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News for 29 November 2015

All the news for Sunday 29 November 2015

GB, Australia & Netherlands all victorious on Day 2 in Raipur

The second day of action at the Hero Hockey World League Final saw wins for Great Britain, Australia and the Netherlands, while host nation India returned to form with a deserved draw against Olympic champions Germany in Raipur, India.

Simon Mantell scored twice as Great Britain got their campaign off to a flying start with a 3-1 win over Pool A rivals Canada. Mantell needed just two minutes to open his account with a tap-in before Mark Pearson restored parity with a speculative cross from the right that found the bottom left corner. Second quarter goals from Mantell and Alastair Brogdon gave Great Britain a 3-1 advantage at half time, a lead that the dominant Europeans would never relinquish.

Also in Pool A, a solitary goal from Australia veteran Jamie Dwyer was enough for the top ranked Kookaburras to edge past Belgium.The 36-year-old five times FIH Player of the Year fired home from a tight angle in the 22nd minute to give the Aussies victory in a replay of the first place match from the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Antwerp earlier this year.

Speaking after the match, Australia striker Kieran Govers said: "It was a hard running, physical sort of game. It is always a good challenge to start off with Belgium, and we always have very close games with them. It was a scrappy 1-0 win, but we will look at the video, see what we need to improve on and look forward to taking on Great Britain tomorrow."

In Pool B, host nation India thrilled the fans by holding Germany to a 1-1 draw. For the second evening in succession, a large, passion-fuelled crowd turned out to cheer on the home team and were rewarded with a very good display from India, who rediscovered their form following their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Argentina on Friday evening. Germany were the first team to strike, with an unmarked Niklas Wellen finishing from close range just six minutes into the match before Akashdeep Singh scored a brilliant equalizer in the final quarter.

“We made far fewer unforced errors today than we did yesterday”, said India Head Coach Roelant Oltmans in the post match press conference, referring to his team’s defeat to Argentina on Friday. “Sometimes you need a result like that to show the way to play. I’m proud of the way we played, and this is where the tournament starts for us.”

The final match of the day was an absolute thriller between the continental champions of Europe and Pan America, with the Netherlands taking a 3-2 win over the ever-impressive Argentina to move to the top of Pool B at the end of Day 2.

Defending champions the Netherlands were irrepressible in the early stages, establishing a 3-0 lead thanks to spectacular strikes from youngster Thierry Brinkman and Seve van Ass before Roel Bovendeert tapped home a fine team move.  However, two goals from Argentine penalty corner expert Gonzalo Peillat dragged Los Leones back into the game and set up a tense final quarter. Despite great pressure from their South American rivals, excellent defensive work ensured that Oranje held on to claim all three points.

Results – Day 2

Pool A:
Great Britain 3, Canada 1
Hero Man of the Match: Nick Catlin (GBR)

Australia 1, Belgium 0
Hero Man of the Match: Matt Gohdes (AUS)

Pool B:
Germany 1, India 1
Hero Man of the Match: Sardar Singh (IND)

Netherlands 3, Argentina 2
Hero Man of the Match: Robert van der Horst (NED)

FIH site

Winning start for Australia, Britain in HWL Final

RAIPUR: World champions Australia eked out a narrow 1-0 win over Belgium while Great Britain spanked defeated Canada 3-1 in Pool A matches of the Hockey World League (HWL) Final at the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium on Saturday.

In the second match of the day, legendary striker Jamie Dwyer scored a brilliant field goal in the 2nd minute to hand world No 1 Australia their first win in the tournament.

Even though the Belgians tried hard but they failed to break the resolute Australian defence.

Meanwhile earlier in the day, Great Britain beat Canada 3-1 to open their campaign o a positive note.

Great Britain, who left experienced players like Ashley Jackson and Barry Middleton for this tournament, struck an early goal through a field effort from Simon Mantell (2nd minute) to take the lead.

But Canada bounced back strongly and equalised within two minutes through a field goal from Mark Pearson to make it 1-1.

The British side, however, scored two more field goals within two minutes in the second quarter to make the scoreline 3-1 in their favour.

Mantell scored his second of the day in the 23rd minute before Nick Catalin extended the lead in the next minute from another field strike.

Thereafter, both the teams tried hard but failed to break the opposition defence.

Great Britain will face Belgium tomorrow while tournament favourites will be up against Canada in the other Pool A match.

The Times of India

Great Britain off to winning start at World League

Nick Catlin takes on Richard Hildreth of Canada. Photo by Ian MacNicol Getty images

Two goals from Reading’s Simon Mantell helped steer Great Britain to a 3-1 win over Canada in their opening match of the World League Final. Mantell struck in the first minute and then added his second before half time with Canada levelling it up in between through Mark Pearson. Alastair Brogdon notched a third in the 24th minute and that’s how it stayed, handing Bobby Crutchley’s team all three points.

Great Britain made a dream start, finding the net with their first attack. Brogdon fed Ollie Willars who had made his way forward down the left; he looked up and picked out Simon Mantell to touch in from close range for the opening goal.

The lead lasted just three minutes. Mark Pearson played the ball goalwards with what seemed to be a cross, but it beat everyone and found its way into the far corner. Great Britain rallied and an outrageous through-the-legs deflection from Brogdon brought a good save from former Canterbury goalkeeper Antoni Kindler. The Canada stopper was in action again moments later spreading himself well to block from Dan Shingles to keep it all square at quarter time.

Great Britain started the second quarter strongly and were camped in the Canada half for the opening exchanges. Nick Catlin was picked out near the top of the circle by Dan Shingles but he couldn’t manufacture the power to beat Kindler who saved again.

Their persistence paid off with 23 minutes on the clock. Scott Tupper couldn’t cut out a pass which allowed Tim Whiteman in on the right. The No21’s cross found Mantell who expertly guided the ball home for his second of the match. It was 3-1 a minute later as Catlin’s shot from the edge of the circle hit Brogdon’s stick to deceive the goalkeeper. With a minute left in the quarter Canada won a penalty corner but Tupper’s effort was charged down and Great Britain led 3-1 at the interval.

Bobby Crutchley’s side forced a couple of penalty corners at the start of the second half but Sam Ward’s efforts were blocked by the runner and then Kindler denied the No13 with a good save. Another chance went begging from another penalty corner, Harry Martin couldn’t get a touch on Phil Roper’s pass, but despite not adding to their score Great Britain finished the third quarter very much in the ascendancy.

Catlin and Brogdon combined in the second minute of the final quarter but the Holcombe man couldn’t keep his shot down and it flew over the bar. At the other end Harry Gibson, a half time replacement in goal, had to be on his guard, making a fine smothering save from Adam Froese to preserve the advantage. Mantell came close to grabbing his hat-trick with a fierce penalty corner strike that Kindler got down smartly to save but despite a number of late forays forwards from Great Britain they were unable to add to their tally and the score remained 3-1.

Bobby Crutchley’s side are in action again tomorrow as Great Britain take on Australia at 15:00 UK time

Nick Catlin, Great Britain:

“It was a solid team performance. We wanted to get off the mark today and it’s important to get points on the board which is what we’ve done. We worked hard and are pleased with the win and the performance.

We attacked with good intent and showed some good movement in the final third, especially off the ball. We’ll need to bring that into the game against Australia tomorrow.”

Great Britain 3 (1)
Simon Mantell 1, 23 (FG, FG)
Alastair Brogdon 24 (FG)

Canada 1 (1)
Mark Pearson 4 (FG)

Great Britain Hockey media release

Canada drops first game of World League Final 3-1 to Great Britain

Shaheed Devji

(Image credit: Yan Huckendubler)

Two goals from Simon Mantell led Great Britain to a 3-1 victory over Canada in both teams’ first game at the 2015 Hockey World League Final Saturday in Rajpur, India.

Great Britain, ranked fourth in the world, got off to an early start as Mantell got his first of the game by getting a stick on the end of an Ollie Willars delivery only two minutes into the match.

“At certain times our basics let us down,” says veteran Canadian midfielder Mark Pearson. “We know we’re not as technically gifted as some teams here but we really on our basics. It’s just a little bit frustrating.”

Canada responded quickly, however, when Pearson took a quick shot from the top of the circle and beat goalkeeper James Bailey in the fourth minute. The officials reviewed the play, but the goal stood with Pearson’s shot coming from just inside the area.

“From that position, I’m just looking to drag it into the D and kind of fire it in to the back post,” says Pearson. “It’s something our coach always harps on. I was a little bit fortunate, I just kind of skipped one in off the back post.”

The two teams played at 1-1 to the end of the first quarter and in the second, Great Britain began to mount the offensive against the fourteenth ranked Canadians. Despite the chances though, the game remained tied thanks to some steady goaltending from Canadian keeper Antoni Kindler.

It wasn’t until the twenty-third minute that the deadlock was broken. It was once again Mantell at the end of a cross-goal delivery getting a stick on the ball for his second of the game, giving the Brits a 2-1 lead.

Immediately after the goal, Canada was given the game’s first card and Great Britain didn’t take long to convert with the man advantage.

A Canadian turnover resulted in a circle entry and after the ball bounced around and wasn’t cleared, Nick Catlin smashed a shot – which was deflected – past Kindler.

Canada earned the game’s first penalty corner late in the first half and were able to get a shot on goal, but Bailey was equal to the challenge, turning it away and keeping the score at 3-1 at half-time.

Early in the second half, Great Britain was given its first penalty corner of the game, and as he did for much of the first half, Kindler stood tall keeping the ball out at the game within reach for Canada.

There was no scoring in the third quarter and both teams traded chances in the fourth, but again without a goal being scored. Great Britain held on for the 3-1 win and Canada took the loss.

Despite coming up on the wrong end of the decision, Canada was able to steady its defensive shape as the game went on and created some offensive chances of its own. The Canadians will likely be encouraged with the effort against a team ranked ten spots higher than it in the world rankings.

“Eyes are certainly certainly on the Olympic Games next summer,” adds Pearson. “It’s the first game of a long road so we’ll go back and look at the video and try to improve.”

The Canadians have no time to rest as they play their second of game of the round robin on Sunday against Belgium. First whistle is scheduled for 5:00am PT/8:00am ET. The game will be broadcast on ATN’s Cricket Plus channel in Canada. Subscription is required.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Dwyer tames Red Lions

Jamie Dwyer goal give Kookaburras early World League win

Jamie Dwyer’s clinical goal from an acute angle helped the Kookaburras to victory in a characteristically tight affair against Belgium in their opening clash at the Hero World League Final.

The five-time World Player of the Year, Australia’s leading goal scorer broke the deadlock midway through the second period after the Kookaburras had weathered the early Belgian pressure.

And the margin of victory might have been greater if goals from Mark Knowles and Matt Gohdes had not both been overturned on appeal to the video umpire.

Kookaburras Head Coach Graham Reid called it a good “baseline performance for the rest of the tournament” explaining, “We started well in the first five or ten minutes but then we began turning over the ball, which allowed them to get back into it.

“We came back in the second quarter and I was certainly happier at half time. It always helps to put some scoreboard pressure on.

“I was very happy with how we absorbed pressure and defensively it was a pretty good effort, although we threw the ball away a lot.”

Aussie goalkeeper Andrew Charter played his part early on, denying Belgian superstar Tom Boon from a penalty corner, with Boon also passing up a good opportunity at the back post in the 15th minute.

The Kookaburras showed patience in the early stages before taking the upper hand in the second quarter. Kieran Govers saw a penalty corner flick saved moments before Dwyer’s strike, and Belgium scrambled clear another Australian penalty corner late in the period with Aran Zalewski arriving at the back post.

Jeremy Hayward and Glenn Turner both had chances either side of Mark Knowles’ disallowed goal, which was ruled out when Gohdes’ original shot was deemed to have come off the underside of his stick. And Rockhampton-born forward Gohdes was on the wrong end of another referral after he had knocked home late in the game, Belgium successfully appealing the ball had come up dangerously off his stick before the strike.

Gohdes was subsequently named Hero Man of the Match and said afterwards, “Belgium are a tough team. We did our homework and expected the match to be like that. It was more of a grind than we would have liked but to come through it with the result is good.”

Pool A

Jamie Dwyer 22 (FG)


Pool A
1. Great Britain (3 points)
2. Australia (3 points)
3. Belgium (3 points)
4. Canada (0 points)

Pool B
1. Netherlands (4 point)
2. Argentina (3 points)
3. Germany (2 point)
4. India (1 points)

Kookaburras Squad v Belgium
Raipur, India
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD) 67/12
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT) 99/0
Kieran Govers (Wollongong, NSW) 111/56
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT) 40/13
Fergus Kavanagh (Geraldton, WA) 211/16
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD) 270/22
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA) 80/34
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS) 257/63
Simon Orchard (Maitland, NSW) 182/54
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD) 123/6
Glenn Turner (Goulburn, NSW) 119/88
Used Substitute
Matthew Dawson (Central Coast, NSW) 27/3
Tim Deavin (Launceston, TAS) 119/6
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD) 346/233
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD) 138/45
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA) 55/0  
Dylan Wotherspoon (Murwillumbah, NSW) [QAS athlete] 18/4
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA) 72/8

Remaining Kookaburras' fixtures at World League Final, Raipur
Monday 30 November – 02:00 AEDT: Kookaburras v Great Britain
Wednesday 2 December – 00:00 AEDT: Kookaburras v Canada
Thursday 3 December – tbc: Quarter final
Friday 4 December – tbc: Quarter final
Saturday 5 December – tbc: Semi final / 5-8 playoffs
Sunday 5 December – tbc: Semi final / 5-8 playoffs
Monday 7 December – tbc: Medal matches

Hockey Australia media release

Refreshing stuff in 1-1 draw of India and Germany

K Arumugam

India's sudden found attacking flavour and error free show caught the equally aggressive and hardly erring Germans unawares, who despite scoring a goal in the very second minute of the game, had to be contended with a 1-1 draw in the third match of Day Two of the Hockey World League here in Raipur, India.

When almost half a dozen Indian players watched, giving little effort to block, alert Niklas Wellen scored an easy goal what was expected was an usual Indian rout.

In the end, the sixth minute goal seemed an aberration, as Indians changed the gear for once and were all over their rivals for most part of the game.

They showed verve in their attack with good ball possession skilss.

Despite winger SV Sunil injured and had to be rested, India showed gumption and grit in weaving cobweb around otherwise accurate and geometric defenders led by none other than Moritz Furste.

Moritz, who got injured seriously on the knee yesterday, who had to be taken out of field in a stretcher, played full time today showing what it takes to play for the team. He did not take rest. The rest actually was taken by Nicholas Jacobi, their main goalie. Instead, lanky Andreas Spack guarded the cage full time.

In the fourth quarter, after coming close to strike at least five times, Akashdeep Singh tapped the ball in to the cage (47th Min) for India's first goal in two matches.

Its Birendra Lakra, much like Raghunath in the first two quarters, who surged ahead on the left flank, and combined beautifully with hardworking Manpreet Singh to create the goal opportunity.

Shortly later, Ramandeep Singh, who missed a sitter in the very first minute of the game, got a yellow card punishment.

Its Birendra Lakra who rose to the occasion when India played with a player less, even coming upfront to pep up the attack, with that the morale of the team too.

Manpreet Singh put his heart out in tackling. Akashdeep Singh and Sardar Singh really showed some extraordinary alertness when they snatched the ball from under the nose of rival defenders and making their intension clear: Today is different from yesterday.

India and Germany were cautious not to give away penalty corners: both got solitary one.

Danger seemed lurking when in the last minute Raghunath too got yellow card, but alert India warded off two good attacks from German right wing, and then when they almost threatened the hooter came.

Its second draw for Germany which drew Netherlands yesterday

In the other same pool, Argentina seemed vulnerable to clinical finish of Netherlands when they took 3-0 lead but Argentina converting two of the three penalty corners it got, got the score line narrower (2-3).

However full points for Netherlands despite not playing experienced goalie Jaap Stockmann. In the first match of the day, Australia survived a Belgium scare before a goal by Jamie Dwyer giving victory.


Improved India rallies to hold Germany

Uthra Ganesan

Niklas Wellen evades defenders to score for Germany. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty images

After a pedestrian performance in its opening game, it was a different India that turned up against Germany on Saturday, holding the Olympic champion to a 1-1 draw with a much-improved performance in the Hockey World League Finals here.

Coach Roelant Oltmans had made it clear that he “did not want to see the kind of performance” that came against Argentina “ever again.” The threat clearly worked. India was better in every department of the game, including confidence. It attacked more, kept up the pressure and ensured that the Germans had to earn their goal.

Showing greater urgency right from the beginning, India’s first shot at goal came in the fourth minute when Martin Zwicker made a desperate clearance on the goalline to thwart Chinglensana Singh. A minute later, Sardar Singh’s brilliant pass from the half line went waste with Talwinder Singh unable to hold on.

In control

With 53 per cent possession, the Indians held control for a major part of the game. The figure was the same as against Argentina but the difference was in making use of that advantage. While India had a total of four shots in the opening game, it entered the German D 24 times on Saturday. In comparison, the Europeans could manage only 18, a mark of the much-improved Indian defence.

The constant attack, however, also opened up the defence to counter-attacks and Germany, struggling to come to terms with a resurgent India, struck home in the sixth minute. Timur Oruz broke past three Indian defenders to put an unmarked Niklas Wellen through and the latter made no mistake in slotting the ball in.

The reversal, however, did not put India on the backfoot. Unlike on Friday, the team kept pressing ahead despite trailing, looking to break into the opposition striking circle and earn a penalty corner.

Manpreet Singh and Sardar Singh were outstanding in the midfield, fuelling the forwards with accurate and incisive crosses, advancing from the centre and right. Goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh came good yet again under the bar, warding off repeated threats, two back-to-back saves in the eighth minute and a penalty corner.

The repeated pressing ahead kept the Germans under pressure and in the 48thh minute, goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi finally faltered as Manpreet’s pass from the 25-yard line to an unmarked Akashdeep Singh was put through the goalkeeper’s legs for the equaliser.

That goal recharged the Indians and despite being a man down for the last 10 minutes — first with Ramandeep out and then Raghunath picking up a yellow card — the host managed to keep Germany at bay. On the flipside, committing fouls in the dying minutes is something the Indian defence, in particular Raghunath, needs to worry about.

The results: Pool A: Great Britain 3 (Simon Mantell 2, Alastair Brogdon) bt Canada 1 (Mark Pearson); Australia 1 (Jamie Dwyer) bt Belgium 0.

Pool B: India 1 (Akashdeep Singh) drew with Germany 1 (Niklas Wellen).

The Hindu

India fight back to hold Germany 1-1

Sam Chakraborty

India's Devindar Walmiki vies with German captain Tobias Hauke during their Hockey League World Final match in Raipur. (Getty images)

RAIPUR: The hunger and the intent seemed to be back as India drew 1-1 against a compact German side here. Coming on the back of a 0-3 humbling against Argentina on Friday, the hosts rode Akashdeep Singh's strike to earn their first points of the World League Finals.

Earlier, a solitary goal from Australia veteran Jamie Dwyer was good enough to down Belgium.

India began on an enterprising note with Manpreet Singh immediately putting the German defence under pressure as he combined with defender Jasjit Singh Kular to release Ramandeep Singh on the right flank. India's first circle penetration though returned no gain as Akashdeep failed to control Ramandeep's cross to the far post with Moritz Furste & Co caught napping at the back.

Lady Luck, though, smiled on Germany soon as Valentine Altenburg's team made the best use of a vulnerable Indian defence. Against the run of play Niklas Wellen scored past goal keeper PR Sreejesh after Manpreet and Jasjit failed to deal with Timur Oruz's cross from the left. It was a classic opportunistic strike from the German midfielder after Ramandeep clearly messed it up on the other end of the field despite being perfectly set up by skipper Sardar Singh from the right edge of the inner circle.

Germany had the chance to double their lead in the 18th minute only for Sreejesh to pull out two back-to-back spectacular saves to keep his team in the hunt. With Manpreet shooting from outside the box with a free-hit and Akashdeep coming close once again India continued their sustained pressure on the German defence as Andreas Spack pulled off a stunning save from Devindar Walmiki to keep the visitors on course for their first win of the tournament.

While Sreejesh thwarted a menacing Florian Fuchs from the edge of the inner circle, India's determination and constant circle penetration finally bore fruit in the 47th minute as Akashdeep struck home sweetly after collecting Manpreet's fine cross from the left of the goal. Akashdeep did his reputation no harm as he produced India's first goal of the tournament when it mattered most.

The Times of India

India find their feet, hold Germany

Akashdeep scores a blinder to help hosts salvage a point after another poor start

Raipur: India put up a resolute performance to hold Olympics champions Germany 1-1 in their second match of the Hockey World League (HWL) Final here today.

Niklas Wellen’s fifth-minute strike was cancelled out by Akashdeep Singh in the 48th minute as the hosts came back strongly after a 0-3 thrashing in the opener against Argentina. It was Germany’s second consecutive draw after the Valentin Altenburg-coached side played a goalless draw on the first day against European champions Netherlands.

Germany, boosted by the return of captain Moritz Furste who was stretchered off during Friday’s game, started at a fast pace.

Aided by the power of attacking midfielder Christopher Ruhr and centre-half Tobias Hauke, they controlled the proceedings.

Timor Oruz entered the circle from the left, dodging past Rupinderpal Singh and Birendra Lakra before passing it to an unmarked Wellen, who tapped into an open goal.

The momentum continued as Hauke later fed Oruz for a fierce backhand at goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who blocked and it fell near Oliver Korn but his shot was wayward.

India gathered steam in the latter part of the second quarter as a brilliant build-up play from skipper Sardar Singh saw Akashdeep’s ferocious backhand strike saved with equal brilliance by goalkeeper Andreas Spack. Manpreet also got a good opportunity but wasted it with a lethargic drive that didn’t help Akashdeep, who was lurking in front of the goal post. Trailing 0-1, the Indians seemed more determined after the lemon break as they moved forward in search of the equaliser.

Chinglesana Singh played the ball into the legs of a defender, earning the first penalty corner. Rupinder’s flick was deflected on to the post and the rebound fell near Ramandeep, who showed a lot of impatience before the Germans cleared it.

Established German defenders Martin Zwicker and Martin Haner were on the ball at all times and used the aerial route to good effect by playing it to Hauke.

The crowd had to wait for 48 minutes for the home team to score as once again the combination of Manpreet and Akashdeep did wonders for Roelant Oltmans-coached India. Manpreet charged ahead and set it up for Akashdeep, who hit a reverse stick drive for the equaliser.

Germany replied with a quick counter-attack and were rewarded with a penalty corner that was saved admirably by Sreejesh.

India play the Netherlands on Monday.

In the other matches of the day, Australia beat Belgium 1-0, while Britain overpowered Canada 3-1. A solitary goal from veteran Jamie Dwyer was enough for the reigning world champions Australia to defeat Belgium. The 36-year-old fired home from a tight angle in the 22nd minute to give the Aussies victory.

Meanwhile, Simon Mantell scored twice in Britain’s win over Canada.


    India dr Germany 1-1
    Britain bt Canada 3-1
    Australia bt Belgium 1-0
    Netherlands bt Argentina 3-2

Today’s matches

    Belgium v Canada (6.30pm)
    Australia v Britain (8.30pm)

Live on Star Sport 1

The Tribune

Stuck to our gameplan today after Argentina defeat: Oltmans

RAIPUR: India's chief coach Roelant Oltmans was a "proud" man after his side played out a 1-1 draw against Olympic champions Germany today, especially after the disappointing 0-3 loss to Argentina in the opening match of the Hockey World League (Final), here last night.

India produced a lacklustre performance against Argentina yesterday but dished out a much-improved showing to hold the European giants to a draw and a proud Oltmans said it was the result of team effort.

"We discussed what happened yesterday and we made amends for that today. The team showed a lot of energy which we were lacking yesterday. We made less unforced errors than yesterday, especially at the start of the game. The team stuck to their gameplan till the last minute today," the Dutchman, who is also the High Performance Director of Indian hockey, said at the post-match press conference.

"Sometimes you need small results like this to show that this is the way we have to work. I am proud in the manner they recovered so close after yesterday's disappointing game. We kept fighting to score a goal. We had more chances. The team really had done very well. This is the start. I said yesterday that one defeat is not a disaster in a tournament like this."

"Yesterday, we didn't look like a team and I told them that in the team meeting. But today we were one team and that displayed in our game," he said.

Oltmans said India showed intent and created more chances today which was not there in yesterday's game.

"Of course, we had plenty of chances but at the same time Germany is known as one of the best defending teams in the world. You can see the way they stay calm to overcome difficult situations and that is their strength. But the good thing is we created chances, yesterday we didn't and that is the big difference," he said.

He praised midfielder Manpreet Singh who created the opportunity from which Akashdeep Singh scored in the 47th minute to level the scores.

"Manpreet from the first minute showed the desire of the team today," he said.

India will take on defending champions Netherlands in their last Pool B match on Monday.

"We another tough game to go against Holland and these matches help us to be better," Oltmans said.

SV Sunil missed today's game due to a knee injury which he suffered in the last match but the coach hoped the striker to recover before the knock-out phase of the tournament.

"He (Sunil) got hit on the knee yesterday. You never know how long it will take but I expect him to recover and be back during the tournament. I am not sure whether he can play against Holland but I hope him to play in the quarter-finals," Oltmans said.

The Times of India

India eyeing consistent show against Netherlands

Getty Images

RAIPUR: Bolstered by an inspired show against Olympic champions Germany, India would look to maintain consistency in pursuit of their first win in the tournament when they face defending champions Netherlands in their last Pool B match of the Hockey World League Final, here on Monday.

India dished out a superlative performance on Saturday to hold the mighty Germans to a 1-1 draw. The draw holds greater significance for India as it came on the back of a disastrous outing in the tournament-opener against Argentina.

If in the 0-3 defeat against Argentina India were lacklustre and looked out of sorts, against the Germans India produced a near-perfect game to dominate the match for a majority of 60 minutes.

Unlike the match against Argentina, the Indians showed more urgency and attitude from the word go against Germany.

The Sardar Singh-led midfield produced a stellar performance to create numerous scoring opportunities for the forward line, which was missing in the first match.

Sardar himself has led by example in the two matches while Manpreet Singh showed hunger and was instrumental in setting up goal for Akashdeep Singh against Germany.

Barring a few silly errors, the backline too played a solid game against Germany. Birendra Lakra, in particular, stole the limelight in both the matches.

But the form of India's fowardline should be a cause of concern for chief coach Roelant Oltmans. Ramandeep Singh and Talwinder Singh were impressive in the first two matches while Akashdeep played well in patches.

To add to India's forward line woes, SV Sunil, who did not play against Germany on Saturday, is a doubtful starter against Netherlands as well as he is yet to recover from a knee injury sustained during the game against Argentina.

"He (Sunil) got hit on the knee. You never know how long it will take but I expect him to recover and be back during the tournament. I am not sure whether he can play against Holland but I hope him to play in the quarterfinals," Oltmans had said after Saturday's match.

Oltmans was full of praise about his wards' performance yesterday but sounded caution ahead of their final pool game against world no.2 Netherlands.

"We had more chances (against Germany). The team really had done very well. I said before that one defeat is not a disaster in a tournament like this. The good thing is we created chances, against Argentina we didn't and that is the big difference," he said.

"We have another tough game to go against Holland and these matches help us to be better," Oltmans added.

Against Germany, the Indians showed aggressive intent and the energy level was also high and it remains to be seen whether they can maintain the same competitive attitude against Netherlands.

Looking from the tournament's point of view, a win on Monday will do a world of good for the Indians. A victory will not only boost their confidence but will also help them avoid a last place finish in the tough Pool B.

India are presently at the bottom of Pool B and last place finish means they will have to play the Pool A toppers in the quarterfinals, in all likelihood world champions Australia.

On the other hand, with a win and a draw, Netherlands are sitting pretty at the top of Pool B and on rankings, the Dutchmen will definitely start as favourites.

But the Indians will be a confident lot going into the match as in the last meeting between the two teams -- last year's Champions Trophy -- India registered a close 3-2 win over Netherlands in the pool stages.

The Times of India

Bessell relishing the OZ challenge

Royal Leopold coach John Bessell says that while drawing Oranje Zwart is one of the hardest draws his side could have received, it is a “challenge we will relish”.

The Belgian side advanced to the KO16 with strong wins over Italy’s SG Amsicora and Russia’s Dinamo Elektrostral in October in Hamburg.

But they will have to step up a level at Easter 2016 when they take on the reigning champions.

Speaking to the EHL website, Bessell said of the draw: “Drawing OZ, they are a very tough opponent but a challenge we will relish.

“We have been making small steps forward in many areas during the last two seasons in Belgium. To play OZ in such an arena as the EHL, will only help us with our progression.”

His side have the benefit of some insider knowledge with former OZ players Gabriel Dabanch and Elliot van Strydonck in their squad this season.

Euro Hockey League media release

Rejuvenated Reading beat Clifton

Reading Hockey Club. Credit RSKG Photography

Rejuvenated Reading scored a 3-1 win at Clifton in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division, leaving them seventh in the table and unbeaten in four matches.

They lost their first seven matches but the turnaround has been remarkable, and continued with the win at Clifton. Hannah Leigh scored first after 11 minutes, and scored against early in the second half.

Clifton’s Joanna Carter pulled one back on 57 minutes, but Reading made sure of the win with Liz Hunt scoring two minutes from time.

Elsewhere a strong defensive performance from Buckingham saw them hold out against league leaders University of Birmingham.

But a sole second-half strike from Rebecca Condie spared their blushes and means the students remain unbeaten.

Surbiton also head into the winter break unbeaten after they secured a 4-0 win at home to Holcombe with goals from Emily Atkinson, Abi Robinson, Hannah Coulson and Emmie Le Marchand keeping them in touch with the leaders.

Canterbury in third also claimed a 4-0 win thanks to goals from Grace Balsdon, Dirkie Chamberlain and two from Sarah Kerly as opponents Leicester remain in eighth place.

Bowdon sit one place below them in ninth after they let a 1-0 lead slip to lose 2-1 away at East Grinstead.

Investec Conference East

Amy Sheehan scored twice to help maintain Slough’s eight-point advantage at the top of the Investec Women’s Conference East with a 2-1 win at home to Ipswich.

Charlotte Anderson scored late on to give the bottom-placed side hope, but Ipswich remain winless as Slough stay comfortably clear at the top.

Hampstead and Westminster consolidated second place with a 3-2 win at home against Wimbledon thanks to goals from Fleur Horner, Hayley Turner and Amy Askew.

Cambridge City led 2-0 at St Albans but had to settle for a 3-3 draw after the home side put in a strong second-half showing, whilst Chelmsford lost 2-0 at home to Maidenhead and Sevenoaks drew 2-2 with Harleston Magpies.

Investec Conference North

League leaders Wakefield slipped up in the Investec Women’s Conference North as they were beaten 2-0 at home by Beeston.

Sophie Robinson and Tori Wensley scored either side of the break for Beeston to inflict Wakefield’s second defeat of the season.

Brooklands Poynton moved into second after Ellen Lockhart’s goal helped them defeat Belper 1-0 and cut the gap at the top to five points.

The University of Durham missed the chance to close the gap on the leaders after they were beaten 3-0 away at Liverpool Sefton, a result which sees them drop to third.

Elsewhere Ben Rhydding were 3-1 winners away at bottom of the league Whitley Bay and Tynemouth, whilst Loughborough Students beat Springfields 6-1.

Investec Conference West

Sutton Coldfield made it nine wins out of 11 with a 6-1 victory against the University of Bristol in the Investec Women’s Conference West.

There were goals for Emma McCabe, Claire Florida-James, Sarah Parkinson-Mills, Susan Wood, Charlene Mason and Beth Merriman as the league leaders continued their fine start to the season and leave the students rooted to the bottom.

Swansea City maintained the pressure in second with a comfortable 4-1 win at home to Olton and West Warwicks, whilst Trojans also racked-up a big win with a 6-2 victory over Oxford Hawks.

Elsewhere Gloucester City and Isca played out a 1-1 draw whilst Stourport were 3-1 winners over Bristol Firebrands.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 28 2015):
Investec Women's Premier Division: Clifton 1, Reading 3; East Grinstead 2, Bowdon 1; Leicester 0, Canterbury 4; Surbiton 4, Holcombe 0; University of Birmingham 1, Buckingham 0.

Investec Women's Conference East: Chelmsford 0, Maidenhead 2; Hampstead and Westminster 3, Wimbledon 2; Sevenoaks 2, Harleston Magpies 2; Slough 2, Ipswich 1; St. Albans 3, Cambridge City 3.

Investec Women's Conference North: Belper 0, Brooklands Poynton 1; Liverpool Sefton 3, University of Durham 0; Loughborough Students 6, Springfields 1; Wakefield 0, Beeston 2; Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 1, Ben Rhydding 3.

Investec Women's Conference West: Gloucester City 1, Isca 1; Stourport 3, Bristol Firebrands 1; Sutton Coldfield 6, University of Bristol 1; Swansea City 4, Olton & West Warwicks 1; Trojans 6, Oxford Hawks 2.

England Hockey Board Media release

KU Titans floor Daystar Falcons to claim bragging rights


Nelea Ayako of Mount Kenya University (left) vies with Grace Wanja of Sliders during their Kenya Hockey Union national women's league match at the City Park Stadium on November 28, 2015. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

Kenyatta University (KU) Titans beat Daystar University Falcons 2-0 in a Kenya Hockey Union women's national league played at City Park Stadium on Saturday.

In another match, Sliders hit Mount Kenya University 6-0 in another women's encounter at the same venue.

Rehab Nyuthe and Irene Khaloba were on target for the Titans to earn them the win and bragging rights in the university derby.

Titans coach Dominic Mutwoi was impressed by the team's performance noting they will build on the win in their next matches.

"We want to have consistency in this leg and that means collecting as many wins as possible and based on this performance, I am confident we will finish in a good position," Mutwoi told Sunday Nation Sport.

"We were dominant today and should have scored more goals based on the many chances we created."

Titans were superior in all departments and took the game to their opponents who appeared clueless in front of goal.

Titans skipper Prudence Wasilwa put in a superb display to inspire her team setting up both goals.

Daily Nation

Sarjit still waiting for Faizal

By Jugjet Singh

TERENGGANU are still waiting for their start performer Faizal Shaari to give them a concrete answer whether he will be playing in the Razak Cup or not.

The Division Two matches have started, but Division One only begins Monday, and team lists must be submitted to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) by noon Sunday.

Terenggnau coach Sarjit Singh trained with eight players yesterday, as he is still waiting for some players to report for duty.

"I have been in contact with Faizal and he told me he needs more time to decide if he will be able to play for Terengganu or not. We will know for sure on Sunday," said Sarjit.

In the Malaysia Hockey League, Faizal top-scored with 18 goals to help Terengganu Hockey Team lift the double.

However, the troubled player has not been attending national training after ending his marriage leave, and the MHC have referred him to the disciplinary board, and he could face a total domestic and international ban up to two years for indiscipline.

RESULTS -- Division Two: Sarawak 0 Kelantan 6, Armed Forces 4 Kedah 2, Police 6 Perlis 2.

SUNDAY -- Division Two: Selangor v Kedah (Pitch I, 6pm), Perlis v Sarawak (Pitch II, 6pm), Police v Armed Forces (Pitch I, 8pm).

MONDAY -- Division One: Group A: Perak v Penang (Pitch I, 8pm), Terengganu v Malacca (Pitch II, 8pm).

Group B: Negri Sembilan v Pahang (6pm, Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur v Johor (Pitch II, 6pm).

Note: All matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Azlan now focused on helping Perak win Razak Cup

by Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: It’s a blessing in disguise for defender Azlan Misron that his services are no longer required by the national hockey team.

The 32-year-old, who has 350 international caps to his name, is glad because he can now focus all his energy on leading his state team, Perak, to a third straight Razak Cup Division One title.

Azlan’s last assignment with the national team was the World League Semi-Finals in Antwerp, Belgium, in June. Malaysia finished sixth in the tournament and failed to qualify for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

“I’m not too concerned about my services being no longer required by the national team. I have contributed enough for Malaysia in tournaments since 2000.

“I will continue to play in domestic tournaments as long as I can, and my mission is to help Perak bag the third straight title,” said Azlan, who will be featuring in the Razak Cup tournament for the 12th time since 2000.

It will also be a family affair for Azlan as his younger brother and forward Azril will also be featuring in the tournament.

Perak also have another pair of brothers playing for them – goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin and his younger brother and national defender Mohd Izad Hakimi.

Perak, who also have the services of three other national players – defender Mohd Sukri Abdul Mutalib, midfielder Meor Mohamed Azuan Hasan and forward Haziq Samsul – will open their Group A campaign against Penang at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Monday.

Their other group matches are against Malacca on Tuesday and Terengganu on Thursday.

Last year’s runners-up Pahang are in Group B with Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Johor.

The Star of Malaysia

The Golden Girls Visit the Olympic Hockey Stadium in Rio

Candela Diaz Bustos

On the final Friday of the Aquece Rio Test Event, and during the game played between the men’s national teams of Brazil and Chile, the players of the women’s national team of Holland, "the Golden Girls," made their entrance.

The players stopped by the stadium to get a glimpse of the playing field on which the Olympic Games will be played next year from August 5 through 21, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil before traveling to Argentina to play in the Hockey World League Final in Rosario, Argentina from December 5 through 13. 

The Dutch players shared some friendly moments and took pictures with other women players of the Aquece tournament.  They later had a training session on the main pitch in the presence of hundreds of spectators and tournament volunteers.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

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