All the news for Monday 29 September 2014
Asian Games results Day 10
9/10 Singapore 5 Sri Lanka 3 (M)
7/8 Thailand 5 Hong Kong 0 (W)
Semi-final 1 China 1 Japan 0 (W)
Semi-fanal 2 Korea 3 India 1 (W)
17th Asian Games, Incheon 2014 Official site
Semifinal matches project exciting possibilities
A rest day offers the coaches and players the time and leisure to introspect. It is used to redesign the strategies and approach to face the challenges on the home stretch towards the podium.
All the coaches whose teams are in the semifinal of the hockey competition here are sure to recall what coursed through the preliminary stage.
Reaching the last four was not easy for teams like India, China, and even Japan, but the Korean men and women sent a clear-cut message; their target is well set to regain the gold medals.
The Korean women were dominating thanks to the all round efficiency displayed, especially in the area of penalty corners where shooter Hu Sunsoon held the attention.
Therefore it is indisputable that India, which struggled to reach this stage after a poor start against Thailand and a defeat against China, faces a formidable challenge.
It goes without saying that the women, for whom Ritu and Jaspreet Kaur had been prominent, need to raise their level of the game notches higher to face Korean challenge before the vociferous home crowd.
China, the three-in-a-row gold medallist, faced a few hiccups against Malaysia and India. The new-look team eventually made it and will clash with Japan.
Among the men, Terry Walsh and his team of coaches are compelled to evolve a new plan to counter Korea whose players are in splendid form. Nam Hyunwoo and Jong Junghyn are capable of changing the course of the contest in any second.
For all the hype before departure, the Indians were wayward and looked anything but a well-knit unit.
The frontline did nothing worth mentioning while in the midfield Sardar Singh, surprisingly, showed little creativity.
Injuries to Chandi and Rupinderpal, who missed the crucial match against Pakistan owing to a groin trouble, have affected the team very much. The struggle against China only confirmed this.
There is definite trace of resurgence in Pakistan after a lengthy break from international competition.
Coach Sheikh Shanaz has succeeded in fashioning a talented mix of seniors and juniors.
Understandably, the defending champion is looking for a place in the Rio Olympics 2016.
But the manner in which Malaysia came back into the reckoning against Japan on Saturday, this squad is now trained by Arul Selvaraj, cannot be taken lightly by the Pakistanis.
Stage II of the competition that will decide the medallists, projects exciting possibilities defying predictions.
Monday’s matches: Men: (9-10): Singapore v Sri Lanka (8.30 a.m.).
Women: (7-8): Thailand v Hong Kong (10.30 a.m.).
Semifinals: China v Japan (1 p.m.); India v Korea (3.30 p.m.).
Crucial test for Indian girls today
Crucial test awaits for Indian women as it takes on continental super powers South Korea today in the semifinal of the Asian Games.
For long, Korea-India contest have been a touch and go affair, but since last 4,5 years Korea has been overwhelming Indian girls on all forums.
Despite not the kind of force once it was, Korea could still put aside India due to the fact that Indian women have been openly under-performing.
Devoid of a domestic structure, and also a sound three- layer national teams – often same players represent both senior and junior teams – coupled with the fact that foreign coaches try to put in a system that is so far anathema to the traditional mindset of players, Indian girls seemed to be eternally struggling. Indian women are now seeking retrieval of lost identity.
Today therefore is a day of reckoning for them.
A win here would pave way for the final where China or Japan could be their last hurdle in getting the elusive Asian Games gold.
Indian girls won the Asian Games gold when the discipline was introduced in 1982. It was India’s gift to the world of hockey that it introduced women’s hockey when it hosted the Asian Games. Since them much water has flowed down the Ganges and Yamuna.
Indian performance in Incheon have been one of satisfaction, though not outstanding.
It struggled against Thailand, since then obvious upward trend, culminating in big rout of Malaysia.
Not after defeating Korea in the semifinals of the Asia Cup in 2009 in Bangkok, did India have much to show against the continental topper team.
However, the picture is not bleak altogether for Indian girls. Veterans in the team captain Ritu Rani, Rani Ramphal, Vandana Kataria and recalled star Deepika Thakur knew well the Korean girls strength and weaknesses.
Korean side, with all their strength, are brittle in nature. They structure of play go hayware once the rival team take early lead or their defence is impregnable.
Therefore India need to play a patient game, wait for their opportune moment.
Jaspreet Kaur, with her immense quality as a penalty corner striker, need to come up trumps.
The changed format of 15 minutes of four quarters play evenly out to both teams.
Indian girls have to muster enough confidence in them and face the rival. Without confidence in them, things may not work for the Indian girls.
Coach Mark Hagwood and his deputy CR Kumar are with the team for a long time now, and must be aware of how to use the resources.
Fans meanwhile will have a rich fare as the top two teams of the Asia clash today in the semis. The semifinal will be telecast live by Ten Sports 15.30 hrs
India face tough South Korea in men's hockey semi-final on Tuesday
Looking to end a 16-year-old gold drought, the Indian men's hockey team faces a tough South Korea test in the semi-finals of the 17th Asian Games, in Incheon on Monday.
The Sardar Singh-led side came back well after losing a tense third Pool B game against Pakistan 1-2 to put it across China 2-0 in their fourth and last league match to qualify for the last-four at the Seonhak hockey stadium.
India, who last won a gold in the 1998 Bangkok edition under Dhanraj Pillay's captaincy, are once again looking for a top finish and gain a direct entry into the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, a lot of concerns lie in all departments of their game.
Their defense is still not steady in the face of speedy thrusts and the weakness was evident against a skillful Pakistan side. The Indian attack also lacks a real 'livewire' approach and the midfield has still not exercised the authority required at this level.
India are depending on earning penalty corners to move ahead in matches, a dangerous trend, and with ace drag-flicker Rupinderpal Singh injuring his groin in the second game against Oman has really not been up to the mark. India are thus leaning on VR Raghunath to bail them out when the chips are down.
The fact that Sunil, Chinglensana Singh, Danish Mujtaba and Birendra Lakra have just one field goal each to their name – even after playing against minnows like Oman and Sri Lanka – tells its own tale.
Rotterdam win big in Bloemendaal
Rotterdam got the better of Bloemendaal in the battle of the port cities in Sunday’s big game in the Dutch Hoofdklasse. Jeroen Hertzberger put Rotterdam in front just a minute in and they had a 3-1 lead at half time when Thijs van Dam and Seve van Ass netted, countering a single effort by Belgian star Simon Gougnard.
Matthew Swann got one back from Bloemendaal with 12 minutes left but Rotterdam prevailed 3-2 to move up to fifth in the table.
Oranje Zwart retained their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-1 win over Amsterdam who remain with just win from their four games so far.
Mink van der Weeredan and Justin Reid-Ross shared corner goals before Jelle Galema won the game with the only goal of the second half.
HGC beat Den Bosch 5-3 to stay in second place in the standings while Kampong continue to rule the roost with five wins in-a-row, beating Hurley 4-1.
EHL hero Loick Luypaert scored twice in his second game since returning from injury while Constantijn Jonker also score twice. Hurley had led 1-0 at half-time after former Kelburne man Kenny Bain scored a penalty stroke.
Pinoké beat Tilburg for their first points of the season while Schaerweijde won against Push 4-2 .
Euro Hockey League media release
Cosyns keeps Daring rolling on
Daring continued their unbeaten run in the Belgian Honour Division with a draw and a win in the last four days as they continue preparations for their EHL debut.
The first of those games saw them draw 2-2 with Beerschot in midweek and they followed up on Sunday by beating Braxgata 3-1. Jerome Dekeyser had put Brax in front but Tanguy Cosyns, pictured, scored a hat trick to completely the turn the game around.
Leuven lead the way following their huge 9-1 win over Herakles to move a point ahead of Leopold and Daring. Pau Quemada scored an incredible five goals in the victory.
Leopold continued their good start with a 3-1 win over Antwerp, Argentine Agustin Mazzilli and Australian Frank Main getting their goals.
The Waterloo Ducks slow start to the campagin continued as they were beaten by Beerschot 2-1 with Xavier Deruyttere and Gaëtan Perez putting them ahead before John John Dohmen got one back. The Bees are now fifth with the Ducks sitting seventh.
Racing Club de Bruxelles won their first game of the season with a 4-3 win over Wellington, Alan Sothern scoring three of the goals. Dragons, meanwhile, were too strong for Oree, picking up a 5-1 victory.
Euro Hockey League media release
Kiwi Andy Hayward 'has created hockey buzz' at Hampstead and Westminster as Clifton Ladies revel in fitness
By Rod Gilmour
Key signing: Kiwi Andy Hayward has lifted Hampstead & Westminster this season
The summer signing of Andy Hayward could pave the way for more world-class players coming to England, according to Michael Johnson, Hampstead and Westminster’s coach.
Hayward, the hard-hitting New Zealander, has already given the Londoners plenty of early season impetus, though visitors Cannock ended their unbeaten run with a deserved 3-2 win on Saturday.
“If you don’t start properly you will get punished,” said Johnson, as Cannock’s talented and young forward line combined for a 3-0 lead at the break.
Hayward’s fourth penalty corner goal of the season started the comeback before Oliver Didham’s 51st minute strike gave Cannock some nervous moments.
“Andy is world class and has been key for us,” said Johnson, the 35-year-old former Cannock coach. “It’s great for the league to have a top level hockey player coming in.”
Richard Smith, the GB international who is currently recovering from knee surgery, played a key part in securing Hayward’s services, while Harry Gibson, the GB under-21 goalkeeper, has benefitted from the New Zealander’s firepower in training.
Johnson added: “They all talk about Andy and there is a buzz about the club. Hopefully his signing will see others come next season.”
For now, all eyes are on two British goal poachers. Matt Daly and Alan Forsyth have scored nine goals between them for Surbiton and both were on the score sheet during a 6-2 mauling of previously unbeaten Beeston.
East Grinstead are second on goal difference after they beat Brooklands Manchester University 5-2, brothers Ashley and Wesley Jackson both notching goals.
In the women’s premier division, there is no stopping a “tireless” Clifton side: top of the league, unbeaten and another scalp in the bag after a 3-1 on the road at Leicester.
Rachel Mack’s well-taken goal via a deflection gave the hosts a first-half lead, before a Jo Leigh brace and Els Mansell’s strike from open play left Steve Rixon, the Clifton coach, to admit that the league this season “will be very competitive from a large group of teams”.
Rixon hailed Dawn Mitchell’s return after a baby, Leigh’s pace and “terrific eye for goal” and the Bristol side’s fitness for their current form.
Clifton’s Liz Sinton has player her part too.
A strength and conditioning coach at the English Institute of Sport, 'Sargeant' Sinton has helped her team-mates to become one of the fittest in the league.
That much was evident against Leicester as they pushed on in the second half. “There is a richness to our play and we just don’t tire,” said Rixon. “We are very fit and organised, with a few more years under our belts.”
On Leigh’s form, Rixon added: “Perhaps Jo didn’t push on last year. She has terrific eye for goal and pace. There is a spring in her step.”
Elsewhere, Rebecca Herbert scored four as Surbiton romped to a 6-0 win over Beeston.
Buckingham picked up their first win of the season at home to Bowdon Hightown, GB defender Zoe Shipperley scoring in a 3-1 win.
Reading’s early season difficulties continue. Canterbury scored either side of half-time through Sarah Kerly and Grace Balsdon, meaning Reading sit second bottom with one point.
Scorpions sting Vikings at City Park Stadium
By BRIAN YONGA
Lucy Wanjiku scored two goals as Strathmore Scorpions hit Vikings 4-1 to continue their impressive start to the season in the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) women’s hockey league match played at the City Park Stadium on Sunday.
Further goals from Yvonne Wanjiku and prolific striker Gilly Okumu capped of an impressive performance for Strathmore.
The win, their third successive victory in as many games, took the university side to nine points in Pool B and saw them retain their unbeaten run in the league.
Strathmore dominated the early proceedings, with Okumu and Carol Njoki troubling the opposition’s defence with their runs and link up play. Okumu almost gave her team the lead in the fifth minute with a shot inside the Vikings’ box.
They took the lead in the ninth minute when a neat exchange of passes between Okumu and Carol Njoki set up Wanjiku who finished off the move with a well-taken goal that beat Vikings goalkeeper Brenda Nandwa.
The goal stung Vikings into action as they played with more urgency, pulling more players forward in search of the equalizer. They almost leveled deep in the first-half when Susan Muchai’s shot was cleared off the line by the Strathmore defence.
They equalized in the 56th minute when Jacinata Masila scored following a shot corner awarded to her team. Strathmore however showed their class with two goals in two minutes from Lucy Wanjiku and Yvonne Wanjiku to regain the lead. A fourth goal from Gilly Okumu put the icing on the cake.
“This is another impressive performance from the team. We played well, pushed them hard and scored beautiful goals to get the three points,” Strathmore coach Meshack Senge said.
Strathmore now have one match left against second-placed Sliders and a draw will all but confirm their place in the play-offs.
Poor turnout for MHL
THE Malaysia Hockey League Premier Division saw a further slide as only six teams confirmed participation when entries closed.
The tournament will start on Oct 29, minus Nur Insafi who made up the numbers last season.
KL Hockey Club, the four-time consecutive League and Overall champions since 2011, will open accounts against Tenaga Nasional in the Charity Shield.
The other four teams are Maybank, UniKL, Sapura and Terengganu.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Competition Committee secretary Hashim Yusoff said he is not sure why Nur Insafi are not competing this season.
Terengganu, even with top local players, fared badly last season as they ended fifth out of seven teams in the league, and were also demoted to Division Two in the Razak Cup.
However, Terengganu are said to have signed six foreign players as well as national players to make them the favourites this season.
The Premier Division final is slated for Dec 21 to give the national team time to prepare for the World League Second Round in Singapore on Jan 17-25.
If Malaysia fail to win gold in the Asian Games, the World League is a second chance to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
New Straits Times
Cal field hockey falls to Duke, Wake Forest
By Jessi McDonald
Things got off to a rough start for Cal’s field hockey team this weekend, and while the Bears were able to get their heads back in the game for the second half of Friday’s Duke matchup, it wasn’t quite enough to have an impact on the No. 5 Blue Devils. Duke came away with a 2-0 victory, and No. 16 Wake Forest followed suit, winning Sunday’s game 2-1.
The weekend provided Cal’s first scoreless game — somewhat surprising for a team that has had recent success on offense. Seniors Lara Kruggel and Andrea Earle have scored multiple points in the past four games, and Paula Seibt’s multigoal weekend Sept. 19 and 20 resulted in NorPac Freshman of the Week honors.
But just 1:36 into Friday’s matchup, Duke forward Heather Morris was able to get a shot past Bears goalkeeper Courtney Hendrickson, and Jessica Buttinger added one to the scoreboard late in the first half for a decisive Blue Devils victory.
The Bears’ dissatisfaction with their first-half play was evident in Cal head coach Shellie Onstead’s remarks after the game.
“We played our worst half of the year in the first half,” Onstead told Cal Athletics. “We didn’t play anywhere near our capabilities in the first half, and it put us in a hole.”
Right now, Cal is a very young team — with seven freshmen, two redshirt freshmen, four sophomores and three redshirt sophomores, the Bears have a total of 15 underclassmen on a 22-player roster. So it’s almost inevitable that when facing a top-five opponent, they will feel a bit of extra pressure. And while the team’s three seniors — including two redshirt seniors — may be more experienced in separating that stress from their play, this proved to be more difficult than expected for the rest of the young team.
“I think they were just nervous first half,” Onstead said. “I think it was just, yeah just nerves. By halftime, they figured out it was no big deal. We made a couple of adjustments, and we came back that much more aggressively. We were very tentative in the first half.”
After regrouping at the half, the Bears were able to amp up their play, but Duke’s stoic defense would prove to be too tough to break through, as Cal ended the game with multiple shots but zero goals.
Sunday’s Wake Forest game did nothing to improve the Bears’ spirits. The Bears came out with a much stronger start, evidenced by Andrea Earle’s goal four minutes in — what ended up being the Bears’ only goal of the game. And while Cal was the first the first team to score, Wake Forest’s follow-up play was too much to handle for a team who had already been through the ringer. The Demon Deacon’s second goal — scored by Krysta Wangerin at just past the 45-minute mark — was the final blow to an already-struggling Bears team.
While this weekend’s games will probably be games the team wants to forget, Onstead will make sure to remind them.
“You have to build on the things you did well and make sure you address the things you didn’t do well at practice this week,” Onstead said. “It is a week-by-week adjustment, and it is important not to forget to remind them.”
Fiji hockey looks for potential players
THE Fiji Hockey Federation has embarked on a mission to scout for potential talents to represent the national team for the international tournaments.
National coach Hector Smith held High Performance Unit training sessions in Ba and Lautoka over the weekend attracting overwhelming response.
Smith said this year's Oceania Championship would be tougher with the inclusion of the New Zealand President's team.
He said a number of young talents turned up from Lautoka and Nadi on the weekend.
"The training session in Ba was also successful," Smith said.
"There are some good young talents in Lautoka, Nadi and Ba. In Suva we have the big advantage of having the national hockey centre.
"Bringing this program out to the West is to filter the new ideas to the talents. I have been coaching the national team for some time so we need to start breeding the new players and sharing the new ideas.
"So that when they get to the national camp things are not new for them. With this we have a bit of a wider base to choose from."
The Oceania Championship will be held in Suva from December 6-13.
Smith said they had been working tirelessly on building a formidable national team.
He said the second trials would be held next month.
"We have been working hard since July for the upcoming Oceania Championship," Smith said.
"The New Zealand President's Selection will be coming this time so there is a lot of respect for hockey locally. We have taken care of Australian Country, the New Zealand Maoris and the other Pacific Island teams before.
"The New Zealand President's team will be a big challenge for our players this year. The second trials will be held on October 18-19.
"After that we will have our final trials. So there will be competition right until the end so nobody slacks off. Everyone will be looking forward to it with great interest."
The Fiji Times