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News for 26 June 2016

All the news for Sunday 26 June 2016

USA and Australia to fight for bronze

A packed house witnessed the penultimate day of the Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2016, with USA and Australia both getting the results that they needed to secure their respective places in the bronze medal match in London, Great Britain.

The day’s opening match - the 400th in women’s Champions Trophy history - was a warm-up for Sunday’s final, with The Netherlands defeating Argentina 2-0 in a contest where both sides did their best not to reveal too much ahead of Sunday’s showpiece.

In the second match of the day, USA guaranteed a top four finish at this event despite being the competition’s lowest ranked team thanks to a 1-1 draw with New Zealand.

The final match of the pool phase saw Australia confirm their place in the bronze medal match with a 4-1 win over home favourites Great Britain, with a sell-out crowd braving thunder and lightening to witness a high quality contest.

The women’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 will conclude on Sunday (26 June) with New Zealand taking on Great Britain in the 5-6 classification match at 1400 (UTC/GMT +1) before Australia and USA go head-to-head for bronze at 1615. The showpiece final begins at 1830, with the Netherlands and Argentina both chasing a record-breaking seventh women’s Champions Trophy title.

Match 13: Argentina 0, Netherlands 2

Reigning World and Olympic champions the Netherlands competed the pool phase with an impressive five wins from five matches thanks to a 2-0 victory over title holders Argentina.

2015 FIH Player of the Year Lidewij Welten opened the scoring a minute before half time with a fierce backhand strike from the left of the circle, with Kelly Jonker completing the win two minutes from the end of the contest.

“We played well, we created a lot of chances and would have been able to rest more if we had scored earlier the second goal”, said Netherlands star Caia van Maassaker, who made her 100th appearance for the Netherlands in the contest. "It will always be a tough game against Argentina. We are close opponents and that's great of course. Tomorrow is a new game, it's great that we won today but tomorrow we just strike and we have to go again.”

Match 14: New Zealand 1, USA 1

USA sealed their place in the bronze medal match at the Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy thanks to a 1-1 draw against New Zealand in the second match of the day in London. The result ended New Zealand’s hope of competing for a medal, meaning that they will now play in the 5-6 Classification match on Sunday.

USA scored the opening goal in the 10th minute thanks to Kelsey Kolojejchick, with New Zealand replying through Olivia Merry’s penalty corner six minutes after half time. New Zealand replaced their goalkeeper with an outfield player in the latter stages, but it was the Americans who would surely have won the match were it not for three exceptional goal-line clearances from Black Sticks star Brooke Neal.

“Really, we are just looking to close out this tournament, put in a strong performance and play to our best”, said USA’s Julia Reinprecht. “We want to leave the tournament knowing what we have to work on before hitting it hard in training and getting set for Rio (Olympics). That said, we really are eying up the bronze.”

Match 15: Great Britain 1, Australia 4

Australia will play USA in the bronze medal match on Sunday (26 June) after powering to a 4-1 win over Great Britain in front of a packed stadium at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

The Hockeyroos needed just six minutes of the match to surge into a 2-0 lead, with Kathryn Slattery and Georgie Parker both on target before Sophie Bray’s close range strike reduced the deficit early in the second quarter. However, third quarter goals from Emily Smith and Jodie Kenny ensured that Australia kept alive hopes of claiming a medal at the event.

“We have been playing pretty well but not winning in recent days, so it was great to get out there, get the goals in the back of the net and get the win”, said 19-year-old Australia striker Grace Stewart, a player who has made a big impression in London. “We drew with USA in the pool game and also played a couple of practice matches against them recently. They are a really good side, but hopefully tomorrow we can get one up on them by giving it all we’ve got and take the bronze.”

#HCT2016 #BestOfTheBest

FIH site

Black Sticks miss shot at bronze after draw

Photo: Planet Hockey

The Black Sticks Women have missed out on a chance at a medal following a 1-1 draw with USA at the Hockey Champions Trophy in London.

New Zealand came into the game needing to beat the Americans to secure a spot in tomorrow’s bronze medal match against Australia.

The Black Sticks dominated patches of play against USA, highlighted by 23 shots at goal to their opponent’s 11, but weren’t able to convert opportunities onto the scoreboard.

Trailing 0-1 at halftime, the Kiwis came back to level the score early into the third quarter with a goal from Olivia Merry but couldn’t keep the momentum going against a desperate USA defence.

The result sees the Black Sticks destined to play off for 5th/6th against hosts Great Britain at 12:30am tomorrow morning (NZ time), with live coverage on SKY Sport 2.

The Netherlands and Argentina will contest the Champions Trophy gold medal, while Australia take on USA for bronze.

Assistant coach Sean Dancer said it was a disappointing result given the amount of chances his team created.

“We came up with a lot of good chances to score goals but struggled to put them away, so it was a disappointing result for us,” he said.

“Tomorrow’s game will be a tough challenge but we need to be ready to finish the tournament with a good result.”

USA opened the scoring in the 10th minute from a counter attack with Kelsey Kolojejchick putting away a field goal.

Despite a glut of possession and chances, it wasn’t until the 36th minute that the Black Sticks responded when Olivia Merry knocked in a penalty corner deflection.

The second half became a very open game with both sides searching for a winner – New Zealand pulled the goalkeeper with three minutes remaining but the score was to remain the same as time expired.

In other results today the Netherlands defeated Argentina 2-0 and Australia overcame Great Britain 4-1

BLACK STICKS 1: (Olivia Merry)
USA 1: (Kelsey Kolojejchick)
Halftime: USA 1-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

USA draw means no Champions Trophy medals for women's Black Sticks


New Zealand's Olivia Merry, left, controls the ball during her side's 1-1 draw with the United States at the Champions Trophy in London. GETTY IMAGES

A disappointing 1-1 draw means the New Zealand women's hockey team will finish out of the medals at the Champions Trophy.

The Black Sticks drew with the United States in London on Sunday morning (NZ time), a result which left them out of the match for bronze at the prestigious tournmament.

The US opened the scoring in the 10th minute through Kelsey Kolojejchick, with New Zealand replying through Olivia Merry's penalty corner six minutes after halftime. The Black Sticks replaced their goalkeeper with an outfield player in the latter stages in a desperate attempt to snatch a winner, but only a wonderful string of goal-line clearances from Brooke Neal in the dying minutes ensured the score remained level.

"We weren't clinical enough up front today, so that was a bit of a shame," said NZ's Charlotte Harrison.

"We needed a win to play-off for the bronze. Unfortunately that didn't quite come through so we are pretty gutted."

The US are now guaranteed third or fourth after being the lowest-ranked side at the event as the seventh-placed team on the world women's rankings.

Fourth-ranked New Zealand have lost to Argentina, The Netherlands and Australia at the tournament while beating Great Britain, and will now play the fifth-placed classification match on Monday morning (NZ time).


Hockeyroos make bronze medal match

Defeat Great Britain 4 - 1

BY Holly MacNeil

The Hockeyroos have won a place in the bronze medal match against the USA after defeating Great Britain on the final day of round games at the Champions Trophy in London. Australia were on form with goals from Kathryn Slattery, Georgie Parker, Emily Smith and Jodie Kenny securing the 4 – 1 victory.

Australia were raring to go with a penalty corner awarded to the Hockeyroos within minutes. Kathryn Slattery took the opportunity to convert the goal, giving Australia an early lead on the home side.

Only a minute later and Georgie Parker found herself undefended in the Australian circle, using the chance to smash the ball into the back of the net, giving Australia a two – nil lead only six minutes into the game.

Great Britain were fighting and Nicola White found herself breaking free from the group to have a shot at a field goal within the Great Britain circle however Australian goalkeeper Ashlee Wells was determined, and saved the ball from the net.

The second term began with a fight back from Great Britain who were trying to even the playing field. Helen Richardson-Walsh worked the ball down the field, passing to Sophie Bray who continued to dribble the ball into the circle before flying it into the net only a minute into the second quarter.

The Hockeyroos were leading 2 – 1 going into the third quarter and Emily Smith immediately decided to extended the lead with an overhead tomahawk nailing the ball into the net, following a deflection from Kathryn Slattery.

Eight minutes into the third term, and the Hockeyroos were up for a penalty corner following a Great Britain obstruction on Kirsten Dwyer.  Jodie Kenny took the flick, slamming the goal in and giving Australia a 4 – 1 lead.

Great Britain answered the call, getting their own option on a penalty corner, however the ball flew wide of the net. A second opportunity came and was followed by a third, which was well defended by Ashlee Wells and the Hockeyroos. Brooke Peris claimed the ball back for the Hockeyroos and it went back up into Australian territory.

Two minutes to go in the third quarter and Australia were up for a penalty corner after an obstruction on Peris. The corner was injected by Casey Sablowski, and the flick from Jodie Kenny went just high of the net.

Great Britain were up for a double opportunity with six minutes to go in the final quarter, but again Ashlee Wells managed to deflect the goal and the Hockeyroos steered the ball from danger.

The final minutes of the match saw a fight for possession of the ball which ultimately left the Hockeyroos with a 4 – 1 victory and a place against the USA in the bronze medal match.

Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens said: “Today was a really satisfying performance. I think we saw the importance of taking your chances and we took them early, and we executed our penalty corners well and that’s why we got the result.

“I was not overly satisfied with the last fifteen minutes of discipline that we showed. We had a number of cards, which put us under pressure and it gave them some chances.

“What you need to try and do in the situation where you’re ahead is to try to play smart, and to shut out the opposition and not allow them to get first touch on the ball. I thought we did that spectacularly for three quarters of the game and then the last quarter I thought we took our foot of the accelerator a little.”

Earlier in the day the USA and New Zealand played with a 1 all draw at the end of the match, leaving the USA side to battle Australia in the bronze medal match. Great Britain will play New Zealand in the 5th and 6th place match.

Argentina and the Netherlands played in a sneak preview of the gold medal match that will take place tomorrow, with the Netherlands defeating Argentina 2 – nil.

Australia will next play the USA in the bronze medal match on Sunday 26 June at 4.15pm BST / 11.15pm AWST / 1.15am AEST (Monday 27th).

Kathryn Slattery 5 (PC)
Georgie Parker 6 (FG)
Emily Smith 33 (FG)
Jodie Kenny 38 (PC)

Sophie Bray 16 (FG) 

Results today
ARG 0 – 2 NED
USA 1 – 1 NZL
AUS 4 – 1 GBR                                                                                            
Hockeyroos’ squad v Great Britain
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 335/70
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 101/9
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 179/98
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 103/9
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW) 45/8
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA), 101/32
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 94/13
Casey Sablowski (Albion Park, NSW) 251/44
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA) 55/17
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 156/63
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) 77/0
Used Substitute
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 114/2
Kirsten Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 107/2
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 182/35
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW) 21/9
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW) 49/5

Unused Substitute
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 149/0
Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, SA) 36/2

Hockeyroos’ Fixtures
Sunday 26 June: Bronze medal match Australia v USA 4.15pm BST / 11.15pm AWST / 1.15am AEST (Monday 27th)

Hockey Australia media release

Clinical Australia beat Great Britain in women’s Hockey Champions Trophy

Sophie Bray v Aus HCT2016

Great Britain slipped to another defeat at the women’s Hockey Champions Trophy as Australia plundered four goals to secure their place in the bronze medal match and condemn Danny Kerry’s side to the 5th vs. 6th playoff with New Zealand.

Great Britain entered the match knowing they needed a win by three clear goals to take a place in the bronze medal match but it was Adam Commens’ Hockeyroos who took the three goal advantage as strikes from Kathryn Slattery, Georgie Parker, Emily Smith and Jodie Kenny ensured Sophie Bray’s 26th international goal was just a consolation.

Great Britain started brightly with Bray and Alex Danson both looking threatening in the final third. As the heavens opened and the players had to contend with some awful conditions, Australia stunned the hosts with two quick-fire goals. From a fifth minute penalty corner Kathryn Slattery touched in Georgina Morgan’s pass to make it 1-0. A minute later Karrie McMahon hammered a pass into the circle which was deflected in by Parker to make it 2-0. Great Britain’s best moment of the opening quarter came as a marauding Nicola White latched onto Bray’s pass but her shot was well saved by Ashlee Wells.

The second quarter started just the way Great Britain needed. A superb run by Helen Richardson-Walsh down the left opened the defence; she swapped passes with Danson and cut back for Bray to fire home to bring the home side back into the contest. Australia’s response was to step up their press and push Great Britain back, not allowing them space and time on the ball. The home side temporarily lost Kate Richardson-Walsh to a ball in the face and with the defence re-organising, Brooke Peris made her way into the circle and shot, but was denied by a smart stop from Maddie Hinch. With seconds to go the break Wells was called upon again as Shona McCallin’s strong run and cross caused the Hockeyroos problems, but it stayed 2-1 at the break.

Just three minutes after half time, the Hockeyroos re-established their two-goal cushion. Emily Smith found space at the far post and slammed in Peris’ cross at the second attempt. Things went from bad to worse for Danny Kerry’s side five minutes later when  Kenny added a fourth from a trademark penalty corner.

Great Britain searched for a way back into the contest and Giselle Ansley was unlucky to see her penalty corner flash wide of the target with the goalkeeper seemingly beaten. Wells excelled herself from the next penalty corner, getting down well to glove away a thunderbolt from Hollie Webb. At the other end Hinch did well to block from Smith and Grace Stewart in quick succession to stop the lead extending. The Hockeyroos won a penalty corner on the stroke of quarter time. Sam Quek, who was outstanding in defence for GB swatted the ball off the line with a textbook cricket stroke to keep the score down.

Hinch was called into action again at the start of the final quarter, saving well from Stewart but then Great Britain began to push forwards. Susannah Townsend, making her 100th international appearance, broke through the defence with a powerful run but her shot was deflected wide. Ansley was denied by another good save by Wells off a penalty corner and then at the other end, Quek performed more heroics to somehow tackle Slattery when it looked certain the striker had a clear shot at goal. There was still time for Danson to set up White with a precise cross but the defence were able to charge the shot down and despite some good final quarter pressure, Danny Kerry’s team were unable to retrieve the deficit and Australia took the win.

In the other games today, a dress rehearsal for tomorrow’s final went the way of the Netherlands who beat Argentina 2-0. USA made their way into the bronze medal match with Australia after a 1-1 draw against New Zealand.

Sam Quek told Great Britain Hockey afterwards:

“We just feel utterly disappointed. It is our responsibility to make the chances, create the play and give the crowd something to shout about. We are doing the right things but it is just final product that isn’t there. We’ve had a few penalty corners and Australia had 3 or 4 and scored them. We need to focus on putting them away as it makes a difference. I feel like a I am repeating myself after each game,  but the bottom line is we need to give everyone something to cheer about tomorrow. We need to fight, make those tackles so no one goes through us and we need to show character.”

“We just had firm words after the game, they are the firmest we have had in a long while. It shouldn’t take the captain or the coach to stand up to speak to us in that manner but I think we needed it today. Tomorrow we are going to have to come out fighting as it is our last game before the Olympics. Even if it is not going our way we need to fight for those tackles and make sure we are first to the ball. We can control how hard we work and how hard we put in those tackles.”

“New Zealand have fast players up front so we need to break down the play and keep it tight in the middle to stop their long balls getting through. We need to be in their faces and not let the ball go through us. We are just going to focus on what we can do better tomorrow and come out fresh. It is quick turnaround as we are the first match but we need to recover properly and learn lessons from today. Ultimately it is a fresh start and a chance to put right what we did in the other games.”

All the teams are in action at the Hockey Champions Trophy on Sunday with GB taking on New Zealand at 2pm.

Great Britain 1 (1)
Sophie Bray 16 (FG)

Australia 4 (2)
Kathryn Slattery 5 (PC)
Georgie Parker 6 (FG)
Emily Smith 33 (FG)
Jodie Kenny 38 (PC)

Great Britain Hockey media release

GB fall to Australia and face NZ in the final round.

By Mike Haymonds

GREAT BRITAIN'S women crashed to a fourth successive defeat, by 4-1 to Australia, in their final round robin game at the Investec Champions Trophy in the Olympic Park.

It was their 32nd loss in 44 meetings with the Hockeyroos and kept GB in last place, condemning them to the wooden spoon match today against New Zealand, who beat them 1-0 earlier in the tournament.

They needed to win to reach the bronze medal match but instead lost by the same margin.

GB again made a disastrous start, conceding two goals in the first six minutes through a penalty corner strike by Kathryn Slattery and a field goal by Georgie Parker.

A minute into the second quarter Sophie Bray pulled a goal back, 202 minutes since their last in a 2-2 draw with Argentina on the opening day, after an excellent build-up involving Helen Richardson-Walsh (twice) and Alex Danson. But further strikes by Emily Smith in the 33rd minute and a corner goal from Jodie Kenny five minutes later sealed the hosts' fate.

GB are still seeking their first successful penalty corner after 17 attempts, five in this match.

They showed little attacking ambition, keeping all their players in their own half (and even in their own third) for long periods. However, they began to push forward in the final quarter. Susannah Townsend, on her 100th international appearance, had a shot deflected wide and Giselle Ansley was denied by the keeper at their fourth corner. Then Sam Quek made a last ditch tackle to stop Slattery before Alex Danson set up Nicola White, whose shot was charged down

Sam Quek said: "We just feel utterly disappointed. It is our responsibility to make the chances, create the play and give the crowd something to shout about. We are doing the right things but it is just the final product that isn't there. We've had a few penalty corners and Australia had three or four and scored them. We need to focus on putting them away as it makes a difference. I feel like a I am repeating myself after each game, but the bottom line is we need to give everyone something to cheer about tomorrow. We need to fight, make those tackles so no one goes through us and we need to show character.

"We just had firm words after the game, they are the firmest we have had in a long while. It shouldn't take the captain or the coach to stand up to speak to us in that manner but I think we needed it today. Tomorrow we are going to have to come out fighting as it is our last game before the Olympics. Even if it is not going our way we need to fight for those tackles and make sure we are first to the ball. We can control how hard we work and how hard we put in those tackles.

"New Zealand have fast players up front so we need to break down the play and keep it tight in the middle to stop their long balls getting through. We need to be in their faces and not let the ball go through us. We are just going to focus on what we can do better tomorrow and come out fresh. It is a quick turnaround as we are the first match but we need to recover properly and learn lessons from today. Ultimately it is a fresh start and a chance to put right what we did in the other games."

Today GB face New Zealand for fifth place, Australia and USA contest the bronze medal match, while Holland and Argentina are the finalists. Yesterday's game between them ended 2-0 for Holland.

GB's squads for the Rio Olympics will be announced on Tuesday.

The Sunday Express

Flyerz Festival takes to the stage at the Hockey Champions Trophy

This morning England hockey held a Flyerz Festival at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis centre featuring players from St Albans, Wapping, Waltham Forest and Braintree hockey clubs.

Flyerz is a project that was set up a few years ago to create opportunities for adults and children with learning difficulties to play hockey.

Adult participation manager Bev Blackburn said; “It’s brilliant that the project can be a part of the Hockey Champions Trophy. It’s great to show how inclusive our sport really is and hosting festivals like this one can only help us grow the flyerz project. We want to create an atmosphere that is social, fun and welcoming for the players.”

Waltham Forest was one of the first clubs to pick up this project and really make it their own.

Hannah Dobbin from Forest Flyerz is a volunteer who helps out with the Forest Flyerz;

“Waltham Forest hockey club recognised that it wanted to be more inclusive so we set up a disability session for youths and adults. No one what was sure how it was going to go but, that’s the thing with Flyerz, you just set up and give it go. We started with two participants and now we have 20 on the books and it’s great to see so many other clubs are setting up Flyerz sessions across the country. This is amazing to be playing here!”

Shane Crowe from Forest Flyerz has been part of the club from the beginning and is now coaching and captaining the side, he also plays in the men’s side of the club too.

“Today I have been awarded Young sports leader award. I play for the men’s otter’s team but hoping to go up next season. I love the adrenalin when I play hockey. At the moment I play in the centre midfield but looking to push up front and score some goals next season. My sister plays with Forest Flyerz and my dad plays in goal for Waltham Forest so we are very much a hockey family!”

Amy Waring who plays hockey at Loughborough University suffers from mild cerebral palsy but has been playing hockey for years. Today she brought her brother and sister along to give hockey ago.

“I play hockey but I brought my brother and sister along who are on the autistic spectrum who haven’t played before. I have always tried to get them to participate but it can be quite difficult to join a mainstream club. I heard about this festival and thought it is something they can join in and have some fun. I know they want to give hockey a go but finding the opportunities can be challenging. Today has been great fun!”

For more information on Flyerz hockey click here.

England Hockey Board Media release

Teenage sensation Croon in Dutch Olympic side

Picture: Koen Suyk

17-year-old Jorrit Croon is the surprise inclusion in the Dutch Olympic squad following the release of Max Caldas’s squad earlier today.

The HGC man has been named in the central panel of 16 with Caldas stating: ‘If you are good, you’re just good, no matter how young you are”.

The side includes EHL winners from SV Kampong Robbert Kemperman and Sander de Wijn; Amsterdam’s Billy Bakker, Valentin Verga and Mirco Pruyser and Oranje-Rood’s Robert van der Horst, Bob de Voogd and Mink van der Weerden – all will potentially play in the EHL next season.

Rotterdam Seve van Ass, Hidde Turkstra and Jeroen Hertzberger; Bloemendaal’s Rogier Hofman, Glenn Schuurman and Jaap Stockmann and Antwerp-bound Sander Baart complete the squad.

Kampong striker Constantijn Jonker and Oranje-Rood destined goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak will travel as reserve players. Roel Bovendeert Jelle Galema, Bjorn Kellerman and Joep de Mol missed out in this final selection round.

Euro Hockey League media release

Nine EHL-bound players in Belgian Rio squad

Picture: Koen Suyk

Nine players set for next season’s Euro Hockey League have been named in the Belgian squad for the Olympic Games.

They include Racing Club de Bruxelles’ Tom Boon, Cedric Charlier, Jerome Truyens and Simon Gougnard; Dragons’ Thomas Briels, Florent van Aubel, Arthur van Doren and Felix Denayer along with Royal Leopold’s Elliot van Strydonck.

Dragons’ Alexander Hendrickx and Racing’s Jeremy Gucasoff are named on the reserve list named by Shane McLeod for the showpiece event in Rio in August.

And the coach said of his selection, “the choice was extremely difficult”.

“I have a group of talented players at the top of their sport. For my selection, I wanted the best balance to execute tactical plans we have in mind for Rio.

“My most difficult final choice lay in the offensive line, where competition is most fierce. This is my final selection. After the Masters Ergo, we will not be testing the players but we will begin the final polishing step to achieve our best."

Dorian Thiery and Jeffrey Thus will also continue to train with the panel up until the side’s departure on July 22.

They play a Four Nations tournament between July 17 and 20 with Germany, the Netherlands and GB.

Euro Hockey League media release

Favourites Islamabad Winners of Ist OGDCL 5-A Side Hockey

Lahore: A good crowd turned up for the final night of the OGDCL 5-A Side Floodlight  Hockey tournament at the National Hockey Stadium. Hockey lovers arrived from outside Lahore as well, including around 80 kids from a Sargodha based hockey academy.  Mr Azam Saigol, Chairman PIA was the chief guest who distributed prizes among the teams and the individuals.

Final: Islamabad Fighters beat Quetta Warriors 8-5
Islamabad: Faisal Qadir 4, M.Rizwan Sr 3, Ejaz 1
Quetta: Rizwan Jr 2, Kashif Ali, Kashif Javed, Faisal Shah
Happilac Man of Match: Faisal Qadir (Islamabad)

3rd /4th Position: Lahore Lions beat Faisalabad Falcons 4-3
Lahore: Bilal Mahmood 2, Rana Sohail 1, Azfar Yaqoob 1
Faisalabad: Atif Mushtaq 2, Atiq Arshad 1
Happilac Man of Match: Azfar Yaqoob (Lahore)

5th /6th Position: Karachi Sharks beat Peshawar Panthers on penalty shoot-out after 2-2 draw
Karachi: Zeeshan Bukhari 1, M.Asif 1
Peshawar: Adeel Latif 1, Fahadullah 1
Happilac Man of Match: Ali Raza (Karachi’s Goal Keeper)

Team Awards:

Winners Islamabad: Rs 7 lac,
Runner Up Quetta: Rs 5 lac, 3rd Lahore: Rs 4 lac,
4th Faisalabad Rs 3 lac                     
5th Karachi: Rs 2 lac, 6th Peshawar Rs 1 lac

Individual Awards:

Player of Tournament: M.Rizwan Sr (Islamabad) Honda 125 Motor Cycle                                                               
Top Scorer: Dilber Hussain (Faisalabad) 12 goals LED TV
Best Goal Keeper: Usman Ghani (Lahore) LED TV                                                                                                             
Emerging Player of Tournament: Atiq Arshad (Faisalabad) LED TV


A good crowd turned up for the final day. Hockey lovers arrived from outside Lahore as well, including around 80 kids from a Sargodha based hockey academy.  Chief guest Azam Saigol, PIA Chairman distributed the prizes among the teams and the individuals.
Final. Islamabad beat Quetta 8-5

Going into the final, Islamabad were the favourites as per the form as well as the players’ reputation. But Quetta, the dark horses of the tournament, had demonstrated the ability to surprise anyone.   Islamabad immediately showed their intentions as they went up within the first six seconds when Olympian Rizwan Senior hit the target with a forceful shot. In the third minute, it was 2-0. Faisal Qadir finished a good move. Within seconds, Quetta pulled one back by who else but Rizwan Jr, their savior on so many occasions. His excellent hit went in off goal keeper’s pads. Islamabad continued to get more opportunities.  A clinical move saw Ejaz easily making it 3-1. Islamabad mainly controlled the proceedings while Quetta looked for the goal mostly via long range hits.

Immediately on resumption, Faisal Qadir added another through an unstoppable rising hit from some distance. It seemed the final was going to be a one sided affair. However, Quetta once again came back with an excellent display. Relying mainly on counter attacks, they scored three goals in a five minute spell of exhilarating hockey. First, captain Kashif Ali netted one from close range. Then Faisal Shah’s wonderful reverse hit found the target. It was 4-4 when Rizwan Jr covered some ground and sounded the far corner of the goal with a slap shot. It was his 10th goal of the tournament.

Stung by this sudden reversal, the Islamabad side tried utmost to regain the upper hand. It was an end to end stuff with the two goal keepers, the busiest in the field. In the last minute of the second period, Quetta again committed the mistake of giving Faisal Qadir time and space, whose thunderous strike made it 5-4.
The last 12 minute period started. Here, the experience of the Islamabad side showed. They had the better of the exchanges.  Rizwan Sr gave the final touches to a fast move. Then, that man Faisal Qadir sprinted with the ball from left to right to be in a position to fire in his trademark shot for his fourth goal of the night. It was 7-4 with time running out for Quetta. They reduced the margin with the goal of the final. Kashif running along the goal line eliminated two defenders and then with a superb reverse hit beat the goal keeper. But it was a matter of too little and too late. The final finished at 8-5 when Man of Tournament Rizwan Sr, after a delightful dribbling run, completed his hat trick.

3rd Position: Lahore beat Faisalabad

The tie between two evenly matched sides provided enough thrills.  It was 1-1 after first five minutes through two beautiful goals. Faisalabad’s Atif Mushtaq hoodwinked three Lahore players to put his team in front. After a couple of minutes, Azfar Yaqoob side stepped two opponents and released the ball to Bilal Mahmood who made no mistake. Entertaining stuff continued with opportunities for both the sides. In the 11th minute, Bilal Mahmood’s forceful strike put Lahore ahead at 2-1. Very next minute Faislabad had a 1 vs 1 challenge but tournament’s top scorer Dilber faltered.

In the second period, Lahore were the better side and had more chances, availing two of them. Rana Sohail scored one off an excellent well placed carpet shot. In the 23rd minute, Azfar Yaqoob after receiving a long pass beautifully dribbled past two before deceiving the goal keeper with a fine placement. The old timers remarked that the goal reminded them of Azfar’s illustrious maternal grandfather Afzal Manna, silver medallist of 1964 Olympics.

So it was 4-1 for Lahore when the last period started. Faisalabad entered in a determined mood.  They missed a few good chances but the sustained pressure paid off.  Atiq converted 1 vs 1 Challenge through a high flick. Within seconds, it was 3-4 as an Atif Mushtaq strike came off the post, hit goal keeper’s helmet and crossed the line. It was game on. Last 10 minutes saw everything but the goal.

Faisalabad frantically looked for equalizer and Lahore going on the counters.  But it stayed at 4-3 when 36th minute ended.

5th/6th Position: Karachi Sharks beat Peshawar Lions on Penalty Shoot Out after 2-2 draw.

Two teams met for the second time in two days. Karachi were first off the blocks. In the fourth minute, they went ahead when Zeeshan superbly put an Ali Raza cross in with a diving effort. They continued to get chances without cashing in on them.  Peshawar recovered towards the end of the period and created a couple of fruitless opportunities. It was 1-0 when the first period ended.

Karachi doubled the lead through a forceful M.Asif strike. Peshawar managed to regroup and made good raids. The continued pressure saw Fahdullah making it 1-2 for them just before the end of the second period.

Soon, they were on level terms with Karachi as their star performer Adeel Latif netted via a forceful hit from some distance. Later, he was hero turned villain, misfiring a 1 vs 1 Challenge.  With, both the sides looking for the winner to avoid wooden spoon, the last period surprisingly turned out to be most lively of the match with fast paced game.

Still, it ended with 2-2 and penalty shootout began. It was even after the three players from the either side had taken their shoots. Finally, it came down to the shoot-out sudden death. Karachi prevailed to finish 5th in the competition.

PHF Media release

Champions Trophy level not enough for medal in Rio Olympics: Oltmans

Coach Roelant Oltmans giving tips during a practice session. (TOI Photo)Coach Roelant Oltmans giving tips during a practice session. (TOI Photo)
VALENCIA: A 'matured' Indian hockey team may have earned a piece of history at the Champions Trophy but the players need to play much better to stand on the podium at the Rio Games, says chief coach Roelant Oltmans.

The 62-year-old Dutch said India's performance against Germany and Argentina at the upcoming six-nation invitational tournament, beginning here Monday, will set the tone for the Games.

"I believe our consistency has improved considerably but we need to get better. The next six weeks will be crucial in terms of peaking at the right time. When it comes to the Olympics, the big teams like world champions Australia and Germany (defending Olympic champions) always raise their bar and I keep reminding this to our players," Oltmans said.

"The level we played in Champions Trophy will not be enough for the Olympics if we are vying for a medal."

India will begin their campaign against Olympic champions Germany on Monday and play minnows Ireland the following day. They will also lock horns against hosts Spain and New Zealand in the event.

"How we play against Argentina and Germany in the 6-Nations tournament will set the momentum to achieve our goals at the Olympics. The focus will be to take it game-by-game and the result will follow if our process is in order and we stick to executing the game plan we have for each of the teams."

The chief coach feels India is now at par with the top teams in the world and on a good day, can upset any side.

"We played back-to-back matches in London and never let a loss affect our next game. For instance, after drawing the opener with Germany we beat Britain. Though we lost to Belgium, we beat Korea, lost to Australia but drew the final against them. This shows that we have matured as a team and can handle losses better and the level of fitness the boys have shown while playing back-to-back games is a good sign for us," he stated.

The week-long tournament will see skipper Sardar Singh back in action while other rested players for Champions Trophy, Rupinder Pal Singh and Ramandeep Singh, promise to add steam to the team's performance.

Birendra Lakra, who was nursing a knee injury, will also be seen gaining some match exposure for the first time in four months.

Oltmans also made it clear that performance in this tournament will be kept in mind in selecting squad for the Rio Games.

"I am pleased the players have carried out their responsibilities and showed their leadership skills when we rotated the captain's band in London. The youngsters doing well means that the competition will be stronger within the team to push each other higher to make the final cut for the Rio squad. And this tournament will be watched closely on how each player performs ahead of the final selection," concluded the Indian hockey chief coach.

The Times of India

Ex-international Rajan is Singapore's new hockey coach

by S. Ramaguru

File photo of Rajan when he was coaching the juniors.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian hockey international K. Rajan has been appointed the new coach of the Singapore national team.

He will prepare the team for the 2017 SEA Games, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur.

Rajan knows that he will have his work cut out for him as coach of the Singapore team.

The 59-year-old Rajan, who will officially assume his duties on Aug 1, hopes to turn world No. 38 Singapore into a top side among the second-tier of Asian hockey nations.

Singapore are ranked No. 10 in Asia.

Rajan, who signed a two-year contract earlier this week, replaces South Africa’s Solomon Casoojee.

“I watched the Singapore team play at the World League (Round One) and I know what I’m getting into. But, at the same time I believe I can contribute,” he said.

“You can’t be world class overnight, but you can have class.

“My personal target, what I would deem as personal success, is to see Singapore beat all the countries who are not in the top six in Asia. I want Singapore to be the best team in the second tier of Asian hockey.”

Rajan steered the Malaysian Under-21 side to 12th placing among 20 teams at the 2009 Junior World Cup.

He had also coached the Thailand SEA Games team to a bronze medal in 2007.

Domestically, he led Tenaga Nasional to six Malaysian Hockey League titles in his 12 years with them.

The Star of Malaysia

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