All the news for Tuesday 19 January 2021
Action Starts: Sr Women drew Argentina Jrs while Jr. India outplays Chile Jrs
Sharmila, Deep Grace on Target as Indian women draw with Argentina Jrs
Beauty Dungdung scored a hat-trick for the Indian Juniors
I. India 2 Argentina Jr. 2
Buenos Aires: The Indian women’s team eked out a 2-2 draw with Argentine juniors in their return to international action after a Covid-induced hiatus lasting a year.
Playing in Buenos Aires, India struck through Sharmila Devi in the 22nd minute with Deep Grace Ekka adding another in the 31st.
“It was a typical first match after a long gap. Playing a competitive side after a year takes time to get into the rhythm and we played 23 athletes to give them all a feeling of playing in a match after a long gap,” expressed chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.
India showed attacking intent from the start and forced two penalty corners in the eighth and ninth minutes but the Argentine defence was equal to the occasion.
But action switched to the other side of the pitch and the home side forced a penalty corner in the 11th minute but goalkeeper Savita Punia proved agile and alert to ward off danger.
Sharmila drew first blood seven minutes into the second quarter but Paula Santamarina restored parity in the 28th minute. India, however, regained the lead a minute into the second half when Deep Grace Ekka converted a penalty corner.
The Indian women defended stoutly to preserve their hard-earned lead right through the third quarter and the visitors looked set to carry the momentum into the fourth and final session.
The Argentine girls, however, were not to be denied the equalizer for the second time in the encounter when Brisa Bruggesser stuck a fine goal in the 48th minute.
India, however, didn’t sit back and went all out to take the lead for the third time in the match but the home side’s defence stood firm – even at a penalty corner in the 53rd minute.
“We will need to build on our rhythm match-by-match. We will be thoroughly analyzing this match and the key will be to learn from the mistakes we made here and be ready for the next game,” Sjoerd added.
India will take on the Argentina junior team again on January 20 at 0230 hours IST.
II. Indian Jrs 5 Chile Jrs 2
Santiago (Chile), 18 January 2021: The colts produced a fantastic performance on Sunday evening to defeat the Chile Junior Women’s Hockey team 5-3 to mark a highly successful return to hockey memorable, here at the Prince of Wales Country Club. The Indian Junior eves were involved in a high-scoring encounter with India’s Beauty Dungdung (29′, 38′, 52′), Lalrindiki (14′) and Sangita Kumari (30′) scoring the goals. Chile’s goals were scored by Simone Avelli (10′), Paula Sanz (25′) and Fernanda Arrieta (49′).
The match started with the Chile Junior Team retaining most of the possession, and scoring in the 10th minute as Simone Avelli was on the end of a perfect pass to score the hosts’ opening goal. However, India struck back just 4 minutes later as Forward Lalrindiki found herself in the right spot at the right time to score the equalizer in the 14th minute.
The hosts were then presented with a glorious opportunity to restore their advantage as they were awarded a Penalty Corner in the 25th minute. It was Paula Sanz who stepped up to execute it, and was successful in doing so, thereby giving Chile a 2-1 lead. Despite the setback, India continued to fight back, and dominated proceedings in the latter stages of the 2nd quarter, and scored twice in two minutes to turn the game around.
First, it was Beauty Dungdung in the 29th minute who finished off a beautiful team move to make it 2-2, and then Sangita Kumari saw her shot hit the back of the goalposts, which made it 3-2 in India’s favour. The visitors then took control of the match in the last two quarters, keeping possession, and initiating swift attacking moves to build pressure on their opponents.
The pressure did finally pay off in the 38th minute as Beauty Dungdung added a second to her name, and India’s fourth goal. However, Chile’s Junior Eves made use of a Penalty Corner in the 49th minute to pull a goal back through Fernanda Arrieta, and make for a nervy finish to the game. But India’s young guns did not leave any room for a Chilean comeback, as they added a fifth goal to their tally in the 52nd minute through Beauty Dungdung, who completed a superb hat-trick of goals, and gave India a fairly comfortable 5-3 win in their opening match of the Tour of Chile.
The Indian Juniors will be in action again on Monday evening (locally) / early Tuesday morning (IST) int he second tests at 0400hrs IST.
Sharmila Devi, Deep Grace Ekka score in Indian women's hockey team's 2-2 draw with Argentina junior women
In a well-contested match, goals from young Indian striker Sharmila (22nd) and the experienced Ekka (31st) were cancelled out by strikes from Argentina's Paula Santamarina (28th) and Brisa Bruggesser (48th).
Sharmila Devi opened the scoring in the match. Image: @TheHockeyIndia
Buenos Aires: Sharmila Devi and Deep Grace Ekka scored a goal each as the Indian women's hockey team began its tour of Argentina with a 2-2 draw against the country's junior national team here.
In a well-contested match, goals from young Indian striker Sharmila (22nd) and the experienced Ekka (31st) were cancelled out by strikes from Argentina's Paula Santamarina (28th) and Brisa Bruggesser (48th).
Chief coach Sjoerd Marijne lauded the performance of the Indian team which was returning to international competition after a year following a COVID-19 -induced break.
"It was a typical first match after a long gap. Playing a competitive side after a year takes time to get into the rhythm and we played 23 athletes to give them all a feeling of playing in a match after a long gap," Marijne said in a release issued by Hockey India.
India got off the blocks with an intent to attack in the first quarter. The team won two back-to-back Penalty Corners (PC) in the 8th and 9th minute of play but they were well-defended by a strong Argentine defence.
Though Argentina too were awarded a PC in the 11th minute, it was swiftly saved by an alert India custodian Savita.
The second quarter saw India set-up a fine goal via Sharmila in the 22nd minute providing the team a much-awaited 1-0 lead.
However, Santamarina of Argentina scored in the 28th minute to equalise.
India reimposed a lead soon after the second quarter when Ekka converted a PC in the 31st minute. The visitors defended well to keep up the 2-1 lead all through the third quarter and carried a good rhythm into the final quarter.
The home team bounced back in the final quarter to equalise with a fine goal by Bruggesser in the 48th minute.
Though India tried to create one last haul before the final hooter, the home team's defence stood strong.
A PC awarded to India in the 53rd minute was saved well eventually ending the match with a 2-2 scoreline.
"We will need to build on our rhythm match-by-match. We will be thoroughly analyzing this match and the key will be to learn from the mistakes we made here and be ready for the next game," Sjoerd said.
India will take on the Argentina junior women on 20 January.
Harendra Singh wants India women's hockey team to convert chances after Argentina draw
Harendra Singh applauded the effort put on show by the visitors in their first assignment after the coronavirus pandemic
By Samrat Chakraborty
Former India coach Harendra Singh encouraged the national women's team to improve their goal scoring ability after settling for a 2-2 draw in their first game after nearly a year against Argentina Junior side on Monday.
India displayed their intent as striker Sharmila Devi put the visitors in front in the 22nd minute. The slender goal deficit, however, was cut short by Paula Santamarina (28') before Deep Grace Ekka (31') converted a penalty corner to help the regain lead.
The visitors maintained the upper hand through the third quarter with some brilliant defensive work on show. But couldn't hang on to it as the hosts equalized in the final quarter with a goal from Brisa Bruggesser in the 48th minute.
Harendra, who led the Indian eves to a gold medal win at 2017 Asia Cup, applauded the effort put on show by the visitors in their first assignment after the coronavirus pandemic. He, however, added that the think tank should closely analyse the glitches and work on the areas of improvement.
Harendra Singh has coached the India men, women and junior sides in the past
"In my opinion, India played pretty well keeping in view that they are playing almost after one year due to COVID pandemic. Every team is rusty but it’s nice to see Indian team starting on a good note," Harendra Singh to the Olympic Channel.
"I am sure the think tank will analyse the game and work on the areas where there is room for improvement," he added.
Harendra credited the tactical ability shown by the Indian eves but also highlighted that goal scoring is a major area of concern for the eves.
"India played very attacking hockey and because of that, they were able to get 3 penalty corners in the first half. India scored a field goal and also one through a penalty corner which will give the team management relief. I must give credits to Argentina goalie who made couple of good saves and keep her team in game," he said,
"Tactically, the Indian team was sound but we must improve on converting chances because it will give our girls self-confidence. I am confident the team management have a lot of good takes from this game to implement in the next games," he added.
India will look to put together a stronger performance in the second tour game against the same opponents on Wednesday.
Indian junior hockey team beats Chile
Striker Beauty Dungdung struck a hat-trick as the India thrashed Chile 5-3 on Sunday.
Beauty Dungdung scored in the 29th, 38th and 52nd minutes to hand India the win. - HOCKEY INDIA
Striker Beauty Dungdung scored a hat-trick as the Indian junior women’s hockey team thrashed the Chilean junior women’s team 5-3 to make a successful return to competition following a year-long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The striker from Jharkhand scored in the 29th, 38th and 52nd minutes, while Lalrindiki (14th) and Sangita Kumari (30th) also registered their names on the scoresheet for India. Chile’s goals were scored by Simone Avelli (10th), Paula Sanz (25th) and Fernanda Arrieta (49th).
The match started with the Chile junior team retaining most of the possession, and scoring in the 10th minute as Avelli was on the end of a perfect pass to score the hosts’ opening goal. However, India struck back just four minutes later as forward Lalrindiki found herself in the right spot at the right time to score the equaliser in the 14th minute.
The home team was then presented with a glorious opportunity to restore its advantage as it was awarded a Penalty Corner in the 25th minute. It was Sanz who stepped up to execute it, and was successful in doing so, thereby giving Chile a 2-1 lead.
Despite the setback, India continued to fight back, and dominated proceedings in the latter stages of the second quarter, and scored twice in two minutes to turn the game around. Dungdung, in the 29th minute, finished off a beautiful team move to make it 2-2, and then Sangita saw her shot hit the back of the goalposts, which made it 3-2 in India’s favour.
The visiting team then took control of the match in the last two quarters, keeping possession, and initiating swift attacking moves to build pressure on their opponents. The pressure finally paid off in the 38th minute as Dungdung added a second to her name, and India’s fourth goal.
However, Chile made use of a Penalty Corner in the 49th minute to pull a goal back through Arrieta, and make for a nervy finish to the game. But India’s young guns did not leave any room for a Chilean comeback, as they added a fifth goal to their tally in the 52nd minute through Dungdung, who completed a superb hat-trick of goals.
Green Army Return from Friendly Spain Series
Ireland Women Return from Murcia Recording 2 Victories, 2 Draws, and 1 Defeat Against World Ranked Number 7 Spanish Side.
Ireland Women’s Hockey Team return from Murcia after a short warm weather camp which saw them take on Spain in a series of friendly matches.
Ireland took an early lead in the five match friendly series with a 4 – 1 win over their hosts. Spain scored in the opening quarter, however Evans hit the back post for the equaliser before half time. A steal from Mullan in the third quarter provided Duke the opportunity to give Ireland a goal lead. A Daly and O’Flanagan build up saw Duke further Ireland’s lead in the final quarter, before O’Flanagan’s strike from the top of the circle sealed a fourth and final goal of the match.
The second match of the series saw the hosts take the win by a single goal. Ireland went a goal up early in the first quarter with a strike from Niamh Carey after a turnover from Evans. Spain secured an equaliser from a penalty corner after an initial save from McFerran. A second penalty corner to the hosts gave them a 2 – 1 lead over the Irish team. A rebound from another penalty corner in the second half gave Spain a further lead, with Duke scoring for Ireland in the final quarter to bring the score to Spain 3 – 2 Ireland.
In a quick turnaround, the following day saw Ireland take a 2 goal victory with 2 late goals from O’Flanagan after a tight game. Ireland had a lot of circle entries but outcomes evaded them until the final five minutes. A strong Spanish side pressed aggressively but the final score remained Spain 0 – 2 Ireland after hard work on a hot day.
The fourth match in the series resulted in a draw between the two sides. A strong start from Ireland with a goal from Zara Malseed gave an early lead. A penalty corner to Spain in the second quarter gave them an equaliser, however Malseed delivered again in the third quarter with the assistance of Hannah McLoughlin to reclaim Ireland’s lead. The equaliser came again in the final quarter from Spain’s Gigi to close the match Spain 2 – 2 Ireland.
The final match of the series saw the sides draw level again. Spain secured the first goal of the match in the opening quarter. While the second quarter of the game became a goal fest. A goal from Spain’s Gigi after some great skill in the circle Ireland was met with an almost immediate response from Malseed. Spain secured a penalty corner strike a minute later. Ireland responded again with a tap in from Duke after a great build up from Malseed and O’Flanagan. Spain replied again with another penalty corner strike. After 5 goals from the sides within 6 minutes the half time score was Spain 4 – 2 Ireland. A penalty corner for Ireland saw Lena Tice reduce the hosts lead in third quarter, before securing the equaliser in the final quarter with another flick from a penalty corner.
Speaking about the matches, Head Coach Sean Dancer said, “You can train all you want, but nothing beats playing International hockey again. Not just for the competition, but also the mindset of the group. It has been a tough year for everyone, everywhere and we are very lucky that we are able to continue some quality development towards our Tokyo goals.
We travelled with our full current squad, providing all players the opportunity to get some game time again. Even though our performances where not consistent, we did shows periods of high quality play, including scoring field goals in every game. Always pleasing to see development in key areas that you are working hard on.
We will review the series and reassess the programme for our next steps, taking away some good lessons from our Spain series, not just on the field.”
Performance Director Adam Grainger said “A huge amount of planning and effort went into making sure these matches could go ahead. Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland have been essential to the organisation of this trip. Each member of the team was tested prior to leaving for the camp, followed by an isolation period before travelling, and will face testing again on return to Ireland.
It was great to see the team back on the pitch playing international hockey, there’s a great energy in the group. The whole squad have been meticulous in following the appropriate COVID protocols which has allowed us to do this successfully.”
The matches were played as part of a friendly unofficial series and were therefore uncapped matches. Spain are currently ranked 7th in World just above Ireland. The sides will face each other at European’s later this year.
Irish Hockey Association media release
Preparing for a packed schedule
Photo credit: Hockey India
The 2021 hockey calendar is packed with hockey events, from FIH Hockey Pro League, continental championships, and, of course, the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
With Covid-19 still maintaining its vice-like grip in many areas of the world, the usual hockey preparations that would be expected ahead of these events have had to be altered, dramatically changed or completely abandoned in favour of a different way of doing things.
For India women’s national team, a tour of Argentina has been a welcome relief after a year of cancelled hockey internationals. Speaking to The Hindu newspaper as the team prepared to depart for South America, Captain Rani said: "It feels amazing to be touring again. We have worked very hard on our game in the last few months and the time has come for us to execute our skills in an international match.
"Playing in international matches is going to be a bit different this time since we will be in a bio bubble. However, the team is excited to be back on the field in the best possible manner at the moment.”
To ensure the players’ safety, Hockey India and the Argentina Hockey Federation created a bio bubble for both the teams. The Indian women's team stayed in a hotel where meals, team meetings and video sessions were all held in separate rooms from anyone else. The entire Indian contingent underwent a COVID-19 test 72 hours before their departure. There is no requirement for quarantine upon arrival in Argentina.
For India men, who have not played an international match since February 2020 – against Australia in the FIH Hockey Pro League – there are no international training matches on the horizon. The team will next be seen in action at the Men's Asian Champions Trophy in Dhaka, Bangladesh scheduled for March 2021. However, Chief Coach Graham Reid and his coaching staff will make sure the India team are in peak condition for their return to action in the FIH Pro League when they take on the Argentine Men in April in Tucuman in Argentina. A 33-member strong squad has assembled for a national camp and Reid promises to “up the ante” when it comes to preparing his players for 2021 competition.
Photo credit: RFEH
Two teams that have managed to play international fixtures are the women’s teams of Spain and Ireland who, at time of writing, are mid-way through a five-match series, with Ireland 2-1 up. Both teams are heading to Tokyo for the Olympic Games later in the year and both teams will also be contesting the EuroHockey Championships. Spain is currently ranked seventh in the world, with Ireland one place below them, making this a great test of both teams.
For Spain’s head coach Adrian Lock, test matches such as this, and future fixtures against Great Britain are really important in his team’s preparations for the year ahead.
“We have been very lucky to get some international games under our belts, with fixtures against Belgium, Ireland and Great Britain. But it is complicated to know which teams we will be able to play and who can travel.
“In some ways, not being part of the FIH Hockey Pro League gives us a chance to have more training game situations but, with both the EuroHockey Championships and the Olympics very close to each other, we have to strike a balance between how much to train, how much to play and how much to rest.”
Source: Janne Müller-Wieland's instagram account
Janne Müller-Wieland is captain of the German women’s national team. With the pandemic forcing many of the FIH Hockey Pro League to be postponed, Germany is the only team within the FIH Hockey Pro League roster who has yet to play a match. You get a very clear sense that Müller-Weiland and her team are more than ready to get stuck into international matches again.
“We are just starting again after a break. We had a big block of strength and conditioning training in December but now we are coming together as a team. We had planned to play against other nations but with Covid it is very uncertain.
“We all got very excited when we got our training schedule through and it said ‘test match’. But then our Head Coach said it was a match just among ourselves and we all sighed in disappointment – I think we have had enough of playing each other now.”
Since we spoke to Müller-Wieland, it has been announced that Belgium will travel across the border for a series of practice matches from 5-8 February. The Belgium Red Lions will be in a training camp at Las Palmas in Gran Canaria ahead of their FIH Hockey Pro League matches resuming.
Looking ahead to a packed year of activity, Müller-Wieland said: “But it could be a huge year for us. We have the EuroHockey Championships, and we have 14 Pro League matches, and of course we have the Olympics. If everything goes ahead it will be an amazing year.”
Malaysia's women's hockey team opts to train 'online'
By Jugjet Singh
While the Malaysian women's hockey team opted for "online training" to stay away from Covid-19, India's seniors travelled to Argentina, and their juniors to Chile for friendly matches.
Malaysia are preparing for the women's Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) in Donghae, South Korea on March 31-April 7 where they will meet Olympic-bound India as well.
"We decided to go 'online' instead of centralised training during MCO 2.0 (Movement Control Order) with two new elements.
"This time around the players can do physical workout around their housing estate, and I also send them videos of stick work for practice," said national women's coach Nasihin Nubli.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have decided to go for "online training" instead of centralised training at the National Sports Council hostel following a spike in Covid-19 cases.
While the MHC are playing it safe, brave India are sending their senior women and junior women to South America.
"India are gearing up for the Olympics and their government has allowed them to travel for friendlies.
"However, we have to wait for approval from the various government agencies to play in friendlies overseas as well as in tournaments.
"Hopefully, the Donghae ACT is not postponed because of Covid-19 and we can play top nations like India, South Korea, Japan and China," said Nasihin.
MHC have included Young Tigress for the first time in the women's Malaysia Hockey League in their mission to build a formidable team for the 2026 Asian Games.
Nasihin is in charge of a combined juniors and seniors women's squad after MHC decided to concentrate on a single squad.
"The ACT will be the first international outing for many players in my combined team and so, everybody is hoping that the tournament is not derailed yet again and is held according to schedule.
"I will get a chance to watch my players in action against the best in Asia and will know where we stand at the end of the tournament.
"All the players in training know what is at stake at the ACT and even though training is done online, I get the best effort out of them twice a day," said Nasihin.
New Straits Times
Former India hockey player V.J.Thomas passes away
Thomas was part of the National team that toured New Zealand in 1975.
V. J. Thomas - Special arrangement
V. J. Thomas (71 years). former India hockey player, passed away here on Monday due to age related ailments.
Thomas was part of the National team that toured New Zealand in 1975. He has represented the Indian Railways team at the senior national championships in 1976 and 1978. Thomas has also represented Southern Railways for 10 years as inside right.
He is survived by his wife and a daughter. Thomas is the younger brother of Olympic and World Cup medallist V. J. Philips.