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News for 29 May 2016

All the news for Sunday 29 May 2016

Argentina Take Home Gold at the Pan American Juniors

Argentina went undefeated to claim 1st place, while Canada and Chile finish 2nd and 3rd respectively

Fiona Downey

Photo: Yan Huckendubler

A blistering final day in Toronto led to a strong finish, with hard fought battles for the final positions.  Hometown Canada were unable to take gold, losing out to the talented Argentinian side in the final game of the day. Chile toppled the Americans to take bronze. Trinidad and Tobago edged Mexico to claim fifth, and Guyana earned a seventh place finish over Puerto Rico.

Guyana and Puerto Rico got the sweltering final day in Toronto underway with the battle for 7th place. It didn’t take long for the action to begin, with Puerto Rico scoring on a 4th minute penalty corner deflection to take the 1-0 lead. Guyana quickly responded, with Andrew Stewart getting the backhand shot off to chip the goalkeeper in the 8th minute. Guyana controlled the game heading into halftime, drawing great saves from Puerto Rican goalkeeper Sanchez to keep the game at 1-1 at the half.

Guyana took the lead in the 51st minute, with number 7 Aroydy Brandford driving across the circle to the baseline, before slipping it to teammate Hilton Chester for the easy tap-in. Puerto Rico did not wait long to equalize, with Eddie Fuentos Rios driving a backhand into the bottom corner to get the score to 2-2. In the 63rd minute, Guyana got the penalty corner, drawing a great first save from goalkeeper Sanchez, only to have Aroydy Brandford bat the ball out of the air on the backhand for the go-ahead goal. And then it was Brandford again in the 65th, getting the backhand through to make it 4-2. Final score, Guyana 4, Puerto Rico 2, with Guyana taking home 7th place.

Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago battled for 5th place. The first half began tense, with each team trading chances with near misses. In the 14th minute, Othon broke through, placing a sizzling backhand into the bottom left corner of the T&T goal. 1-0 Mexico, but the end to end action continued. Kieron Emmanuel equalized for T&T in the 20th minute off the flick on the penalty corner. The pace did not slow, with strong saves coming from each goalkeeper on the quick breaks, but the half ended knotted at 1 apiece.

The second half began the way the first ended, with action continuing at each end of the pitch. In the 47th minute, T&T broke the deadlock with a goal from Kristien Emmanuel into the near-post netting. In the 55th minute, Mexico’s Raymundo Lemus got the game even again, with a slip past the goalkeeper after a steal in the circle. T&T, however, responded immediately, with Teague Marcano striking the ball hard into the bottom left corner of the Mexican net, to put his team up 3-2. In the 67th minute, Vieira put the game away, with a strike from the top of the circle for T&T. Final score, 4-2 T&T over Mexico to take 5th.

The USA and Chile got the battle for bronze off to a quick start. Chile had the initial penalty corner opportunity, only to see the US goalkeeper make the save. The USA responded immediately, getting their own penalty corner in the 4th minute. Sean Cicchi took full advantage, placing his flick into the bottom left corner. The USA took confidence with their early goal, staying cool under the Chilean pressure in the cagey match. Chile were able to create opportunities from their penalty corners, but O’Lari in the American net was up to the task each time. With six penalty corner saves, he kept his team ahead 1-0 heading into halftime.

The second half began with a quick break from the American number 18 Khokar, with his shot just missing the far post on his backhand. Chile settled down the half after that, keeping and dominating the possession. Chile’s pressure paid off quickly, getting a dangerous ball into the circle in the 40th minute, leading to a scrappy and well-fought tally by Nicolas Bravo to tie the game. Chile kept up the pressure and took the lead in the 48th minute off the drag flick by Amoroso high into the right corner. The Americans had the pressure to go on the offensive, but they could not breakthrough the unrelenting Chilean attack. Chile got their third of the afternoon from Felipe Renz in the 59th minute. They followed this up with their fourth in the 64th minute, with a backhand off the penalty corner from Nicolas Renz. Although the Americans pulled their goalkeeper with just under 5 minutes remaining, Chile was able to hang on and take bronze by 4 goals to 1.

Canada and Argentina, having already qualified for the junior world cup, began the game quickly, trading runs back and forth down the field. In the seventh minute, Argentina got the first true break, earning a penalty stroke. Maico Casella made no mistake, firing the ball hard into the bottom right corner, fooling the Canadian goalkeeper. Tense minutes followed, with Argentina dominating possession, but Canada held their shape well to withstand the pressure. Their patience paid off, as they were able to get the break for a Canadian penalty corner, forcing a save from the relatively untested Argentinian goalkeeper Emiliano Bosso. Argentina, however, was able to double their lead in the 25th minute from Keenan, who tapped it in at the backdoor. Argentina held on with sufficient Canadian pressure at the end of the half to hold their two-goal lead.

The second half began quickly, with Argentina getting a few breaks. Canada did well handling the pressure, before some impatient play handed them a yellow card forcing them down to ten men. Argentina were quick to win a penalty corner with the man advantage, and Tomas Domene converted, hard into the bottom right corner. Domene was back at it in the 53rd minute, storming down the leftside of the pitch. Gill was able to come out to challenge and make the save, but Canada saw themselves penalized with another yellow card. But two Argentinians swiftly followed the Canadian off the pitch, as the umpires looked to control the emotions of this tense final. The two teams traded penalty corners late in the 2nd half, but only Argentina was able to convert. The captain Maico Casella fired the drag flick, ensuring he would not only take home the gold, but the goal scoring title. Argentina was not finished, and fired in their fifth goal in the final two minutes. It was created by great team play up the field, and a deft finish into the netting by Bugallo. And that would be the final, 5-0 to Argentina, taking home the gold.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Canada finishes Junior Men’s Pan Am with silver and 2016 World Cup spot

Shaheed Devji

Canada’s Under-21 Men’s National Team poses with their silvers medals after a 5-0 loss to Argentina May 28 at the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship in Toronto.

Canada’s Under-21 men are leaving the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship with a silver medal and spot at the 2016 Junior World Cup after taking second place following a 5-0 loss to Argentina Saturday in Toronto.

The two Pan Am finalists, Argentina and Canada, are headed to December’s Junior World Cup in India as the Pan American representatives. Chile took the Pan Am bronze after a 4-1 defeat of the United States.

The Canadian men finished the 2016 Pan American Championship with three wins and three losses.

“It’s been great. It’s really made me realize the competition that’s our there,” says 16 year-old Canadian midfielder James Wallace, who had the honour of wearing the captain’s armband in the final of his first major international tournament for Canada. “It just motivates me more when I get back in Vancouver to train harder, get on the pitch more, run more, do all those things so next time we see them we’ll be ready.”

Argentina controlled for a majority of Saturday’s gold medal match, beginning with an up-tempo pace and carrying the majority of the possession in the first few minutes. The start resulted in a first penalty corner in the 5th minute of play but a good stick tackle by Ganga Singh stopped the attempt.

In the 7th minute, however, Maico Casella, the tournament’s top goal scorer, converted on a penalty stroke after a mad scramble in front of Canadian goalkeeper Iqwinder Gill.

After Argentina went up 2-1, the Canadians seemed to settle into the match and began to hold the ball themselves and work their way into the Argentine end.

The Canadians picked up their first corner of the game after a well designed play into Argentina circle resulted in the ball hitting an Argentinian foot.

Brandon Pereira’s dragflick was stopped by left-hand of goalkeeper Emiliano Bosso to keep the game at 1-0.

Argentina added another goal in the 24th minute off the stick of Nicolas Keenan, who tapped the ball in at the side of the net after it came loose behind Gill.

“I thought we had a good game but we had a few lapses and that’s where they scored,” adds Wallace. “With a team as good as Argentina, just like the ones we’ll face in India you can’t let this happen, because they’ll bury them.”

Canada had a chance to come within one in the final minute of the first half when they picked up two corners but couldn’t convert on either attempt.

The next goal of the match would be the decider as it would bring Canada within one or put the Argentines up by three with less than one half to play.

Unfortunately for the Canadians, in the 45th minute Argentina converted on a corner with Canada shorthanded because of a yellow card given minutes earlier.

Despite Canada’s best efforts, Argentina would add two more before time was out to go on to the 5-0 win.

Field Hockey Canada media release

T&T whips Mexico for fifth spot in Pan Am

T&T’s hockey players line-up for the start of the national anthem prior to their 4-2 win over Mexico at the 2016 Junior Pan American Hockey Championship at the University of Toronto, Canada, yesterday.

Four different players were on target as T&T’s Under-21 hockeymen came from behind to whip Mexico 4-2 in their fifth place playoff in the 2016 Junior Pan American Hockey Championship at the University of Toronto, Canada, yesterday.

The Mexicans were first to strike in the 11th minute through Miguel Othon, but the Darren Cowie-coached T&T squad hit back through Kieron Emmanuel in the 20th minute for a 1-1 score at the half-time interval.

Twelve minutes after the restart, Kieron’s brother, Kristien Emmanuel put T&T ahead for the first time in the contest, but the Mexicans drew level in the 55th thanks to Raymundo Lemus.

Their joy was short-lived though as Teague Marcano restored T&T’s lead a minute later before Jordan Vieira added a fourth item in the 67th minute to secure the win, and fifth place finish, the same as four years ago in Guadalajara, Mexico, as well as in 1985 in Orlando, Florida, USA.

T&T also placed sixth in Barbados (1996) and Chile (1981), seventh on home soil in 2008 and 2000 in Santiago, Chile, and eighth in 2005 in Havana, Cuba.

Ten-time reigning champions Argentina defeated host Canada 5-0 for the gold medal, with both finalists qualifying for the Junior World Cup to be held in India, in December.

Chile stopped USA 4-1 in the third place playoff match in the penultimate match of the tournament. Prior to the T&T/Mexico match, Guyana defeated Puerto Rico by a similar 4-2 margin for seventh spot.

The Trinidad Guardian

Egara and Polo line up Spanish final date

Real Club de Polo kept alive their chances of winning the Spanish national title for the fourth successive season as they beat Atlètic Terrassa 3-2 in their semi-final in Madrid.

It sets up a final date with Club Egara who saw off Club de Campo 3-2 in their semi-final as the top two from the regular season lines up a Sunday showdown.

For Polo, they took an early lead when Lucas Vila deflected in a crash ball from mid-circle for 1-0. Manu Bordas made it two from his side’s first penalty corner and Pepe Borrell’s goal put them three clear in the 42nd minute.

With eight minutes to go, Marc Sallés gave Atlètic a lifeline and he added another with two minutes left to bring a miracle comeback into view. In a frantic finish, Mario Fernandez made some key saves in a contentious closing phase with lengthy debate between the players and umpires but the result stayed 3-2.

All told, it will be Polo's eighth national final in succession having won the league the last three years and also reached the last four cup finals.

Egara were the first side to reach the final. Pep Romeu’s corner was the only goal of the first half. Juan Alvarez-Labrador equalised when he took down an aerial ball close to goal and hit home.

But two swift right wing attacks got Egara 3-1 up. Edu Arbós’s diving cross was turned in by Vincente Ruiz and then Lluis Mercadé got the next one on the backhand.

Leandro Tolini reduced the gap but Egara stayed firm to keep their hopes of adding the national title to the regular season crown they won earlier this month.

Euro Hockey League media release

Day 2 a day of close encounters at Cal Cup

By Jawwad Qamar

Day 2 of Cal Cup saw all Super Division teams in action with some tightly fought games. The Olympic Club started the day with a 1-0 victory over Northwest in women’s division pool A match on a Sophie Valcke penalty stroke in the second half. Later in the afternoon, Olympic Club was held to a 1-1 tie by the Mates4Mates Warriors women in a physical affair. Kirsten Wilson scored for the Warriors and Kellie Joyce for the Olympic Club.

Northwest bounced back in their afternoon match blanking out Straight Ballin’ 3-0 on goals by Courtney Hessler, Emily Costa and Jenna Vivian.

Tiffany Snow scores for Rick’s Chicks as Kristen Mohamed of Team Northeast watches on Friday at Cal Cup 2016 - photo by Ned Dawson

In women’s pool B, Team Northeast defeated Rick's Chicks 2-1. Chicks scored first on Tiffany Snow’s goal early in the match but Alli Lokey levelled for Northeast on a penalty corner as the first half ended and gave her team the lead three minutes into the second half.

Jolie Pitts and RUSHd followed with a 1-1 tie as Megan Rodgers scored for RUSHd in the first half and Becky Dru tied it for Jolie Pitts late in the second half.

In men’s division pool A, Lakhwinder Singh scored the winning goal for Surinder Lions from Canada against the Kings for a 3-2 win, a local club, after the first half ended levelled at 2-2. Simranjit Singh and Barkat Singh were the scorers for the Kings while Gursev Singh and Balwinder Singh took the honors for the winners.

JDH Montauk Sharks were 2-1winners over LA Tigers. A Lucas Judge field goal gave the Sharks 1-0 lead in the first half but Kwan Brown got the equalizer for the Tigers thanks to a penalty stroke. However Luke Doerner’s penalty corner goal proved to be the match winner for the Sharks who seemed poised to take the $7,500 this year.

Bulldogs defeated Team HFS 2-1 in pool B match with all goals coming in the second half. Ajai Dhadwal and Troy Sutherland provided a 2-0 lead for the Bulldogs while Will Holt got the lone goal for HFS and leads all scorers with 4 goals in the tournament.

Bay Area FHA closed out the day’s play with a 2-1 win over Mates4Mates Warriors keeping the Aussies winless so far. Keir Dixon and Jo Hanker netted the goals for Bay Area while Daniel Taylor scored for the Warriors.

Team HFS started the tournament Thursday afternoon with a 3-1 win over Mates4Mates Warriors men thanks to a hat trick by Will Holt while Mates4Mates Warriors women had better luck edging out Straight Ballin’ 1-0 in the other Super Division encounter.

Will Holt of Team HFS celebrates his hat trick against Mates4Mates Warriors in the opening match on Thursday at Cal Cup 2016 - photo by Ned Dawson

All 146 teams in 14 divisions will be in action on Day 3, Saturday, as Cal Cup 2016 tournament goes into full swing. For results, schedules and directions to the venues, please visit www.calcup.com.

Fieldhockey.com Exclusive

Cal Cup Day 3 – Women’s Semifinals set

By Jawwad Qamar

Ten matches took place in Men and Women Super Divisions on Day 3 of California Cup 2016 at Moorpark College. The men played four games while the women six, with RUSH’d opening and closing the day’s competition. RUSH’d were held to a 2-2 draw by Team Northeast in the Pool B opener but edged out Ricks Chicks 1-0 in the last match of the day, nine hours later to qualify for tomorrow’s semifinal.

Earlier, Ricks Chicks were part of a goalless draw against Jolie Pitts. However, Jolie Pitts closed out their day with a 2-0 victory against Team Northeast on second half goals by Becky Drew and Daphne Voormolen to top Pool B and move to the semifinal round.

In women’s Pool A play Northwest defeated Mates4Mates Warriors 2-1 to finish second in the group and qualify for the semifinals while the Olympic Club whipped the winless Straight Ballin’ 3-0 finishing the Women’s Division with most points, 7, and move into tomorrow’s semifinal against RUSH’d where they’ll be the favorites.

The Olympic Club on attack against Straight Ballin’ on Saturday at Cal Cup 2016 - photo by Ned Dawson

Women’s Semifinal schedule:

2:30 pm    The Olympic Club vs RUSH’d
3:40 pm    Jolie Pitts vs Team Northwest

In the Men’s Division, Team HFS beat Bay Area FHA 3-2 in an exciting Pool B encounter with Pako striking twice and Will Holt adding a penalty corner goal to his tournament leading tally of 5 goals. Jules and Miel Vugts were the scorers for Bay Area FHA. In the other Pool B contest, Bulldogs blanked the winless Mates4Mates Warriors 2-0 on second half goals by Ajai Dhadwal and Troy Sutherland and are likely to top their pool and easily qualify for the semifinals.

Two very exciting Pool A matches followed with JDH Montauk Sharks edging out the Kings 3-2     in the first one on goals by Dave Bartram, Lucas Judge and Jason Tomlinson while Barkat Singh and Simranjit Singh scored for the Kings.

The other Pool A match was a 3-3 tussle between defending champions LA Tigers and Surinder Lions from Canada. One goal by Lakhwinder Singh and two by Gurpreet Singh had the Lions up by two goals but Jags Gill got one back with 15 minutes left and then the ever elusive Kwan Browne struck to level score on a penalty corner. Paul Singh was the other scorer for the Tigers. While the Sharks are guaranteed to advance to the semifinals, the second team will be decided after tomorrow’s pool matches. If the Lions lose to the Sharks and the Tigers win over the Kings, both teams will finish with 4 points and it’ll come down to the goal differential to determine who advances.

JDH Montauk Sharks on attack against the LA Tigers on Friday at Cal Cup 2016 - photo by Ned Dawson

For results, schedules and directions to the venues, please visit www.calcup.com.

Fieldhockey.com Exclusive

Gurmit and Sarjit rise again

By Jugjet Singh

From LEFT: Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh and skipper Faizal Shaari. Police skipper Baljit Singh and coach Gurmit Singh.

FORMER National coaches Sarjit Singh and Gurmit Singh were all-praises about each other's abilities yesterday, but the good friends will leave no stone unturned to beat the other to the 54th Razak Cup Division One title at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil Sunday.

Gurmit will have a slight advantage, as Polices' secret weapon has been penalty corner specialists Razie Rahim and Baljit Singh, while Nabil Fiqri is a super feeder.

Former national player Baljit has completed his Inspector's training, while national players Nabil and Razie joined a nine-month training stint with Police on May 8, but received exemption to play hockey.

Sarjit will again bank on his 13 Malaysia Games players, and Faizal Shaari, who is tied on five goals with Razie for the top-scorers' award.

In Division Two, Perlis will play Penang and the champion will gain promotion. And in the inaugural women's Razak Cup, Pahang will play Armed Forces.

"I was assistant coach to Sarjit for the 2008 Olympics Qualifier in Japan (Kakamigahara) and learned much from him. We are very good friends off the pitch, but for four quarters tomorrow (today) we will be planning to beat the other at any cost," said Gurmit.

Police have had a fairy-tale run thus far, as last season they ended as Division Two champions with 17 goals scored by their skipper Baljit. And barely 12 months later, they are in the final of Division One.

"We had had had a tough journey to reach the final, with Malacca (2-2) and Perak (3-0) giving us a really tough fight (Police scored all three goals in the last quarter).

"And with the cup just one step away, I believe my team-mates will give their very best to win the first Division One title for Police," said skipper Baljit.

Terengganu, who last won the title in 2012, but Sarjit is a master tactician, who has turned his 13 Malaysia Games players into gems.

"My young players have a never-say-die attitude and execute different plans for different teams without asking questions.

"They have managed to adapt to many different styles of play in this tournament, and even though Gurmit is a very good friend, I have a plan to beat his team to the title," said Sarjit.

Both Sarjit and Gurmit were unceremoniously dumped after Malaysia finished third in the Kakamigahara Olympic qualifier, but rose from the ashes to lead their teams into the final.

RESULTS: Division One: Third-Fourth: Malacca x Perak x; Fifth-Sixth: Negri Sembilan x Kuala Lumpur x; Seventh-Eighth: Pahang x Johor (6pm, Pitch I).

Division Two: Third-Fourth: Kelantan x Forces x.

Women's Round Two - Group X: Malacca x Pahang x; Group Y: Perak x Selangor x; Group M: Terengganu x Malacca x; Group N: Johor x Penang x.

SUNDAY: Division One Final: Terengganu v Police (8.35pm, Pitch II).

Division Two Final: Penang v Perlis (6pm, Pitch II).

Women's Final: Pahang v Armed Forces (4pm, Pitch II); Third-Fourth: Kuala Lumpur v Selangor (4pm, Pitch I); Fifth-Sixth: Malacca v Perak (9.30am, Pitch II); Seventh-Eighth: Terengganu v Johor (7.30am, Pitch I); Ninth-10th: Sarawak v Penang (7.30am, Pitch II); 11th-12th: Kedah v Sabah (9.30pm, Pitch I).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Tengku Ahmad seeking Razak Cup double glory

By Aftar Singh

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (right) is hoping to win the Razak Cup Division Two title with Perlis. - filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Former international Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil has a dual mission in the Razak Cup Division Two final.

The 30-year-old forward’s first task is to help Perlis to win promotion and the second is to win the top scorer award.

Perlis take on Penang at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.

Tengku Ahmad, who has scored eight goals in four matches, said he has never tasted Razak Cup glory.

“I have been playing in the tournament for the last 10 years and this is the first time we have qualified for the final.

“This is also the first time I stand a chance of winning the top scorer award. Although it is easier said than done, I will go all out to score in the final,” said Tengku Ahmad.

His main challenger for the award is Penang’s Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin who tallied seven goals.

Tengku Ahmad added that Penang hold the edge as the islanders had beaten Perlis 7-3 in the opening group match.

“Penang have the psychological advantage. We have 12 young players competing in their first final and it will be tough for them but I hope they can rise to the occasion,” added Tengku Ahmad.

After the loss to Penang, they bounced back to beat Selangor 2-1 and Kedah 6-1 to finish second in their group.

In the semi-finals, they outplayed Armed Forces 4-1.

Penang, who were demoted to Division Two after finishing last in the top division last year, trounced Kelantan 7-3 in Friday’s semi-finals.

The Star of Malaysia

Terengganu out to spoil Police's Razak Cup party

By Aftar Singh

Terengganu’s Muhamad Akhimullah Anuar Esook (centre) action during the semi-finals against Malacca. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Terengganu will be out to dash Police’s hopes of a historic Razak Cup title at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The Cops, who won the Division Two title last year, are gunning for their maiden crown while the East Coast side are out to lift their second title on Sunday.

Unbeaten Police qualified for the final with an impressive 3-0 win over last year’s runners-up Perak in the last-four on Friday.

Terengganu, who won the title in 2012, will be relying on former international forward Faizal Saari, who netted five goals in four matches, to deliver in the final.

But he may face a stumbling block in Police goalkeeper Zaidi Ibrahim who has been outstanding between the posts.

Police, on the other hand, will be banking on penalty corner specialist Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim, who has also scored five goals in four matches, to get on the score card in the final.

Police will welcome the return of forward Azreen Rizal Nasir who has served his one-match suspension for a red-card offence against Malacca on Wednesday.

Overall, Terengganu have a slight advantage as they are powered by four national players in forwards Faizal, Mohd Firhan Ashaari, goalkeeper Mohd Hafizuddin Othman and midfielder Mohd Fitri Saari.

Despite the high stakes in today’s showdown, there is unlikely to be any chance of hostilities as both coaches are good buddies. Terengganu’s Sarjit Singh was the national coach from 2006 to 2008 with Gurmit Singh his assistant.

Gurmit said that Sarjit is his “Guru”.

“I have high regard for Sarjit, who is one of the best coaches in the country,” said Gurmit.

“It is a proud moment for us to reach the final as we hope to create history by lifting our first title.

“We respect Terengganu, who have young and energetic players. It will be a good final.”

Sarjit congratulated Gurmit for guiding Police into the final.

“I’m happy for Gurmit as he has put in a lot of hard work with the team,” said Sarjit.

“I’m also glad that the 13 Sukma (Malaysia Games) players in my team have gelled well with the five seniors.

“I am also expecting it to be a good final,” said Sarjit.

The Star of Malaysia

Punjab Whites squeeze into National U-18 Hockey quarters

Mohsin Ali

ISLAMABAD - Punjab Whites booked their place in the quarterfinals of the 1st National U-18 Hockey Championship 2016, after thrashing Sindh Colours 4-0 in the last pool match played here at Naseer Bunda International Hockey Stadium on Saturday.

In the first match played at 3:30pm, Punjab Whites put tremendous pressure on Sindh to take early lead, but Sindh defense remained rock solid and denied Punjab from scoring in the first quarter.

Punjab forwards looked highly frustrated as despite coming so close from scoring, they failed to break the deadlock.

In the second quarter, Punjab went all-out attacking in search of a goal, knowing anything less than the victory might hamper their chances of making it to the quarterfinals and finishing top of the pool.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 18th minute, when Mutaza Yaqoob broke the hearts of Sindh and scored a wonderful field goal, while Rao M Ali then scored his first and Punjab’s second goal in the 24th minute and Aamir Ali contributed the third goal in the 26th minute to finish the quarter at 3-0.

Punjab took further five minutes to score their fourth goal through Rao Ali, who completed his brace in the process.

Punjab must rethink their strategy if they really want to win the title, as their missing ratio is alarming and it would not be easy for them to progress while playing against tough opponents in the knockout stage.

Although the coach made some changes in the last match, yet Punjab should have scored at least 10 to 12 goals as Sindh had not created even a single move and played entire four quarters trying to avoid goals not to score goals.

In the second and last match of the day, KP Colours hammered Sindh Greens 12-0.

It was goals fiesta, as goals were coming from all corners and almost all the players were on the score sheet.

Amjed Ur Rehman and Amjed Khan were the heroes for KP as they scored hat-trick each, while Afraz scored a brace and Saeed Ullah, Kher Ullah, Nabih Khan and Roman scored a goal each.

KP scored all the goals in first two quarters and failed to add further goals in the entire 30 minutes of last two quarters.

Talking to The Nation, tournament director Col (R) Ahmed Nawaz Malik looked highly satisfied with the arrangements made by his staff.

“When youngsters are involved in such high-profile event, we would ensure tournament conclude on same spirit.

The way teams and officials are cooperating is quite heartening,” Col Ahmed concluded.

The Nation

Kate's insight into why hockey's great to watch

Kate Richardson-Walsh with the 2015 UniBet EuroHockey trophy

Great Britain and England captain Kate Richardson-Walsh says she is constantly told by supporters just how impressed they are when they watch hockey for the first time.

The game has changed immeasurably in recent times, and few are better placed than record cap holder Kate to discuss just how the sport has developed on the pitch.

She said, "The game has changed so much. As an example, one of the nicest things about London 2012 was the feedback from spectators about the game itself.

"At an Olympics you get a lot of people who haven't watched hockey before, they got tickets to our matches, and I've lost count of the amount of people who said to me they can't believe how fast the game is, how fast the ball moves, how much running the players do.

"The ball is constantly in play, I think because it's 11-a-side people expect it to be like football, but with the self-pass rule and no offside, we're using the whole pitch and it's flat out for the whole game.

"Players move the ball across big distances in the air and on the ground, they're regularly going at speeds of more than 20kph, the ball is going over 100kph, so the entire game looks great.

"There's always something going on, it's end-to-end, constant action and it's great in that respect."

All of those attributes will be on display at the Hockey Champions Trophy in East London in June. The women's event runs from 18th to 26th June, straight after the men's competition on 10th to 17th.

Kate is aiming to lead the women to more glory on the Olympic Park after success in last year's Euros, and she said, "It's a massive tournament, it's full on, five games in seven days which is good prep for Rio which would be eight in fourteen - all being well! So playing the top sides on home soil will be great."

Tickets begin at just £5 for Under 18s and £20 for adults - incorporating all three matches - as a great tournament gets underway. For the full ticket page please click here.

England Hockey Board Media release

How GB skipper helped Indian star

Barry Middleton of England and Great Britain

Indian midfielder Manpreet Singh has hailed the influence of GB and England Hockey captain Barry Middleton.

Singh played alongside Middleton in the prestigious Indian Hockey League, and cited our skipper as a key influence in his development, saying, “For youngsters like me HIL gave us the platform to interact with top players on and off the field. During HIL I got to learn from players like Moritz [Fürste] and Barry Middleton on how to play under pressure situations, how to play a back drive while playing defence and also how to control the game when you are in the lead. I believe these things have helped me mature as a player.”

Singh is now looking forward to June’s Hockey Champions Trophy in London as part of the India squad, and he is bullish about their chances of success. “We don’t feel scared to take on big teams anymore. We don’t think ourselves as underdogs anymore. In fact, we will go with the confidence that we are as good as any other team if not better.”

“[In the Champions Trophy] we will find out where we need further improvement to our game. We can access each of our abilities to perform under pressure because each of these matches will be high intensity. Also if we make mistakes here, we will have some time to correct them before the Olympics,”

India play in the very first game of the Champions Trophy against Germany on Friday 10th June at 4pm, while Middleton's GB have a mouth-watering game versus Australia on the same night at 8pm. In between, Belgium take on Korea to complete three attractive fixtures at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Tickets for the first day begin at just £5 for Under 18s and £20 for adults - incorporating all three matches - as a great tournament gets underway. For the full ticket page please click here.

If you're talking about the event online, the official tournament hashtag is #HCT2016

England Hockey Board Media release

For U.S. field hockey, the road to Rio and redemption starts in Amish Country

Road to Rio starts in Lancaster County

By Liz Clarke

After disappointing performance in London Olympics, the U.S. women’s field hockey team has found the focus and support it needs in the farmland of Pennsylvania.

MANHEIM, Pa. — The giant, inflated practice bubble and artificial-turf field loom as a jarring punctuation mark in the rolling farmland of Lancaster County. But here, amid the silos, church steeples and fertile soil of south-central Pennsylvania, the U.S. women’s field hockey team is preparing for the Rio Olympics.

After a last-place result at the 2012 London Games, the U.S. squad relocated its training base from Chula Vista, Calif., abandoning sun-kissed weather and easy access to San Diego’s beaches and night life for this farming community of 4,800, just northwest of Lancaster. And, in doing so, it came home.

Lancaster County may be the agricultural heart of Pennsylvania, but field hockey also has a deep taproot in the region, where it’s played with passion from elementary school on. That largely explains why two-thirds of the U.S. women’s field hockey team is from Pennsylvania or neighboring New Jersey.

It’s also why residents of Lancaster County have adopted the squad’s road to Rio as their journey, too — one they’re helping pave with uncommon resourcefulness and pride.

Jerri Anne Johnson, 62, a retiree who lives just a few miles from the team’s training base at Manheim’s massive Spooky Nook Sports complex, has opened her four-bedroom home to team members in need of housing. Her husband makes sure their cars’ tires are filled with air, while she makes sure they have essentials such as Epsom salts for healing baths, quinoa, almond butter and a blender to whip up vegetable-laden smoothies.

Area dentist Rick Knowlton cares for the players’ teeth, including custom-fitted mouth guards that are regarded as essential in this high-velocity sport. And Evolution Power Yoga’s Lancaster studio sends instructors to the training complex to lead players in twice-weekly classes focused on flexibility and restoration.

“Lancaster really is the mothership area for field hockey,” says Gabi Nolt, who coaches field hockey at York College and manages the Lancaster studio, which recently donated the proceeds of its weekly community fundraiser to the field hockey team.

For superstar Olympians — members of USA Basketball, for example, or celebrated champions such as Serena Williams and Ryan Lochte — fundraising for Rio isn’t a concern. But it’s an imperative for the U.S. women’s field hockey team, which can’t get to Rio without private donations. The USOC bankrolls the travel for the 16 players who will be named to the Olympic team and two staff members. But the squad must pay expenses for two alternate athletes and three other staff members.

That’s why Johnson came up with the idea of selling paper “bricks” — gold, silver or bronze, depending on the donation — on which supporters could write a message to the squad and help pave their Road to Rio. With less than 70 days before the United States’ Aug. 6 opening match against Argentina, the campaign was short of its $75,000 goal. But sentiments on the bricks, which are tacked on the team’s locker-room wall, provide a terrific morale boost.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take!” reads one brick.

“KICK A$$!” urges the one bought by USA Volleyball.

And from Emma, scribbled in a child’s hand: “Play your hearts out but don’t die!”

A community organized

The homegrown outpouring is a reflection not only of central Pennsylvania’s love of field hockey but also of a communal spirit that’s rooted deep in the region’s culture. It’s how the Amish and Mennonites who settled in Lancaster County traditionally raise barns and stitch quilts, with individuals lending whatever skill and expertise they have to help a neighbor’s cause.

The field hockey players repay the community, in turn, as frequent visitors to local schools and supporters of Girls on the Run, a charitable group that promotes healthy habits and self-esteem among third- to eighth-graders.

The field hockey team turned out in force for last fall’s Girls on the Run 5K, the twice-yearly capstone event of the 10-week training session, in which running, walking or a hybrid of the two are celebrated equally. After leading the roughly 1,200 girls in pre-race stretches, the athletes took up posts along the route to cheer them toward the finish, while U.S. Coach Craig Parnham issued the starting command from atop a ladder, megaphone in hand.

“If it takes a village to raise a baby, it takes a community — a big community — to take a team to the Olympics,” explains two-time Olympian and team captain Lauren Crandall, 31, a native of Doylestown, Pa. “And to be role models for a community where they understand what field hockey is, and they appreciate what we do, is a big opportunity for us.”

Central Pennsylvania’s passion for field hockey stands in sharp contrast to the general puzzlement about the sport in Southern California. Here, it’s not uncommon for players to be recognized while running errands. Even their exhibition matches routinely sell out.

The sport has a storied history in Pennsylvania, introduced in 1901 by Britain’s Constance Applebee, who served for decades as Bryn Mawr College’s field hockey coach. But the reason it took hold in the state’s central region, Crandall believes, is because of the blue-collar character of the residents and their tradition of passing down their values to the next generation.

“It’s that type of person, with a hard work ethic and that family orientation, that creates the perfect breeding ground for field hockey,” Crandall said.

Setting the bar highest

The team’s move to Pennsylvania was part of a major overhaul of U.S. women’s field hockey after the squad failed to advance out of pool play at the London Olympics, finishing 12th in the 12-nation field. The team brought in Parnham, a member of Britain’s coaching staff. Rather than import a raft of rules and regimens, Parnham urged players to set their own team goal.

And they set a bold one, recalled striker Michelle Vittese, a Virginia graduate and native of Cherry Hill, N.J.: to be No. 1 in the world.

A major culture change followed, players say, marked by mutual support, fierce work ethic, personal sacrifice and accountability to one another.

It was evident in the practices leading up to a May 14 exhibition match against Chile, the first in a three-game series. After the group jogged around the turf field, which had been watered to speed up the ball’s movement, the women threw themselves into the stretching exercises, calisthenics and shooting drills. Once the scrimmaging started, each ran full-out, whether on the ball or well away from it.

With a five-woman leadership council setting the tone, the squad has become entirely self-policing, with little for Parnham to do, he claims, but remind them on occasion of the goal they set. With it, the random requests for a day off to attend a wedding or family function disappeared.

“They set the boundaries; they drive the standards,” Parnham said. “It’s amazing, the power of a team and the power of a culture when it is driven from within.”

Johnson vouches for it, stunned by the commitment of the athletes who have stayed with her.

“They are the girls every mother wants,” Johnson said. “There’s no loud music. No boys over. They can’t drink. And they’re grateful for everything you do for them.”

No doubt, for young women in their 20s, the Spartan lifestyle, regimented diet and commitment to live in rural Pennsylvania for four or eight years at a stretch — all for a chance at making an Olympic team — represents a sacrifice.

Vittese acknowledges as much. She’s in bed by 9:30 p.m. and up at 7 a.m. each day. She meticulously plans out each meal. And she weighs each personal decision against how it will affect her performance and whether it will result in extra work for her teammates, should she stray. Still, she prefers not to call it a “sacrifice.”

“I choose this,” Vittese said, “because of what it means and because of what it means to be part of something that is bigger than anything I could create on my own.”

Race to the finish

The three-match series against Chile is the squad’s final stateside tuneup before heading to London in June for the Champions Cup. The Americans will enter the tournament ranked seventh in the world and will face the top-ranked Netherlands and No. 2 Argentina, as well as perennial powers Australia, New Zealand and Britain.

With their opening match falling on the same day that Girls on the Run held its spring 5K, the field hockey players couldn’t attend. So instead, the 1,000-plus girls taking part filmed a videotaped message to the team as a send-off for Rio, shouting and screeching “Go, USA!” en masse.

Then they took off on a race of their own, with glitter and Day-Glo colors sprayed in their hair, chiffon tutus atop paisley running tights and squeals and giggles in their wake, as parents, siblings, neighbors and Parnham, representing the team, cheered.

That evening, many of the same girls showed up for the match against Chile still sporting their festive race-day attire. To their delight, a thunderstorm delayed the 7:30 p.m. start, forcing everyone back indoors for safety’s sake. And there, at a table filled with Sharpie pens, sat six of members of the hockey team who weren’t competing that night — Jackie Briggs, Ali Campbell (University of Maryland), Julia Reinprecht, Taylor West, Katelyn Falgowski and Ali Froede (Burke).

They autographed T-shirts and miniature plastic field hockey sticks. They posed for pictures and asked each girl what sport she played and what position. They even sang “Happy Birthday” to 12-year-old Sierra Jester, whose mother had driven her from Felton, Del., along with five friends, to celebrate her special day at the game.

Best friends Avery Pollock, 10, and Danielle Murphy, 9, were especially thrilled that Falgowski was there. A midfielder from Landenberg, Pa., she had come to their school district, field hockey powerhouse Lower Dauphin, the previous year and talked about being an Olympian.

“She said, ‘Mistakes can happen!’ But she just keeps going,” Avery said. “And even if she’s hurt,” Danielle added, eyes big as saucers, “she never gives up!”

Washington Post

Mumbai to hold 12th Guru Tegh Bahadur Hockey Tournament

Mumbai Hockey Association Limited (MHAL) plans to hold PMC-Bank 12th Guru Tegh Bahadur All-India Gold Cup Hockey Championship at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium from June 1 to 10.

The PMC-Bank 12th Guru Tegh Bahadur All-India Gold Cup Hockey Championship to be held at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium here from June 1-June 10.

Apart from Air India (AI), other leading outstation and Mumbai teams are to participate in the tournament, according to organisers Mumbai Hockey Association Limited. According to Mangha Singh Bakshi, MHAL's president, 10-12 teams would be seen in action. "The total number and names of teams that will be participating in the event would be available in the next couple of days, as some of the teams have yet to confirm their participation," said Bakshi.

Besides AI and CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General), who were the runners-up in the 50th Bombay Gold Cup late last year, Punjab National Bank has accepted the invitation to take part in the tournament. In addition, a couple of Mumbai-based teams - Western Railway, Central Railway, Mumbai Customs and Union Bank of India - are also in the fray.

Bakshi said that the association has also drawn up plans to felicitate the Mumbai youngsters who recently won the title in the 6th Hockey India Junior National Championship (B Division) in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, earlier this month, during the tournament.


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