
Eleven minutes into the half some impressive build up by the South Africans saw Justin Reid-Ross get a cross in from the right but Thornton McDade could only deflect it narrowly wide of goal.
With 11 minutes to go and GB’s Jonty Clarke was green-carded and sent off for two minutes.
South Africa then got their first penalty corner of the match with 10 minutes to go and Smith made no mistake and levelled the scores.
Just four minutes later Robinson found himself with a bit of space on the edge of the D and rifled a cracker of a shot into the backboard.
And then it was Jackson’s second goal that finally saw things end level and probably a pretty fair reflection of a match that had seen Team GB dominate the attacks by and large.
SASCOC Road to London
Clark’s men get their first point at London Games
By Mark Etheridge in London
Gregg Clark was disappointed but happy in the same breath as our men’s hockey side secured their first points of the Olympic Games on Wednesday.
Captain Austin Smith’s men drew 2-2 with host nation Great Britain to pick up a valuable point in their Group A clash at the Riverbank Arena.
That after SA had trailed 1-0 at halftime, fought back with a strike by Smith and then gone ahead through Jonty Robinson.
But Great Britain scored a controversial equaliser with just minutes to go to share the spoils.
Said coach Clark: “It’s strange. We’re a little way off our best game so that’s good to know that we can get better but it’s dissapointing that wer’e not producing it right here at the Olympics.
“I would have liked a bit more go-forward but coming off that 6-0 loss to Australia a few days back we had to get ourselves into the tournament.”
Asked about the controversial goal that came from a shot outside the D and went to the third umpire as a video referral Clark was cautions.
“It’s tough to see from the big video screens on the game as its quite fuzzy on the video screen. It’s an inconclusive goal but disappointing. We couldn’t actually refer it as we had used our appeal it was the umpire that referred it.”
Said captain Smith: “You just have top hope the third umpire gets it right with all his different video screens.”
“It was nice to get our first point today but we were very slow out of the blocks and lacked fluency. Having said that Great Britain were also very well organised defensively.”
South Africa’s hero of the day was Rassie Pieterse, the keep saving a last-second shot that seemed destined to deny SA a point.
“I just saw the shot coming to my left and managed to get the tip of a glove to it and make the save.
“We were definitely pumped up out there today and it’s great to get a point off the fourth-ranked side.”
SASCOC Road to London
SA hockey men, Great Britain draw
The South African men's hockey team celebrate scoring a goal agains Great Britain. Gallo Images
London – The South African men's hockey team rallied from a goal down to end 2-2 against Great Britain in their Olympic pool A clash on Wednesday evening.
The South Africans came from a goal down, took the lead and then saw it slip away as they went in search of a result to get their campaign back on track.
SA had a poor start to their bid for a top 10 finish as they went down to world number one Australia on Monday, while Great Britain entered the match fresh from a 4-1 win over Argentina.
A tentative start to the opening period saw both sides feeling each other out with most of the possession heading Britain's way.
Ashley Jackson opened the scoring for Great Britain 13 minutes into the clash, through a penalty corner penalty corner which sailed past SA goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse and high into the net.
The South Africans enjoyed a better period after conceding the opener, with the majority of the possession heading the world number 12's way, but they struggled to make the decisive pass in the final third, as opportunities went begging.
SA were by no means out of the contest at the break and appeared more responsive in the opening minutes of the second half as they looked to improve on giving away unforced errors in the middle of the turf.
Pieterse enjoyed another superb outing as he made several saves to keep his side in the match, as Great Britain became increasingly frustrated.
With 44 minutes down, SA spent more time in their opponents area, but clear chances were hard to come by as the Great Britain defence held firm.
Their sustained pressure resulted in SA's first penalty corners of the match with 11 minutes left on the clock.
Captain Austin Smith made no mistake as he scored SA's first goal of the Olympics from the penalty corner.
Jonty Robinson made it 2-1 a short while later to put SA in the lead for the first time in the fixture.
His celebrations were short-lived, however, as GB equalised with three minutes to play.
A nervy end to the game concluded with a PC awarded to Great Britain in the last minute which Pieterse saved to end the match on level terms.
SA next face Spain on Friday, looking for more positive results as they attempt to finish off the bottom of the table.
Great Britain fight back against South Africa to earn draw
In Great Britain’s second game of their Olympic campaign they took on South Africa, who coming into the tournament were the lowest ranked side at twelfth. It was a hard fought encounter, which saw both sides come out with a share of the spoils at 2-2. The result means that Great Britain are left second in their pool to Australia who had earlier demolished Spain 5-0.
The first half saw a solitary goal from East Grinstead’s Ashley Jackson as he fired home an unstoppable drag flick before the break. In the second half South Africa hit back twice through Austin Smith and Jonathan Robinson before a deft deflection from Jackson pulled the score line back to even at 2-2.
Today’s match marked Great Britain Captain Barry Middleton’s 100th cap for Great Britain. Middleton now overtakes 1988 gold medal winning hockey legend Sean Kerly in the list of all time GB cap winners and moves him to sixth overall.
Speaking after the game, East Grinstead’s Middleton said, “We probably let ourselves down a little bit with the performance most of the game. I think if we had really gone for it like we did in the last few minutes and shown the determination of that through the whole game I think we’d have probably won it. It was good character from us to come back and nick a draw but it’s disappointing we didn’t steal it at the end.”
“The tournament is seven games and I think there’ll be spells where we do go up and down. If this is our worst game of the tournament and we take a draw out of it I don’t think that’s the worst thing.”
After a quiet opening spell to the match, Great Britain were given an opportunity to open the scoring in the fifth minute following a quick-fire three man counter-attack from inside their own half. Jackson found his East Grinstead club team-mate Middleton unmarked in the circle, but the forward struck his shot agonisingly wide of South Africa’s goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse’s right hand upright.
However, Great Britain delighted their supporters in the 14th minute when they scored the first goal of the game. Chief playmaker Jackson evaded two tackles before forcing a smart save from Pieterse, only for the umpire to award the first penalty corner for an earlier South African infringement. Jackson stepped up at the set-piece to slam the ball into the top left hand corner of the goal, giving Pieterse no chance and putting Great Britain into the lead at 1-0.
South Africa’s first real chance of the game fell to Lloyd Norris Jones in the 17th minute. The 26 year-old engineered free space for himself on the right hand side of the circle but disappointed with a scuffed attempt that failed to trouble Cannock’s James Fair in the Great Britain goal.
The only other chance of an otherwise low key first half saw a deliberate foul on Surbiton’s Rob Moore lead to Jackson’s second penalty corner of the game being brilliantly tipped over the bar by Pieterse.
Despite South Africa controlling possession during the opening period of the second half, Great Britain still continued to create goal-scoring opportunities, with close range chances falling to Surbiton’s Matt Daly and Reading’s Nick Catlin. However, Pieterse was quick to offer an answer to both attempts, making important saves that denied Great Britain’s exertions in extending their lead.
With the match entering its final stages, South Africa eventually made their possession count by scoring an equalising goal. A classy pirouette in the circle by Wade Paton led to a foot infringement by Wimbledon’s Ben Hawes and South Africa captain Austin Smith drilled the resulting penalty corner low to Fair’s left hand side to put the scores back on parity at 1-1 in the 60th minute.
Shortly after, South Africa stunned the home crowd when they took the lead in the 64th minute with a goal from Jonathan Robinson. The midfielder picked up the ball on the left hand side of the circle and his superb strike low into the left hand corner put the South Africans 2-1 up.
However, with two minutes to go until the final hooter, there was still time for further twists in the now unfolding drama. A fizzing long-range hit by Loughborough Students’ Richard Smith was cleverly nicked by Jackson onto a South African foot, deflecting the ball into back of the net in the 68th minute. With the home nation’s players convinced they’d equalised at 2-2, the umpire had players and spectators alike left in suspense as he called for a video referral to adjudge if the goal was legal.
With replays showing that the goal was legitimate, Great Britain pressed ahead for the winner from the re-start. East Grinstead’s Iain Lewers won a last gasp penalty corner for the home side, but with Jackson’s attempt on goal expertly saved by Pieterse, both sides walked away with a share of the spoils and a point each.
Great Britain now have four points from two games, leaving them in second place behind Australia in Pool A. Their next match will be against Pakistan at 16.00 on Friday 3 August at the Riverside Arena.
Meanwhile, Great Britain women will be aiming to continue their excellent start to the hockey competition when they play Belgium tomorrow night at 19.00.
SOUTH AFRICA 2 (0)
Austin Smith 60’ (PC)
Jonathan Robinson 64’ (F)
GREAT BRITAIN 2 (1)
Ashley Jackson 14’ 68’ (PC, F)
GREAT BRITAIN SQUAD v SOUTH AFRICA
Name (Club) Position
James Fair (Cannock) Goalkeeper
Ben Hawes (Wimbledon) Defender
Iain Lewers (East Grinstead) Defender
Richard Smith (Loughborough Students) Defender
Alastair Wilson (Beeston) Defender
Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead) Midfielder
Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) Midfielder
Nick Catlin (Reading) Midfielder/Forward
Rob Moore (Surbiton) Midfielder/Forward
James Tindall (Surbiton) Forward
Barry Middleton (HGC (Netherlands) ) Midfielder/Forward
Dan Fox (Hampstead & Westminster) Defender
Iain Mackay (Reading) Forward
Jonty Clarke (Reading) Forward
Matt Daly (Surbiton) Forward
Harry Martin (Old Loughtonians) Midfielder
Great Britain Hockey media release
Great Britain score late equaliser to salvage 2-2 draw against South Africa in men's hockey
By Tom Rowley
Testing times: Great Britain's Nicholas Catlin tests the South Africa defence during the match Photo: EPA
Britain’s players admitted they let themselves down when they could only draw 2-2 with South Africa, the lowest ranked side in the men’s hockey tournament.
The home team had been expected to perform well after their opening 4-1 win over Argentina on Monday but looked like losing against South African opposition for only the second time in Olympic history until Ashley Jackson levelled the score with his second goal two minutes from time.
“I’m really disappointed, really annoyed,” the East Grinstead midfielder said after the match. “It was not a good performance today.
“No excuses. We gave them chances and they took them. They shouldn’t be able to compete with us. We didn’t turn up, and let them run the game.”
Yet so dominant were Britain in the first 20 minutes that even South Africa’s hockey association Twitter feed was in mutinous mood. “Too many mistakes,” was its pithy verdict at half-time.
Britain signalled their intent in the 13th minute with a penalty corner, when Iain Lewers pushed the ball out for Ashley Jackson to score with a trademark flick. And in the 19th minute there was more trouble for South Africa as captain Austin Smith was handed a green card and given two minutes in the sin-bin. The hosts won a second penalty corner in the 27th minute but this time Jackson was denied by South African goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse.
But that was about it from the increasingly ragged British, who were sent reeling when South Africa produced a quickfire double in the last 10 minutes. From their first corner of the game captain Austin Smith planted a low flick inside goalkeeper James Fair’s left-hand post, before Jonathan Robinson took advantage of sluggish home defence to fire in from the top of the circle.
GB coach Jason Lee replaced Fair with outfielder Ali Wilson in desperate search of an equaliser, which mercifully came seconds later. Richard Smith fired in a cross from the left and Jackson popped up in front of his marker to get the minutest of touches, so negligible it was almost indecipherable on the television replay.
For captain Barry Middleton there was little to celebrate despite earning his 100th GB cap. “We probably let ourselves down a little bit with performance most of the game,” he said. “We definitely want to play better than we did today and pick it up.”
That improvement needs to begin when Middleton and Co face Pakistan on Friday.
GB hockey men scrape draw at Olympics
Britain's Ashley Jackson (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring against South Africa during the men's Group A hockey match at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Riverbank Arena (Reuters)
Great Britain's men's hockey team let their half-time lead slip and were lucky to draw 2-2 in a thriller against South Africa.
And defender Iain Lewers – who made his England debut in 2011 – admitted that they were fortunate to draw the match.
“We showed a lot of fighting spirit and we dug in. But I think we were lucky to even pick up a point in that match,” he said.
Ashley Jackson opened the scoring for Britain in an entertaining Group A encounter at the Riverbank Arena courtesy of a trademark drag flick into the top left corner of the goal, giving the South African goalkeeper no chance.
The high intensity pressing game exhibited by Britain in their opening Olympic match, a 4-1 win over Argentina, was missing, but they held their lead at half-time.
South Africa dominated the second half, and eventually made their dominance pay as captain Austin Smith despatched a low drag flick into the bottom right corner with just ten minutes to go.
One goal then became two as South Africa took the lead with five minutes to go, Jonathan Robinson firing an unstoppable shot into the bottom right corner, from the top of the semi-circle.
This sparked Britain into life and they snatched a controversial equaliser with just two minutes left on the clock.
Richard Smith drove a low ball into the area which Jackson appeared to deflect into the net to grab his second.
South Africa weren’t happy with the decision and appealed to the umpire but they had already used their team referral earlier in the game.
After conferring with his colleague, Roel van Eert called for an umpire’s review.
The evidence was inconclusive as to whether Harry Martin had actually touched the ball inside the D, so the goal to Great Britain stood.
Midfielder Glenn Kirkham felt that the team had all too often let the South Africans dictate play, but after the controversial referee decision – to allow Team GB a late goal – he remained grateful about video technology.
“At times in that second half we gave them too much time on the ball, allowed them to increase their play and allowed them back into it,” said Kirkham, who playing in his second Olympics.
“Obviously we would like it to be the correct decision every single time, but the umpires have got a really tough job. The ball’s so quick moving around. You do need that TV help at times.”
"After this performance, I'm pleased with the result and see it as one point gained as opposed to three lost (if Britain had not equalised). We struggled with South Africa's attitude," said British coach Jason Lee.
Australia showed why they are the hot favourites to win the Olympic men's hockey gold when they ripped apart a Spanish side visibly shaken by losing to injury a second top striker in as many games.
The World Champions beat Beijing runners-up Spain 5-0 in a game overshadowed by injury to 34-year-old Pol Amat.
The Spanish striker fell over an Australian player in the 23rd minute. He was led off the field with medical staff holding his arm and taken to hospital.
The Spanish hockey federation later confirmed Amat had dislocated his shoulder and would be out for at least two to three weeks, a serious set-back to the medal ambitions of Spain who were already missing their captain.
Santi Freixa, who denied Australia a place in the Beijing final four years ago by scoring the semi-final's only goal, broke his left arm in the team's 1-1 draw against Pakistan two days earlier.
"The three games without Pol and Santi will be tough for us, but we have to play. We will have to win and reach the semifinals. We will have to," said Spanish goalkeeper Francisco Cortes after the game.
Australia had made a strong start, taking the lead with a well-placed flick by Russell Ford in the 10th minute, followed less than five minutes later by a Matthew Butturini goal from seven metres and Spain never recovered.
Despite encouragement to move forward, the Spanish side, down 3-0 at half time, kept all 11 players in their own half during most of the second 35 minutes of the game and just managed to limit Australia to two more goals.
Australia now has an impressive 11 goals from just two matches and leads Group A with six points. Britain's draw keeps them second in that group. Two teams from each group progress to the semi-finals.
The hosts got off to a strong start when captain Barry Middleton - earning his 100th cap - flicked a ball just wide after a quick break in the fifth minute.
Jackson brace gives GB the draw
Ashley Jackson was a constant threat to South Africa and scored both Team GB's goals
Great Britain's men escaped with a late 2-2 draw against South Africa after it seemed they would pay dearly for not making the most of their early advantage.
Having taken the lead through Ashley Jackson's penalty corner, they were staring at a defeat two minutes from time only for the East Grinstead midfielder to pop up with the slightest of touches to equalise with his second of the match.
Even then it required a video review to ensure the 24-year-old had actually deflected in Richard Smith's driven cross.
While a point may be something of a disappointment against the lowest-ranked side in the tournament, the fact they were able to snatch a draw - having briefly withdrawn goalkeeper James Fair in order to gain numerical outfield supremacy - was significant.
Captain Barry Middleton, on his 100th GB cap and 259th appearance overall, should have put away an early chance when he was played through by Rob Moore but he flicked wide. Jackson made no mistake with a 14th-minute penalty corner, won by himself after a good run down the right.
Lloyd Norris-Jones missed a good opportunity to equalise but skewed wide while Jackson smashed a reverse-stick shot over from the top of the circle.
Jackson was in set-piece action again in the 28th minute when his flick was well tipped over by goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse but that was really the last of the action until the match entered the final 10 minutes when South Africa produced a five-minute double which stunned GB.
From their first corner of the game captain Austin Smith planted a low flick inside Fair's left-hand post before Jonathan Robinson fired home from the top of the circle after the defence was slow to close him down.
Jackson deflected a Middleton cross wide before coach Jason Lee took off Fair and sent on Beeston defender Ali Wilson as kicking back.
Within seconds GB grabbed their equaliser as Richard Smith fired in a cross from the left and Jackson popped up in front of his marker to get the minutest of touches, so negligible it was almost indecipherable on the television replay, to give the departing Riverbank Arena crowd a finale - if not a match - to remember.
Pakistan outclass Argentina 2-0 to remain in hunt
Australia trounce Spain 5-0, Dutch down Belgium 2-1, New Zealand shock India 3-1, South Africa-Britain play 2-2 draw
By Muhammad Ali
LONDON: Pakistan outclassed Argentina 2-0 at Riverbank Arena, Olympic Sports Park here on Wednesday to keep their hopes alive for a place in the semifinals of the London Olympics 2012 Men’s Field Hockey Tournament. The scorers for the winners were Mohammad Imran (30th minute) and skipper Sohail Abbas (44th minute). Both goals were converted through penalty corners. With this victory Pakistan earned three points and are now placed at third spot (with four points) in the Pool A table after Australia and Britain, having six and four points respectively. The greenshirts will now face Britain in their next contest on Friday (tomorrow). In other matches earlier in the day, Australia trounced Spain 5-0, Netherlands overcame Belgium 2-1, New Zealand shocked India 3-1 while South Africa played 2-2 draw with Britain.
Australia trounce Spain 5-0 : World number one Australia blew away Spain 5-0 in Pool A. The Kookaburras fired from the outset and never looked like being challenged for the entire match. Simon Orchard was best on field and had an impact right from the get go, executing skilful forward forays and setting up plenty of opportunities.
Russell Ford sent home the first goal with a brilliant deflection, 9 minutes in, after a great build up from co-captain Mark Knowles. Matthew Butturini scored the second goal but it did not come without controversy when the Spaniards appeal for the video referral was rejected, as it was deemed they took too long to ask the question. Amongst the heated debate one of the umpires pushed a Spanish player before play resumed.
After lining up without their captain Santi Frexia, who broke his arm in his opening match, Spain suffered another blow when another of its stars, Pol Amat was ruled out with a shoulder injury. But despite Spain’s woes the Kookaburras did not let up and went to the break 3-0 up after Simon Orchard netted a great ball from Matt Gohdes.
A well-executed pass from Chris Ciriello helped Glenn Turner slip the ball past the keeper to seal Australia’s 4th goal. Eddie Ockenden rounded out the conversions with a brilliant deflection off Joel Carroll’s penalty corner strike, leaving Spain shell-shocked at the Kookaburra’s dominance.
Dutch score second victory : The Dutch earned their second win in as many outings with a 2-1 victory against Belgium thanks to the efforts of Mink van der Weerden who scored both goals for his team. The Dutch now lead Group B with six points, while Belgium are still looking for their first point of the Olympic tournament. Despite dominating the first half, the Netherlands had to settle for a scoreless draw after 35 minutes. It was ironic that Belgium fell behind in the second half as they played their best hockey of the game but kept missing the target by inches. Jerome Dekeyser scored a textbook penalty corner for Belgium.
New Zealand stun India 3-1 : India turned in an insipid performance in front of a huge crowd at the Riverbank Arena and lost 1-3 to New Zealand in Pool B match. Having staged a good fight against former Olympic champions Holland on Monday, one did expect that the Indian team would play well on Wednesday. A goal up in early minutes through Sandeep Singh turned out to be very misleading. After that against the Kiwis, dressed in smart black, they could do little in either half. None of the Indian forwards showed any cohesion. On a pleasant afternoon when the floodlights were turned on because of a heavy cloud cover, the Kiwis were razor sharp on the field. Having beaten the Indians 5-1 in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in May this year, they knew what to do.
Andrew Hayward, Phillip Burrows and Nicholas Wilson were the stars for the Kiwis with one goal apiece.
Jackson earns Britain draw with South Africa: Hosts Britain and South Africa played a 2-2 drawn game in Pool A. Britain’s men let a long-held lead slip and were thankful to escape with the draw. After winning their opening group match, Britain went ahead in their second game through a penalty corner from Ashley Jackson in the 14th minute. But with 10 minutes remaining, South Africa struck with two quick goals from Austin Smith and Jonathan Robinson. But a controversial late goal, credited to Jackson, brought the game back to 2-2 after a pulsating close.
The Daily Times
Imran, Abbas guide Pakistan past Argentina
Pakistan’s Muhammad Imran (L) scores against Argentina. -Photo by AFP
KARACHI: Pakistan recorded their first win in the hockey tournament at the London Olympics on Wednesday as they beat Argentina 2-0.
Mohammad Imran and captain Sohail Abbas scored as Pakistan swept past Argentina at the Riverbank Arena in London. Argentina, on the other hand, maintained a good rhythm but could not convert their chances into goals.
Imran gave the Greenshirts the lead in the first half as he scored from a penalty corner in the 29th minute which ensured that Pakistan ended the first half on top. The second half saw Abbas miss a chance after he failed to convert a penalty corner but the expert drag-flicker made up for that within minutes as he doubled Pakistan’s lead through another penalty corner in the 43rd minute.
Argentina saw two penalty corners taken by Pedro Ibarra and Manuel Brunet saved by Imran Shah as they failed to give a concrete response to Pakistan.
Pakistan held Spain to a 1-1 draw in their opening match at the Olympics and are now behind Australia who lead the standings and level with hosts Great Britain with four points but behind on goal difference.
The Greenshirts next play the hosts on Friday at 20:00 PST.
A 3-1 win for the Black Sticks Men against India
The Black Sticks Men have beaten India 3-1 in their second game of the Olympics at the Riverbank Arena in London today.
Long-time player Ryan Archibald said the team were disappointed after losing their first match and were determined to win today.
“We brought our aggression and our physicality to the game and we had a must-win attitude and there was probably some desperation in there too," said Archibald.
It was a game full of action which saw the Indian’s have 10 attempts on goal and the Kiwis have 13 shots – with six penalty corners being awarded to the Black Sticks.
"The boys played very well in the first half. I thought the second half was much more even, we needed to score a goal to break their game up but we were unable to do that. At the same time India had opportunities in the second half," said head coach Shane McLeod.
The game got off to a quick start when at just 90 seconds into the match India went ahead after Sandeep Singh, who is world-renowned for his powerful flicking, converted an opportunity from a penalty corner.
New Zealand fans did not have to wait long as Black Stick Andy Hayward replied 11 minutes later when he successfully converted a penalty corner with his trademark drag flick.
Hayward was again involved in the lead-up to New Zealand's second goal, his flick was partially saved by Indian goalkeeper Bharat Kumar Chetri, but the ball ricocheted into the body of a player who was standing on the goal line, leading to a penalty that Phil Burrows slid under Chetri’s outstretched right hand.
The third goal came in the 29th minute from Nick Wilson following some brilliant passing combinations from Burrows and Shea McAleese.
Although the Indians looked more dominant and created more opportunities in the second half, the Black Sticks scrambled on defence and the half time score of 3-1 remained unchanged.
"The message was to have a good time out there, play the hockey we know we can play, throw the ball around and work really hard for each other. We did that today and if you work hard you get the results," says Burrows.
The Black Sticks Men play their next game against the third ranked Netherlands side at 9.45pm on Friday 3 August.
“They are always a tough side to play, one of the powerhouses of hockey. I think we can beat them, I think our pool is really wide open, everyone can beat everyone. We just have to play our game and see who wins on the day," said Burrows.
The Black Sticks Men will then play eleventh ranked Belgium and second ranked Germany in pool play.
New Zealand 3 (Andy Hayward, Phil Burrows, Nick Wilson) India 1 (Sandeep Singh). HT: 3-1
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Black Sticks men bounce back, defeat India
SIMON PLUMB IN LONDON
STRONG SHOWING: Blair Hopping in action for the Black Sticks in their win over India. Getty Images
The men's Black Sticks have scored a much-needed 3-1 win over India.
Goals from Andy Hayward, Phil Burrows and Nick Wilson secured the men's hockey team's first victory of the 2012 Olympic Games - and critical points after a disappointing 2-0 opening loss to Korea
But the match could hardly have gotten off to a worse start for Shane McLeod's side.
Conceding a penalty corner in the first minute, Sandeep Singh swept a powerful drag flick into the top right corner of Kyle Pontifex's net.
The Black Sticks forced their own penalty corner 90 seconds later, which saw Simon Child's close-range deflection ping off the post to safety, but it was India who continued to look more threatening in the opening exchanges.
In the 13th minute the Kiwis found some crucial momentum when Hayward found the net from a penalty corner.
The goal jolted the Black Sticks into life - so much so that over the next 18 minutes they'd go 3-1 up.
Phil Burrows buried a penalty stroke in the 26th minute after an Indian body inadvertently blocked a shot on the goal line, and five minutes later, Nick Wilson doubled the lead from a Shea McAleese cross.
At halftime, the Black Sticks were in control of a scoreboard which was perhaps slightly unjust on India. But by the end of the second 35 minutes, New Zealand had proven good value for the win.
An appalling piece of behaviour by Sardar Singh soon after the restart saw him deservedly yellow-carded.
When the hook of his stick became entwined with that of Kiwi captain Dean Couzins, Singh broke loose and intentionally flicked his stick out at Couzins, striking him in the head.
Discipline would prove to be something of problem for the Indians in this encounter, with Manpreet Singh also serving a seven-minute sin-binning.
New Zealand used their numerical advantage to slow the pace of the game significantly, and while their play didn't become negative, tactics turned to strangling the Indians out of the match with plenty of cross-flank passing.
Chances from open play became scarce with a raft of penalty corners the best either could produce.
With four minutes to play Pontifex's post was rattled cueing the Kiwis to simply play a possession game and the clock was soon run down.
The next game for the New Zealand men's team is against the world's third best team, the Netherlands, on Friday at 9.45pm (NZT).
Tough times ahead for Nobbs & Co.
The look on their faces said it all as the Indian hockey team walked out of the pitch after thei 1-3 loss to New Zealand in the Group B encounter at the Riverbank Arena in London.
Heads bowed, shoulders down, sullen faces.. it showed what they had missed on the day.
New Zealand, ranked seventh in the world, weren't the most easiest teams to face, but for India to keep their hopes intact, a win on Wednesday was necessary.
Chief coach Michael Nobbs blamed the forwardline for "missing the chances", but there will be bigger questions that the team and the coaching staff will have to answer. True, India were not expected to win a medal at the 31st Olympic Games -- a tournament they dominated in the past -- but a respectable display, stomach to fight and playing free attacking hockey was the need of the hour.
Barring the 15 minutes of the second half against the Netherlands, and the 10 minutes of authoritative play against the New Zealand today, the team have looked woefully out of depth.
"We will do a video assessment tonight," said coach Nobbs after the match. "There was a lot of missing and the players thought they had won the game in the first three minutes when they scored. There were still 67 minutes to go, and I think everyone forgot it."
Playing at the big stage -- a reason Nobbs had cited after the opening game -- did not hold any water today. New Zealand, though fit and agile, should not have beyond India's reach.
Vice-captain and midfielder Sardar Singh said the forwardline will need to be more focused in the attacking circle.
"I think all of us are repeating the same mistakes again and again. We cannot be lethargic or go easy at this level," Sardar said.
"You do not get many chances at this level and we will need to be much more sharper and focused."
India now face defending champions Germany day after, and any chance of making it to the top six will end if they lose this match.
Nobbs said the coaching staff will take corrective measures ahead of the next match. "It has been a story of missed chances.. or may be we are unable to execute our plans well. We will need to be more thorough," he said.
Indian hockey team get the Black Stick
By Mihir Vasavda
India began their match against New Zealand like lions, but walked back with tails between their legs. A 1-3 defeat to New Zealand at the Riverbank Arena inside the Olympic park here on Wednesday all but ended an optimist’s hopes of a podium finish and severely dented coach Michael Nobbs’s desire of finishing in the top six.
For India to stay alive in the tournament, it was necessary to beat a New Zealand side that has been improving at a rapid pace over the last three years. The loss to Holland on Monday had already put pressure on the Bharat Chetri-led side to win or draw rest of their matches.
And they began the match as men possessed. No sooner the referee blew the whistle than India took the game to the Black Sticks, earning a penalty corner in the opening two minutes. Sandeep Singh put India ahead, much to the delight of the huge Indian fan base here.
This would, however, be as good as it got for India. The players soon went into the shell, surrendering themselves to New Zealand. At a time when they should have pressed for the second, they defended deep, too cautious to protect their lead. So much for attacking hockey, Nobbs!
New Zealand quickly sensed India’s reluctance to venture forward and played with a high defence line. Ten minutes within conceding the goal, they were rewarded with one of their own. Andrew Hayward did the honours for his side from a penalty corner. New Zealand took the match by the scruff of the neck. They parked themselves just outside India’s 30-yard circle, waiting for an opening. In the 24th minute, they went ahead after Phillip Burrows converted a penalty stroke, which was earned after the ball hit Bimal Lakra’s body on the goal line. The Kiwi’s doubled their advantage in the 29th minute through a well-worked field goal scored by Nicholas Wilson.
The rest of the match was a classic exhibition of India’s wastefulness. Nobbs has been pledging that he’ll make India play in their original way, attacking brand of hockey, but the forwards have let him down each time. The second half saw India controlling the possession, but doing very little with it. SV Sunil lacked the pace that has made him such a big threat for the opponents; so well marked was Sardar Singh that he could barely make an impression. Sardar, in fact, had to fall back several times to bail the defence out of trouble.
But the biggest letdown for India were its forwards. Shivendra Singh and Tushar Khandker, the two seasoned strikers, failed to rise to the occasion. On many occasions, there was no player on the far post to meet a cross. While on the others, they just didn’t have enough strength to muscle past the Kiwis.
India play Germany on Friday. That match would decide which position India will fight for next weekend.
India suffers yet another reverse
Kiwis better organised in midfield and deep defence; Big win for Australia
New Zealand's Ryan Archibald, right, and India's Manpreet Singh vie for the ball during their men's hockey preliminary round match at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Wednesday in London.
New Zealand chalked up a 3-1 win over India which thus slid to its second defeat in as many matches in the Olympic men’s hockey competition here on Wednesday.
India, after a sensational start when Sandeep Singh converted a second minute penalty corner, faded away as the Kiwis came back strongly with goals by Andrew Hayward (13th), Phillip Burrows (24th) and Nicolas Wilson (29th), and then nursed the lead to the end.
It was a very disappointing performance by the Indians who just did not have the pace or power to overwhelm the Kiwis. Rather, age-old errors seemed to creep into India’s game with badly positioned forwards inside the striking circle, over-dribbling and lack of variety in their attacks.
In the deep defence, too, the Indians looked a step slower than the Kiwis and, more often than not, struggled to get the ball away from the danger zone. So much so that for the second-half coach Michael Nobbs replaced captain and goalkeeper Bharat Chetri with Sreejesh, who justified the substitution with a couple of good saves.
In contrast, the Black Sticks, who had beaten India 5-1 en route to winning the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia earlier this summer, appeared better organised in the midfield and deep defence while the forwards bided time for the long balls to counter attack.
In fact, the Kiwi defenders seemed to read the Indian attacks rather well and had enough men behind the ball to stall the rivals.
India, which went down 2-3 to the Netherlands on Monday, promised a lot in the opening minutes when it forced a penalty corner that Sandeep Singh converted, picking a brilliant angle and height to slot the drag-flick into the net.
However, the Kiwis kept their composure and gradually came back into the match while the Indians backpedalled at the first sign of counter-attack and provided a lot of space for the Black Sticks to make their moves.
The Kiwis, who lost 0-2 to Korea in their opening game, accepted the invitation and began to attack in waves and forced two penalty corners, the second of which Hayward converted for the equaliser.
MASTERFUL PERFORMANCE: New Zealand's Blair Hilton celebrates with teammates after scoring against India.
The Kiwis sustained the pressure and, with their forwards slipping through a rather porous Indian defence, it was only a matter of time before they scored. Another Hayward penalty corner attempt saw the ball deflecting on to defender Birendra Lakra’s body off goalkeeper Bharat Chetri’s stick resulting in a penalty stroke that Burrows converted.
The pattern continued and the Kiwis scored again on a counter-attack from the right wing as Wilson put Shea McAleese through and then was on hand to put home the return pass to put New Zealand 3-1 up.
The Indians, apart from their opening spell, were hardly in the frame except during some sporadic raids that were easily repelled by a well-structured Kiwi defence.
The second-half was rather scrappy with the Kiwis more intent on pegging the opponents inside their own half while the Indians seemed to wilt under ceaseless pressure, unable to put together an effective attack.
Also, two yellow card suspensions in this session, first Sardar Singh for retaliation and Manpreet Singh for deliberate infringement, did not help India’s cause while Sandeep Singh failed to convert two back-to-back penalty corners in the last quarter while Raghunath’s attempt came off the post in the dying minutes.
The results: Men: Group A: Australia 5 bt Spain 0..
Group B: The Netherlands 3 bt Belgium; New Zealand 3 (Andrew Hayward, Phillip Burrows and Nicolas Wilson) bt India 1 (Sandeep Singh).
India slump to second successive defeat against New Zealand
India's semi final hopes in Olympic Games men's hockey competition were dealt a severe blow when the side slumped to a humiliating 1-3 defeat against New Zealand here today.
Defensive lapses led to the Bharat Chetri-led side's second successive loss in Group B, having opened their campaign on Monday with a 2-3 defeat against formidable the Netherlands.
The second straight loss in the tough six-team pool has put their campaign off the track and the team will now have a tough task to make the last four stage.
Conceding soft penalty corners and allowing the rival strikers plenty of leeway inside the circle, India's defence allowed New Zealand to call the shots even after taking an early lead.
Sandeep Singh's second minute penalty corner conversion kept India ahead for 10 minutes before the 'Black Sticks' hit back to score three goals in the first session through Andrew Hayward (12th minute), Phillip Burrows (24th) and Nicholas Wilson (29th) to leave the Indians shattered.
India's efforts to bounce back in the second session saw them frequently break into the rival circle, but were unable to change the scoreline.
New Zealand, winners of the Azlan Shah Cup two months ago, had lost their opening match 0-2 to South Korea, while India suffered a 2-3 reversal against The Netherlands, who now lead the Group B table with six points from two matches after posting a 3-1 victory over Belgium today.
New Zealand had beaten India 5-1 in their last meeting in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh (Malaysia).
India opened scoring in second minute through a penalty corner conversion by Sandeep, making the most out of the first Indian raid on the New Zealand citadel.
New Zealand responded by forcing their first penalty corner in the third minute, but the Indian goal had a close shave as Simon Child's deflection from Andrew Hayward's shot rebounded off the horizontal.
Where is the team combination?
Despite an early lead nothing seemed to work for the Indian team, says former India hockey captain
What's happening to India's team combination! It was not on view in the match against New Zealand. The display was not something to boast about.
India did secure an early lead through the second minute penalty corner conversion, but what happened thereafter was a big surprise. These boys have been training together for a long time, and still there was nothing like a combination on display.
This was supposed to be a must-win situation for India considering the defeat the team had suffered in the opening game against Netherlands. New Zealand were in a similar situation, but look at the difference in the manner the two teams played this match.
India did not seem to be on the pitch long enough as a combination with a purpose of scoring goals. Every second pass went astray and mostly the balls were hit forward aimlessly.
The shots often went straight to New Zealand's defenders, who faced no problems in clearing them with no Indian forward posing any problem.
Every hockey player knows, even the most harmless looking shot can prove to be troublesome when hit with a purpose and if there are strikers putting pressure on the defenders. That was not the case here.
Despite an early lead nothing seemed to work for this Indian team. There were some fouls inside our striking circle that gave away soft penalty corners and the rival strikers were allowed plenty of space to move in the scoring area, but then that was just part of the problem confronting this side.
The aimless passing upfront was equally responsible in India's bad performance. To me, the Indians today did not look like a combined outfit trying to score goals.
The forwards were running forward without purpose and hitting the ball aimlessly. Only some individual play was visible, but then how would the individual player run past a wall of defenders!
Sandeep Singh's first penalty corner shot of these Olympics produced a goal that gave India the early lead, but that was wasted by some indifferent play thereafter.
New Zealand's equaliser came from the penalty corner that India conceded as a defender, trying to get back into position, carried the ball that had been stopped by his teammate.
Once Andrew Hayward was given the space to execute his drag-flick, it could only be stopped by the goalkeeper. That is not easy and the shot went far to his left.
Ignace Tirkey cannot be faulted for conceding the penalty stroke that gave New Zealand their second goal. He was trying to make a goal-line save on a penalty corner, and the ball went from the stick to his body.
Experienced player Phillips Burrow was not to be denied on the penalty stroke, but the third goal was the result of panic in the Indian defence that presented the ball to New Zealand forward Shea McAleese.
Once McAleese had control of the ball and the Indian defence was is disarray, it was for the New Zealanders to make an error, but McAleese's pass was accurate and Nicholas Wilson applied the finishing touch.
A very resolute effort was required from the Indian players to come back from this situation, but that was not to be.
The desired result of any attack is to score goals. That's what the game is all about, but it did not seem to be the purpose by the way the Indian forwards went about their task.
The Business Standard
Plenty left to play for, says Bharat Chetri
LONDON: Indian hockey team's chances for a berth in the semifinals suffered a big jolt after losing 1-3 to New Zealand today but captain Bharat Chetri said that his side must not get dejected and they still have plenty to play for in the London Olympics.
India had earlier suffered a 2-3 loss to the Netherlands on Monday in their first outing on their return to the Olympic Games after eight years, having failed to qualify for the 2008 Games in Beijing.
"It's disappointing to start with two losses, but that does not mean we have nothing to play for," Chetri said after the match.
"We have three more games in the round robin league and then the playoffs. There is plenty to look forward to, and we'll all try to put up a better show," said the Indian captain, who himself is not having a very good tournament and today was replaced by second-choice goalkeeper R R Sreejesh at half-time.
"We have to be mentally tough and try to play the remaining three pool match well," Chetri said.
India coach Michael Nobbs said his players played the second half well in both matches so far.
"We seem to be playing only in the second half. I simply cannot figure out why the boys are not going out and playing their game from the beginning," Nobbs said.
"An early goal today should have made a change and we tried to take advantage of it, but New Zealand pressed hard and pinned us down," he said.
India took the lead in the second minute against New Zealand, but the erratic strikers and error-prone defenders then gave away the advantage to concede three goals before half-time.
"We'll have a discussion with the boys to find out what are they doing and why," said Nobbs, adding that both teams were aware of each other's game.
"There is nothing secret these days, everyone is analysing the opponents," said the coach, adding that New Zealand's physical strength also proved troublesome for India.
"New Zealand were quite physical. They are a monster side and have much more experience," Nobbs said.
New Zealand's coach Shane McLeod said he was worried at the manner in which the game started and India took an early lead.
"Look at the way the match began and India moved ahead in the second minute itself," McLeod said. "I was hoping they did not go on in such a manner."
"We played well to score three goals and got out campaign back on track after the loss to South Korea in the earlier outing," said McLeod.
"We dominated the first half and created the openings for those goals," the New Zealand coach said.
"The second half was more even, both us and India had their chances."
McLeod said New Zealand played to their strength today, after an indifferent display in the previous outing when they suffered a 0-2 defeat at the hands of South Korea.
"The way we played in our first game was uncharacteristic, but this win over India gives us more confidence going into the next match," he said.
The Times of India
Hockey is not our national game: Ministry
LUCKNOW: India won six consecutive hockey gold medals at Olympics between 1928 and 1956. It is our national game and that's why whenever the men in blue show their dribbling skill on the green turf at a Games venue, out heart goes out to them. Not just the sport buffs but students in every school have at some point of time learnt these facts. Now, it's time, however for some unlearning.
Hockey is not the national game of the country! And the revelation has come straight from the Union ministry of youth affairs. The ministry says that country does not have a national game as no game has been notified as such.
The response from the ministry has come on an RTI query from a ten-year-old girl, Aishwarya Parashar, who has grown learning in school books that hockey is the national game of the country and was the first non-European team to be a part of the Indian Hockey Federation. The Indian men's field hockey team is the most successful team in Olympic history with 8 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals.
"I wanted to know when did the government issue an order to announce the country's national game," Aishwarya told TOI. And, the candid response from the ministry has already left everybody - she herself, her parents and teachers confused.
"I learnt it from my text books that hockey is our national game," she added. The ministry, on the other hand, said it has not found any official order or notification which calls hockey the national game." I haven't come across any order or notification in the ministry saying hockey is the national game," said SPS Tomar, under secretary, Union ministry of youth affairs and sports, while responding to the query. "It's known to be a national game in general parlance," Tomar had added.
The ministry has sports disciplines put into different categories. Hockey is one of the priority disciplines but it is not a national game. The response, however, contradicts GoI's own announcement, made on its official website (india.gov.in).
The website does not only call hockey the national game but also talks about India's glorious `hockey' history. Not only this, the response has left hockey players fuming. "They should then tell us which is the national game and show us the notification which says hockey is not a national game," says Olympian Sujit Kumar.
Since 1928, when India played hockey in Olympics in Amsterdam under the Union Jack, it has been the country's national game. "Instead of talking nonsense, they (govt) should do something to improve the game and work for betterment of hockey players," said another Olympian Syed Ali.
It was when the performance of the hockey team deteriorated, in 1990s, that ministry did consider taking away from hockey the status of the national game but it never happened. "I have played three Olympics and given 14 years to the game, I have always known it to be a national game," says Mohammad Shahid, former Indian captain and one of the greatest dribblers the country has produced.
The Times of India
Day 5 Olympic Preview - Great Britain v Belgium
Olympics 2012 Twigg celebrating v Korea
Great Britain women face Belgium in their third pool match today and are hoping to make it three wins out of three.
Fixture: Great Britain v Belgium
Date and time: 02/08/12 - 19.00
Location: Riverbank Arena
Watch live on BBC: Olympics 7 (red button for Sky, Virgin and Freesat)
Great Britain #4
Head to Head Record
Goals For: 5
Goals Against: 2
GB has a 100% win record against Belgium as they have only ever faced the side once! They came out on top in Amstelveen in 1978, winning emphatically 5 – 2. Let’s hope they can keep up this success and maintain their 100% record with another win at the London 2012 Games.
Player to watch: Great Britain
Crista Cullen is one of the world’s most celebrated defenders and has been named in the World All Stars team three times – in 2006, 2007 and 2010. A feared penalty corner taker, she was part of the GBCrista Cullen London 2012 Olympics squad for the Beijing Olympic Games, where she was the team’s top goal scorer, netting three times. She was also key to Great Britain’s success at the Olympic Test Event, where she scored four times, including two great strikes in the final against Argentina, resulting in GB winning gold. She opened her personal 2012 goal scoring campaign in GB's last pool match against Korea with a drag flick fired low into the bottom right hand corner.
Players to watch: Belgium
We asked the GB team who they considered the players to watch are:
Name: Charlotte De Vos
Position: Attacking midfield
De Vos is Belgium’s captain and also their creative playmaker, making her an invaluable player.
Name: Jill Boon
Position: Centre forward
Boon is exceptionally strong and quick in attack and combines play effectively with Belgium’s other centre forward, Stephanie de Groof. Interestingly Boon’s brother Tom will be representing Belgium for the men’s side – they are the only brother-sister duo at this Olympic hockey tournament.
Great Britain Hockey media release
US set to face Australia in third Olympic match
LONDON – The U.S. continues its quest for gold tomorrow against No. 7 world ranked Australia. The match which kicks off at 10:45 a.m. at Riverbank Arena will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network and NBCOlympics.com at 5:45 a.m. ET.
New Zealand currently leads Pool B with wins against Australia and South Africa. Argentina, Australia, Germany and the U.S. are tied with one win and one loss in the preliminary rounds.
Both Australia and the U.S. captured the attention of the hockey world on Tuesday, July 31, by defeating a higher ranked team in their pool. Australia defeated No. 3 Germany, 3-1, and the U.S. upset No. 2 Argentina, 1-0.
On opening day, Australia fell to New Zealand, 1-0, and Germany snuck past the U.S., 2-1. Both teams will be fighting for a second win in their Olympic campaign.
Preliminary matches for Thursday, August 2:
Korea vs Japan
Pool A 8:30 a.m.
USA vs Australia** Live on NBCSN
Pool B 10:45 a.m.
China vs Netherlands** Live on NBCSN
Pool A 1:45 p.m.
South Africa vs Germany
Pool B 4:00 p.m.
Belgium vs Great Britain
Pool A 7:00 p.m.
New Zealand vs Argentina
Pool B 9:15 p.m.
USFHA media release
Hockeyroos Back in Action v USA...Rivers to play 200th
Image: Hockeyroo Megan Rivers (Grant Treeby)
Get behind the Hockeyroos TONIGHT... going to be a cracker v USA! Congratulations Megan Rivers, playing in her 200th international
Game: Thursday, August 2, LIVE 7.35pm FOXTEL and 9(Limited)
AUSTRALIA v USA
Pool B: Australia, New Zealand, USA, South Africa, Germany, Argentina
Players to watch: Toni Cronk, Anna Flanagan, Megan Rivers
Two Australian coaches go head to head tonight, when the Hockeyroos take on the USA in a clash that should go down to the wire.
Adam Commens has a test ahead of him, when he faces off against former Kookaburras team mate Lee Bodimeade, who is leading the American’s resurgence in the women’s game.
NSW midfielder Megan Rivers, who is at her second Olympics, will be gunning for the win in her 200th international.
If history comes into play the Australians should walk away with the victory but after a stunning win over Argentina at this Olympics, the USA is not to be underestimated.
But the Hockeyroos also caused an upset of their own downing world number three Germany 3-1 and returned to form after a disappointing start to the Games losing to New Zealand 1-0.
The USA is ranked 10th and Australia 7th and one can expect both sides to be desperate for the win giving them a genuine shot at making the medal rounds.
This year the teams have faced each other on four separate occasions with the Australians taking the honours three times.
In January, the USA played host to the Hockeyroos in San Diego and went down in a four match test series 2-0. It was very close with the Australians winning two games 1-0 and drawing two matches; 2-all and 1-all.
The Americans turned the tables in April playing on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, where they won a three test series 3-1 (1-0, 2-1, 0-3)
The squad they faced however was not the team they will take on at this Olympics, with Commens using the event to trial his less experienced athletes, leaving out seven core players, including the likes of Captain Madonna Blyth, Casey Eastham and Toni Crank.
The Australians also had the wool over their opponents at two back to back Four Nations tournaments played in New Zealand in April defeating the USA 4-0 and 5-1 eventually facing the Kiwis in both finals, winning one and losing one.
Under Bodimeade though, who was a champion player for the Kookaburras, which culminated in a silver medal at the Barcelona Games in 1992, the USA may be waiting to play all its high cards on the biggest stage in sport.
Bodimeade took over the reins in 2005 and after the USA women missed both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, his influence was immediate taking his new charges to the next World Cup and 2008 Games in Beijing.
He was also instrumental in last year’s 2011 Pan American Games gold medal win where his charges stunned the world by beating World Champion Argentina to automatically qualify for London.
The USA is known for its solid defensive unit and has seven athletes with Olympic experience and its never say die attitude is seeing the outfit rapidly improve.
Against Germany however, the Australians showed what they are capable of on their day and prowess on penalty corners should be the difference if the Hockeyroos can capitalise, as Anna Flanagan did with her first Olympic goal, which was a ripping drag-flick.
The American’s weakness is their short corners, with no world class striker and they also have no prolific goal scorer. They will rely on top performances by stalwart Lauren Crandall, goal keeper Amy Swensen and 2011 FIH all-star team member Katelyn Falgowski.
And the USA will have to get past Australian keeper Toni Cronk, who is having a sensational Games, saving everything teams have thrown at her.
Jodie Schulz and Anna Flanagan have been leading the Hockeyroo’s defensive unit, Captain Madonna Blyth and Teneal Attard have been controlling midfield, while Hope Munro, Fiona Boyce and Flanagan have all got on the scoresheet.
Tip: Australia 2-1 win
Hockey Australia media release
Argentina a good measure for Black Sticks
JONATHAN MILLMOW IN LONDON
REGROUPING: Argentina, who suffered a surprise loss to the US yesterday, lie in wait for the celebrating Black Sticks. Getty Images
So, just how good are the Black Sticks women?
All should be revealed tomorrow morning (8.15am, NZ time) when they take on world No 2 Argentina and, in particular, the player that inspires them, midfielder Luciana Aymar.
With the scalps of Australia and South Africa already claimed at the Olympics, hopes are high that this team made up of good skills, fast legs and blonde ponytails can give the South American hotshots a shake. Argentina could be vulnerable too. They lost unexpectedly 1-0 to the United States yesterday in a result that surprised the New Zealanders and opened up the chance for them to top their group.
Two from two, the Black Sticks can afford to lose, mind you, but a heavy defeat would be a blow psychologically.
Coach Mark Hager set his team two preliminary goals before the two-week tournament at Riverbank Arena. He wanted “four or six points” after the opening two games. Check. And nine points after four games. His theory on the latter is that if they go into the final pool game against Germany with their destiny in their own hands they are in a virtual quarterfinal.
The Black Sticks have generally looked impressive in their opening two games. The positives have been the form of goalkeeper Bianca Russell and captain Kayla Sharland, the flying starts, three goals from penalty corners and solid defence.
The one area that will alarm Hager was the way his side tired in the second half against South Africa. For a side noted for its fitness, it was unexpected, although perhaps the emotion and exertion attached to the opening game against Australia took its toll.
In more general terms, they may lack an out-and-out goal-scoring striker, and a great unknown is how they adapt to the change of start time. The Black Sticks have turned their lives upside-down to prepare for morning games, but after 8.30am and 10.45 starts, they move to a late game (9.15pm) against Argentina.
They have never finished higher than sixth at an Olympics. They are going to need to play out of their skins to advance from the pool of death ahead of Argentina or Germany. If they wind up third in the pool they will play off for fifth and sixth with the third-placed team from Pool A.
Right now that is a scenario they will not want to think about.
In the latest series between the sides, Argentina came out on top in Auckland in March. The visitors won the opening test 4-3 but that was followed up by two low-scoring draws.
The Black Sticks would not thumb their nose at a draw tomorrow but Hager is a straight-shooting Australian who starts every game aiming to win.
“We'll definitely go for the win,” he said. “They are a quality side and their corners were very good against South Africa the other night and Aymar is such a good quality player.
“The last time we played them was in Argentina in front of 15,000 screaming Argentinians and we drew 2-2. We were leading 2-0 and blew it.
"Hopefully that experience has helped this group. We know they are going to be hard.”
ON A ROLL
v Australia, won 1-0
v South Africa, won 4-1
v Argentina – Tomorrow, 8.15am
v USA – Sunday, August 5, 6am
v Germany – Monday, August 6, 7.30pm
* All games in NZ time
Black Sticks men positive ahead of Dutch clash
SIMON PLUMB IN LONDON
'WE KNOW THEM' is the message Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod is telling the men's hockey team ahead of their pivotal clash with the Dutch on Friday. PHIL WALTERS/ Getty
Mission possible. That's the message men's Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod is sending his side ahead of Friday's pivotal Olympic clash with Holland.
The world's third-ranked outfit could extinguish the momentum finally found by the Kiwi men's hockey team, recovering from a poor 2-0 opening loss to Korea by beating India 3-1 overnight in London.
And despite his side being four places behind in the world order, having not beaten the Dutch since August 2010, and losing seven of their last 10 games dating back to the 2006 Azlan Shah Cup, McLeod still fancies his chances.
The Netherlands, McLeod says, are not at their best so far in London 2012 and are ripe for the picking.
"We know them. Part of our preparation was to gain as much information about them as we could, and we did that. I reckon we've got a pretty good game plan," McLeod said.
"I don't think it's the best Dutch side I've ever seen. There are players they've selected, over others, which I feel are not as dangerous.
"And they've had a couple of games now where they've squeaked through a little bit.
"Although the scoreline said 3-1 against Belgium, I thought Belgium were better in the second half. It'll be interesting, but it is a hurdle to get over, psychologically.
"We've done a lot of workshops on Holland, so there'll be just a refresher about basic patterns and some of the things we want to do."
The most recent encounter, a 5-3 defeat in December last year, saw the Black Sticks make a decent fist of it.
But, that was in the back end of a good Champions Trophy campaign, and, with the support of an Auckland crowd.
Fast forward to London 2012 and even McLeod admits, his troops are not in best shape either.
"We're on the floor below the women's team who have played [and won] two games, and as you walk around on their floor there's a lot of positivity," he said.
"On our floor there's just this apprehension and waiting for the moment to make amends.
"The next couple of days is to de-stress the guys, the fear of losing is a hell of a thing. To get points on the board means our Olympics has started.
"The guys will be getting up and feeling a lot better about themselves than they were two days ago."
McLeod says two wins and a draw, from the three remaining Olympic group games, will be enough to send his side into the knockout phase. Possibly, just the two victories might even be sufficient.
But when two of those three games are against the Netherlands and world number two Germany, it means the Black Sticks are going to have to roll one of them, and, bank on beating Belgium.
In other words, lose to the Dutch on Friday and the Olympic wheels are only 70 minutes from wobbling right off.
"I reckon with nine points you've got a chance. Ten and you'll be in," McLeod said.
"I think we're in a pool where a few teams are capable of beating each other, it might get a bit funny over the next few days.
"We've got Holland now and need to win to get the three points back that we lost in the first game. Then we're kind of back on track.
"But it's an easy thing to say, we have to play very well."
The Black Sticks' match against the Netherlands is on Friday, 9.45pm (NZT).
Kate Walsh Injury Update
Kate Walsh, captain of the Team GB women’s hockey team, has this afternoon (Wednesday) been discharged from The Royal London Hospital and returned to the Olympic Village.
She returns to the Olympic Village and the company of her teammates following a successful operation on her fractured mandible (jaw), sustained during Great Britain’s 4-0 victory over Japan on Sunday.
Kate is relaxed and comfortable and recovering from the surgery. Her recovery will continue to be monitored by Team GB medical staff. No timescale will be placed on any possible return to action.
Kate has been overwhelmed by the messages of support she has received from the British public, friends, family and teammates and wishes to thank everyone for those. She would also like to thank the staff of the Royal London Hospital who have cared for her since Sunday.
Great Britain Hockey media release
Kate Walsh jaw injury will not distract Team GB
Great Britain women's goalkeeper Beth Storry insists they have not been distracted by the injury to captain Kate Walsh.
The 32-year-old defender left The Royal London hospital yesterday after a three-night stay following surgery to have a plate inserted to stabilise a fractured jaw after being hit in the face.
She returned to the Olympic village but will not take any part in tonight's match with Belgium.
In her absence the side recorded their second successive win, although the 5-3 win over South Korea did see their defence get exposed.
But Storry, who conceded her first goals in a competitive match at the Riverbank Arena after keeping shut-outs in May's test event, stressed their focus had to be on the match.
"It (Walsh's injury) doesn't unsettle us because it is part and parcel of hockey," the Reading goalkeeper told Press Association Sport.
"You just play and you don't even think about it. When you are out on the pitch it is just about playing and winning and I don't think it comes into anyone's thoughts.
"It is all about match focus. We are obviously thinking about her but for us it is not about Kate, it is about coming out and doing the job and winning - which is the most important thing."
Back-to-back wins have put them top of Pool A and another three points tonight would strengthen their semi-final bid.
"Two wins out of two games is the perfect start," she added.
"We made it exciting and gave the crowd their money's worth against Korea but our team has character in bucketloads.
"We are fighters and what I love about our team is that we never give up.
"Even at 3-3 I just thought 'It's fine'. I knew we could score and I knew we'd keep on going and wouldn't let it get in our heads and that is a great feeling to have in our heads."
Great Britain's men had to show character to rescue a point against South Africa yesterday as they trailed 2-1 with two minutes to go.
Ashley Jackson, who had opened the scoring with a first-half penalty corner, got the finest of touches on Richard Smith's cross for the late equaliser - awarded with the help of the video umpire.
GB struggled to find their flowing form and two goals in quick succession from Austin Smith and Jonathan Robinson in the last 10 minutes appeared to have sealed their fate.
Coach Jason Lee took off goalkeeper James Fair in order to gain a numerical outfield advantage but revealed he was not happy with the performance.
"I got quite angry to be honest," he said.
"There was some direction we were trying to get into the team in the second half and we rarely delivered it.
"I wanted to keep the keeper off and go for the win but we weren't solid enough perhaps to do that.
"When we went behind it was the only option and there was some soul-searching whether we should go for the win and we might look back on that with regret."
Walsh tipped to bounce back from injury
Kate Walsh has returned to the Olympic village after three nights in hospital
Great Britain women's assistant coach Craig Parnham is confident captain Kate Walsh has the mental toughness to bounce back quickly from a fractured jaw.
The 32-year-old returned to the Olympic Village after three nights in The Royal London Hospital following an operation to have a plate inserted after being hit in the face by a stick.
Parnham sustained a near-fatal injury playing for England in Malaysia in 2001 when he was hit in the throat - a blow which shattered his larynx and required an emergency tracheotomy - so he speaks from personal experience.
There were initial fears Walsh had sustained a similar blow but those were quickly allayed and Parnham believes it will not be a factor when Walsh returns - although whether that is at these Games has still to be decided.
"I think something which is traumatic like that is in the back of your mind," said the former England captain, who still bears the scars of his injury. "But you kind of put it to bed by saying 'Well, it is a million-to-one shot and the likelihood of it happening again to me is unlikely'.
"I think there may be a bit of anxiety but anyone, in this case Kate, will be absolutely fully into it. Unbelievably worries probably won't be there for her because she will be thinking about other stuff.
"Kate will be absolutely chomping at the bit to get out there and when she does she'll do a job as she always does and when she is released and allowed to play she'll be out there giving her all. There is a certain robustness that you need and players develop over the years. I fully expect her to come back in and be the same as always."
Walsh is not expected to be considered for GB's match against Belgium on Thursday and coach Danny Kerry will give her a full fitness test and assess her overall welfare before deciding whether she can continue at the Games.
Whether her absence had an effect in Tuesday's 5-3 defeat of South Korea is difficult to say but they did concede their first competitive goals on the Riverbank Arena pitch, having shut-out all their opponents in May's test event.
Goalkeeper Beth Storry said: "Everyone in the defence has great working relationships but I think the beauty of our team is we do have the depth in our squad. We train day in, day out together and we know we can put anyone anywhere and it will be fine, we can deal with it."
Canadian officials in London!
Supporting the 2012 Olympic Games
Paula Parks + Wendy Stewart before the Opening Ceremony
Canada has a solid contingent of officials at the 2012 Olympic Games. Wendy Stewart, Janet Ellis, Paula Parks, Yan Huckendubler and Hari Kant are all busy in their various roles in London.
World Panel Umpire Wendy Stewart officiated Sunday’s match between Germany and the United States. She has been appointed a reserve for two matches on Thursday.
Janet Ellis is busy at the technical table as an Assistant Technical Delegate.
Yan Huckendubler is bringing live coverage of the Olympic field hockey matches as the men’s Media Officer for the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
A 2000 Olympian, Hari Kant is experiencing a different side of the Games this year as a Website Journalist for the FIH.
Judge Paula Parks has been covering two matches a day, and is thoroughly enjoying her experience.
“This is my first Olympic experience and it’s all I expected and much more!” says Parks. “It’s great to be here. One really feels quite patriotic in this atmosphere, and I am so proud to be Canadian. Waving my Canadian flag when the contingent of our athletes arrived at the Opening Ceremony will always be a very special memory for me. It’s fun being in a packed venue with knowledgeable and noisy fans!”
Field Hockey Canada media release
Ticketing scam - Great Britain Hockey statement
We have been made aware of an Olympic ticketing scam. An unknown individual has called up one or more of our qualified umpires trying to sell Olympic tickets. The individual is pretending to be an England Hockey Board employee and is quoting umpire numbers.
This has nothing to do with the EHB or GB Hockey. We are no longer selling tickets and are investigating how this individual may have got hold of this data.
Please only purchase tickets from official sources and let Great Britain Hockey know if you receive any approaches of this nature. Contact 01628 897500.
Great Britain Hockey media release and England Hockey Board Media release
Jaiprakash Associates comes on board as HIL franchise
NEW DELHI: Hockey India on Wednesday announced Jaiprakash Associates Ltd as one of the six franchises which will compete in the inaugural Hockey India League (HIL) from January 5 to February 13 next year.
Jaiprakash Associates will be the owner of the Punjab-based team.
"We are delighted that Jaypee Associates will be one of the six franchises that will launch the Hockey India League," Hockey India Secretary-General and HIL Chairman Narinder Batra said.
The Times of India
UniKL to field an all-local side in the MHL
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) will not hire any foreign players to boost their challenge in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
UniKL team manager Amir Azhar Ibrahim said it would be a waste of money to hire foreign players for the league, which is only for five weeks.
“It will be better to use the money for development purposes,” he said.
The MHL will begin on Sept 1 and end on Oct 10.
For the first time since the MHL’s inception since 1985, the knockout stage for the overall title has been scrapped because the Razak Cup competition will be held in Kuantan from Oct 14-21.
Amir said that UniKL will focus on development programmes in a bid to continue producing good players for the team.
“We have retained a number of players from last year’s squad and we hope to give our best in the MHL,” he said.
The team will be led by former international S. Selvaraju, who last featured for Malaysia in the World Cup qualifying tournament in Invercargill, New Zealand, in 2009.
UniKL finished overall fourth out of seven teams in the Premier Division of the MHL last year.
There will be only six teams taking part in the Premier Division this year following Yayasan Negri Sembilan’s (YNS) omission.
The other teams are double champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC), Tenaga Nasional, Sapura, Maybank and Nur Insafi.
The Star of Malaysia