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News for 10 August 2016

All the news for Wednesday 10 August 2016

Men's field hockey day 4

By Hayley Tafuro

What you need to know about day four of men's field hockey pool play.

Belgium Triumphs Over Favorites

Belgium pulled off the upset win over gold medal favorite Australia, topping them 1-0.

Australia came into the game down a player after Aran Zalewski received a one-game suspension after accidentally hitting a Spain player in the head with his stick.

However, both teams brought the pressure and hit the ground with intensity in the first quarter despite ending it scoreless.

Shortly into the second quarter, Belgium scored as a result of magnificent ball movement. Arthur Van Doren passed the ball into the circle for a teammate who knocked the ball backwards between his legs right into the stick of Tanguy Cosyns.

Australia’s drag flick expert Chris Ciriello could not get off the shots he wanted in Australia’s penalty corner attempts and the half ended with Belgium up 1-0.

This remained an unfortunate theme for Australia. The team had more penalty corner opportunities in the second half, but nothing they tried worked to break down the Belgium defense led by goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch.

Belgium played tactfully in the fourth quarter, looking to run time off the clock when they could and play the ball on the outside of the field.

In the Pool A standings, Belgium reclaims the top spot over Spain, and Australia ends the night in a shocking fourth place spot.

Great Britain Racks Up Nine Goals

Great Britain had a night against Brazil, scoring every which way in the 9-1 rout of the host country.

Team captain Barry Middleton and teammate Ashley Jackson each had two goals in the win.

Brazil opened up the game on a historic note, scoring its first-ever Olympic goal. Stephane Smith received a pass after the insert on a penalty corner and fired it right above Team GB’s goalkeeper.

Great Britain would go on to score three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead at halftime.

They continued to relentlessly pressure Brazil and challenge goalkeeper Rodrigo Faustino. Team GB dominated the clock on offense and had significantly more shot advantages than Brazil.

Great Britain scored five goals in the fourth quarter alone. The team removed its goalkeeper in favor of an extra man on the field with minutes remaining in the fourth, but Brazil could not capitalize on the opportunity.

The Dutch Shut Out Canada

 The Netherlands looked every bit like the No. 2 team in the world in its 7-0 shutout win over Canada.

The team found its success on penalty corners. Mink Van der Weerden led the team with a hat trick, upping his tally to six overall in the Olympics so far. Jeroen Hertzberger also added two goals for the Dutch.

Seve Van Ass began all scoring for the Netherlands in the first quarter. From there the team never looked back.

Canada couldn’t seize momentum at any point in the match, but still played hard and pressured the Dutch. The Netherlands kept its composure while breaking the press, and found success in its unselfish play in the circle.

Robbert Kemperman had one of the most exciting scores of the game after making an extraordinary dive into the circle to tip his teammate’s pass into the cage.

The Dutch now storm back into second place in Pool B standings one point ahead of India.

Germany Still Dominant

Germany continues on its path to a gold medal three-peat by holding off a comeback from Ireland and winning the match 3-2.

The Germans had a big game from team captain Moritz Furste who executed two penalty corner plays to perfection. He pushed the ball past Ireland’s David Harte for two scores.

Ireland tied the game at 1-1 going into halftime after an emphatic goal from Eugene Magee that brought his teammates and fans to their feet in celebration.

Germany began to run away with the lead in the third quarter when Martin Zwicker swooped into the circle out of nowhere to score the team’s third goal off of a deflected ball.

The Green Machine, however, were not done just yet. They got a goal from Michael Darling with just over a minute left to play. They entered desperation mode and pressed the Germans, which got them the ball. After a final heave toward the goal, a call stopped play but left the clock running, not giving the Irish a chance for one last attempt.

Germany walked away with an unscathed record and nine points in its column.

India Back on the Rise

India just moved to second place in Pool B with a tight 2-1 victory over Argentina.

Before the first quarter’s end, Chinglensana Kangujam put India on the board for the early lead. Adding to that was Kothajit Khadangbam, which put India at a comfortable 2-0 lead for most of the game.

Argentina attempted a comeback in the fourth quarter starting with a made penalty corner shot. Gonzalo Peillat fueled the fire for this team, but they couldn’t manage to keep the momentum going after that.

India is most known for its dominance in the sport back in the early 1900s, but this team is looking to make its mark on Olympic history again as they climb the standings one game at a time.

Spain Stays Red-Hot Against New Zealand

Spain is unstoppable.

The No. 11 world-ranked team is now undefeated in pool play after a dramatic 3-2 win over New Zealand.

Xavi Lleonart proved to be Spain’s hero down the stretch. With 26.6 seconds left on the clock, he knocked in a shot from in front of the cage that gave his team the late lead. All they had to do was defend, and just like that they left Deodoro at the top of Pool A’s standings.

Despite not capitalizing on any penalty corner opportunities, Spain created other ways to score inside the circle. Within a minute of play, Roc Oliva challenged New Zealand with Spain’s first goal. Alex Casasayas tacked on the second.

New Zealand team captain Simon Child did everyting he could to try to get the Black Sticks back in it and ahead. Child scored both goals for his team, and each came as an answer to a Spain score.

With this victory, Spain surpasses Belgium for first place in the standings for now. If Belgium loses to Australia tonight, Spain will keep its seat at the top.

NBC Olympics

Aussies lose two in a row

Men defeated by Belgium 1 - nil

Holly MacNeil

Matthew Dawson controls the ball

In the first time Belgium and Australia have played at the Olympics since 1956, Belgium came through and defeated the World Champions 1 – nil.

Australia won the first chance on penalty corner, but it the timing of the corner was miss-cued and the ball went back to Belgium.

In his 50th game, Matt Dawson was working hard, and Australia knew it:

The Red Lions had a shot on penalty corner just as the siren went at the end of the first, but the Australian’s appealed and it was overturned on video referral.

One minute into the second quarter and the Belgium’s got one up on the Aussie, with Tanguy Cosyns making an easy tap in at the far post past goalkeeper Andrew Charter after a square pass from Thomas Briels.

Seven minutes into the third and a great piece of work by Simon Orchard and a dive from Jamie Dwyer resulted in a much needed penalty corner for the Australian’s, but the flick went too high.

Going into the final quarter and the Aussies needed to fight back, and fight back hard.

With two minutes in they did that, and the Aussies were up for their fourth penalty corner of the game. Daniel Beale injected, but the hit from Blake Govers went just wide.

Glenn Turner did a huge piece of work to get down into the Australian circle, and with Belgium defense less than 5 metres away, a penalty corner was awarded. Dwyer injected, and Chris Ciriello took the hit, but it was another miss for the Aussies.

The Australian public was just as devastated by the loss as the boys:

The men now have a must win game against arch-rivals Great Britain tomorrow morning at 7.30am AWST / 9am ACST / 9.30am AEST.


Tanguy Cosyns (FG) 16

Athlete (Hometown)
Australian Men v Belgium Start List
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD) 84/15
Andrew Charter (GK) (Canberra, ACT) 117/0
Matthew Dawson (Central Coast, NSW) 50/7
Tim Deavin (Launceston, TAS) 135/6
Blake Govers (Wollongong, NSW) 35/26
Fergus Kavanagh (Geraldton, WA) 228/15
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD) 288/24
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS) 281/65
Simon Orchard (Maitland, NSW) 206/56
Glenn Turner (Goulburn, NSW) 133/93
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD) 105/44

Used Substitute
Chris Ciriello (Melbourne, VIC) 191/115
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD) 362/241
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD) 156/52
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD) 144/6

Unused Substitute (suspended)
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA) 94/12

Hockey Australia media release

Goals galore as Great Britain blitz Brazil

Barry Middleton in action against Brazil

Great Britain grabbed their first win of their Olympic campaign with a 9-1 thrashing of hosts Brazil. Leading 4-1 going into the final quarter Bobby Crutchley’s side helped themselves to five goals in an incredible final 15 minutes with four of them coming after Crutchley had opted to remove his goalkeeper and play with 11 outfield players. Brazil took a shock lead through Stephane Vehrle-Smith’s early strike but thereafter it was one-way traffic with doubles from Barry Middleton, Ashley Jackson and Sam Ward causing most of the damage. 

Brazil got off to a dream start, netting their first-ever goal in the Olympics thanks to a slick penalty corner routine converted by Vehrle-Smith. Despite the early setback Great Britain soon restored parity when Adam Dixon slammed home a rebound in the ninth minute. The strike was Great Britain’s 200th in the Olympic Games. Captain Middleton notched his first of the night just three minutes later with a fierce backhand that deceived Rodrigo Faustino in the Brazil goal. As the quarter drew to a close, Mark Gleghorne went close with a penalty corner which flew just over the bar, it remained 2-1 at the first interval. 

Faustino saw off another penalty corner from Gleghorne in the second period and then made a splendid save from Jackson’s backhand strike. Despite the goalkeeper’s heroics it wasn’t long before the GB No7 got the better of the Brazilian stopper with a trademark penalty corner finding the target to make it 3-1 at half time.

At the start of the third quarter Faustino took centre stage with a string of incredible saves. First he made a superb block to keep out a missile from Dan Fox before then saving a Jackson penalty corner and a strike from Gleghorne. The pressure finally paid off when Harry Martin made it 4-1 with a close range finish after a goalmouth scramble; his fifth goal for Great Britain. Faustino made a world-class save to tip away another Jackson penalty corner to the delight of the vocal home crowd and Great Britain headed into the final quarter frustrated but leading 4-1.  

Two minutes into the final quarter Crutchley’s team made it 5-1. Ward made a lovely lead inside the circle and slotted the ball between the legs of Thiago Bomfim, who had replaced Faustino in goal. With ten minutes to go, Crutchley removed goalkeeper George Pinner, opting to play with 11 outfielders as Great Britain hunted more goals. The tactic paid off almost immediately. Middleton converted Fox’s pass for his second, GB’s sixth. Gleghorne then added his name to the scoresheet with a bullet penalty corner. Middleton was denied a hat-trick by a defender’s foot on the line but from the resultant penalty stroke Jackson made no mistake for goal No8. There was still time for Ward to convert Jackson’s pass for his second Olympic goal before the whistle went, confirming Great Britain’s handsome win.

Great Britain’s next match is Thursday 11 August at 00:30 vs. Australia, live on BBC Sport.

Barry Middleton, Great Britain Captain:

 “It was good fun getting some goals out there and I think it shows what we are capable of as a team. I feel like we are definitely growing into this tournament and that is a good sign. Today was important to get our confidence up and that’s what we did.”

“Australia tomorrow will be a completely different game. We will have to defend a lot more but we did a lot of things right against Brazil; we need to keep that up.”

“Playing Brazil in Rio was great. You want an atmosphere to really get you going. It was good fun. We all want to be playing on the biggest stage in front of the biggest crowds. Even though we were on the receiving end of the crowd, it was great to play in and it really helped us raise our own game.”

“The key is to get a good rest in tonight and then we go again against Australia which is probably a must-win game for us now.”

Brazil 1 (1)
Stephane Vehrle-Smith 4 (PC)

Great Britain 9 (3)
Adam Dixon 9 (FG)
Barry Middleton 12 54 (FG, FG)
Ashley Jackson 27 57 (PC, PS)
Harry Martin 37 (FG)
Sam Ward 47 59 (FG, FG)
Mark Gleghorne 56 (PC)

Great Britain Hockey media release

Rost Onnes’ two sides of the coin

Ernst Rost Onnes in action for Brazil against Great Britain. Pic: Koen Suyk/WSP

Brazil’s Ernst Rost Onnes said that playing in front of a fervent home crowd, cheering their every move has been an incredible sensation this week in Deodoro.`

But the Dutch-raised player, who lines for HIC in the Overgangsklasse, said it is a two-sided coin after heavy defeats to Spain, Belgium and Great Britain.

“This is amazing, this crowd here in Rio. It’s so nice to be here and have everyone cheering for us. There is obviously two sides; on one side it is spectacular event for us – a once in a lifetime event, maybe, in our own house.

“We hope we can qualify for the next one. That’s the beautiful part but losing is always terrible and especially losing that big!”

Despite the tought scorelines, he says that his side will keep on battling all the way in spite of their lack of experience.

“We keep on fighting and that’s what we have to do, minimum, for every ball. In the third and fourth quarter, we struggle. We are learning with every game and it is tough but I am enjoying it a lot.”

Against Great Britain, Stephane Vehrle-Smith made history with Brazil’s first ever Olympic goal, giving them the lead in the fourth minute before GB bounced back to make it 9-1.

“It is so nice that Steph scored it. You saw the crowd exploding and it was a very special moment. I think it gave us a lot of confidence in the first and second quarter. We didn’t stop playing but they have a very experienced team with a lot of caps. That’s our problem, the experience.

“We can learn a lot from this game and I think we can play a higher level. We will see against New Zealand and we will keep on fighting.”

EuroHockey media release

Fox a close range witness to club mate's historic moment

Great Britain’s Dan Fox admits it was an odd moment as he was close witness to his good friend and Holcombe club mate Stephane Vehrle-Smith made Brazilian hockey history.

Three minutes into Brazil and GB’s game in Deodoro this evening, Vehrle-Smith fired home a penalty corner with a powerful drag-flick, beating another of his club mates, George Pinner.

It was Brazil’s first ever goal in the Olympic Games and drew a huge cheer from the fans. GB went on to win 9-1, though, inflicting a third defeat in succession on the hosts.

Looking back on the moment, Fox said it was mixed emotions: “I played a season with him at Hampstead and Westminster as well. Obviously, I would have liked for it to have not been against us but I am delighted for him.

“He has put so much work with his time in the Brazilian squad, travelling backward and forward from Europe.  In some ways, Brazil have done fantastically to get here, finishing top four in the Pan-Am Games. He really deserves it.”

It was GB’s first win of the competition and Fox says that it was important for his team to build some momentum.

“For us, having not played particularly well in the first two games, especially against Belgium, it was a good opportunity to get our legs going and play with a bit of tempo.

“Except for a few poor executions, towards the end, we really got going and, I don’t know about anyone else, I would have like to play for another 10 minutes.”

It sets up an important game with Australia tomorrow.

“We have had some really good battles with Australia, dating back to 2012. They are clearly a very good side who haven’t played as well as they wanted to in their first two games. The same applies to us so it will be a really tough game.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Magee and Darling On The Scoresheet Against Olympic Champions

Credit: Getty Images

Ireland pushed reigning Olympic champions Germany all the way but ultimately were undone 3-2 in Deodoro.

It means that they must now beat both Canada on Thursday and Argentina on Friday to give themselves a chance at reaching the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games.

For goalkeeper David Harte, it was a case of “so close and yet so far again” as excellent goals from Eugene Magee and Mitch Darling were counter-acted by a penalty corner double from Moritz Fuerste and a mid-circle slap from Martin Zwicker.

“Against the reigning Olympic champions and the world number 3, how we improved from the game against the Dutch, there are incredible amount of positives and proud of how we performed about the 60 minutes,” Harte said of the performance.

He was in the kind of form that saw him land the world goalkeeper of the year award, regularly denying Florian Fuchs – among others – while Ireland showed plenty of verve in attack.

Jonny Bell won the first corner of the game which Nicolas Jacobi did brilliantly to get down low and deny John Jermyn’s drag-flick.

But, with 45 seconds, Germany had a set piece of their own and Fuerste – the 2012 world player of the year – flung home a low push for 1-0.

Ireland replied after a composed period in the second quarter and got back on terms with a breathtaking goal from Eugene Magee. Chris Cargo laid on the pass and the Banbridge man side-stepped away from a tackle brilliantly and fired home a rocket on his backhand side – 1-1 at half-time.

Bouyed by that strike, Mikey Watt took up the energy levels in the second half with a number of strong runs. One deft piece of 3D skill saw him beat three players before unleashing a shot that went only inches wide.

But Germany won the game in a 240 second spell between the 38th and 42nd minutes. Fuerste’s second corner flick made it 2-1 and then Zwicker picked up an uncleared ball and slapped into the corner for a strong advantage.

Ireland hung tough to cling onto a piece of the game in the minutes after that before pushing forward in the latter stages. Jermyn’s drag-flick was well saved by Jacobi before Darling pulled one back with a screamer from the top of the circle.

That was with 83 seconds left but no final chance came as Germany saw out time.

It means two big games ahead for Ireland and key defender Jonny Bell says the side is ready for the challenge.

“Our heads aren’t down but we haven’t got the results we wanted. There is good togetherness and unity in our group and we will be back strong for the last two games.

“There has been a gradual improvement and we are getting into our stride, playing our patterns better, probably looking more like the Ireland that people know. That’s positive going into the last two games.”

Coach Craig Fulton, meanwhile, added: “Our defence definitely improved; they are a good team and the stats will probably prove they had more circle entries than us but our composure was good and we ran hard in the heat.

“We did ourselves justice. You come off the back of a 5-0 loss and the character is determined by how the team responds and they definitely did today. I am proud of the guys.”

Ireland 2 (E Magee, M Darling)
Germany 3 (M Fuerste 2, M Zwicker)

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, R Gormley, M Watt, J Jermyn, E Magee, K Shimmins, M Darling, K Good, P Gleghorne, C Harte

Subs: J Bell, C Cargo, A Sothern, P Caruth, S O’Donoghue

Germany: N Jacobi, M Muller, L Butt, M Haner, M Grambusch, C Wesley, T Hauke, C Ruhr, M Fuerste, F Fuchs, T Oruz

Subs: M Trompertz, T Herzbruch, T Grambusch, M Zwicker, N Wellen

Irish Hockey Association media release

Germany hold off Ireland to reach quarter-finals

by Jack Stubbs

RIO DE JANEIRO - Germany reached the men's hockey quarter-finals on Tuesday with a 3-2 win over tournament outsiders Ireland as they continued their bid for a third successive Olympic gold.

Moritz Furste scored twice for Germany and Martin Zwicker was also on target as they followed up victories over India and Canada to secure a third straight win that lifted them top of Group B.

Their nine points from three games guaranteed them a top-four finish in the pool, enough to book their spot in the last eight.

They are likely to face a sterner test on Friday, however, when they play the Netherlands, who are second in the world rankings and stormed to a 6-1 win over Germany in the EuroHockey Championship final last year.

Playing at their first Olympic hockey tournament since the sport made its debut at the London Games in 1908, Ireland made Germany work hard for their victory.

Ireland's Eugene Magee had levelled the scores at 1-1 while Michael Darling grabbed a consolation with just over a minute left on the clock in the final quarter.

"It was a really tough match as you can see on the scoreboard," Germany forward Christopher Ruhr told Reuters.

"Ireland did really well, not only offensively but also when they had the ball. We didn't play our best game."

Ireland striker Michael Watt said his team had now played their three strongest opponents in the pool and that Germany were always going to provide a stern test.

"They've won the last two Olympic Games, so you know they're a tough team," he told reporters.

"We had a few chances to score a few goals, we didn't take them and that cost us."

Hockey is a relatively minor sport in Ireland, but a small and raucous band of Irish fans made the trip to Brazil to support their countrymen, serenading players and locals with chants from the sun-baked stands.

Watt said he hoped Ireland's place at the Rio Games would help develop the sport back home.

"I think it needed something like this to kick start it," he said. "Hopefully we get lots of kids watching, we get more kids playing, hopefully we grow the sport."

The Star of Malaysia

Irish Harte hails supporters role

David Harte lines out before Ireland's match with Germany. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek/WSP   

Irish goalkeeper David Harte knows that only two wins from their last two group games will keep them in the hunt for a quarter-final spot and is relishing the challenge ahead.

They lost to Germany 3-2 today meaning they can only move on to the knock-out stages with wins over Canada and Argentina in their remaining matches.

“We always potentially knew that it could come down to a must-win against Canada but now it’s two must-win games if we are to progress to the quarter-finals.”

They will do so with a large set of supporters who have made themselves heard in the games so far and Harte has loved their passion.

“The guys are in good stead and everyone is relishing the opportunity and if our crowd keeps turning up in more and more numbers each day in voice like they were, it was a phenomenal feeling to play in front of.

“To travel the whole way to South America and to have that many green shirts is a really special feeling!”

EuroHockey media release

Olympic journey can boost Irish hockey - Watt

Michael Watt believes Ireland can build on their Olympic campaign

Irish hockey player Michael Watt believes that his side’s exploits in Rio can give the sport a boost back home.

Ireland were beaten 3-2 by Germany, who continue their quest for a third successive Olympic gold.

Playing at their first Olympic hockey tournament since the sport made its debut at the London Games in 1908, Ireland went into the game as underdogs but made Germany work hard for their victory.

Eugene Magee had levelled the scores at 1-1 while Michael Darling grabbed a consolation with just over a minute left on the clock in the final quarter.

That result means that Ireland can no longer progress in the tournament but Watt is taking plenty of positives from the experience.

"They've won the last two Olympic Games, so you know they're a tough team," he said after the game.

"We had a few chances to score a few goals, we didn't take them and that cost us."

Watt said he hoped Ireland's place at the Rio Games would help develop the sport back home.

"I think it needed something like this to kick start it," he said. "Hopefully we get lots of kids watching, we get more kids playing, hopefully we grow the sport."


Bell hoping to ring in quarter-final bid

Ireland defender Jonny Bell says his side will use the lessons learned in their first three games to launch an unlikely bid for a place in the Olympic quarter-finals.

The Lisnagarvey club man – who will return to the EHL this season in the KO16 – was in upbeat form after a strong performance from the green machine against the higher ranked Germany today.

They lost 3-2 but Bell was positive that Ireland can carry the good points into their remaining games against Canada and Argentina in the group to push for a place in the knock-out stages.

“We put in some really good phases during the game and caused the Germans some real problems but we just conceded one too many,” he said. “It was nice to get that goal at the end and put them on the back foot but unfortunately we couldn’t grab an equaliser.

“Our heads aren’t down but we haven’t got the results we wanted. There is good togetherness and unity in our group and we will be back strong for the last two games.

“There has been gradual improvement and we are getting into our stride, playing our patterns better, probably looking more like the Ireland that people know. That’s positive going into the last two games.”

It is Ireland’s first appearance in the Olympics since 1908 and is an experience the Garvey man is relishing.

“It’s a really special place to be, a special environment. Obviously, we would have liked a couple of better results in the first couple of games but this is what every hockey player dreams of and the platform you want to play on.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Lleonart launches Spain into quarter-finals

Xavi Lleonart was the star man for Spain against New Zealand. Pic: Koen Suyk/EHF   

Spain are bound for the quarter-finals after a third successive victory puts them in great shape in Pool A, Xavi Lleonart’s late goal seeing off New Zealand 3-2.

Lleonart was the star man throughout with some sublime skills and his coach Fredi Soyez praised his contribution.

“He gave us a great moment! I think he is playing at his highest level and is ready to make a big impact in this competition,” Soyez said of the Real Club de Polo player.

He added that this was a hugely significant victory, one that they had specifically targetted in their preparations. They had beaten Australia 1-0 but Soyez said this result will have of a bearing on their progression.

“This was a very different game from Australia; this was the one we had to win, the most important one. It’s really good for us and we are really happy with my team today.”

Sergi Enrique, meanwhile, added that Spain want to win as many games as possible to get as favourable quarter-final opponent as possible: “The objective of our team was to get through the group and qualify for the quarter-finals. We have done this now and will now have to think about the next game against Belgium to win the maximum points in the pool for the quarter-finals.

“This year, we have trained very hard at our three regional bases – in Barcleona, Madrid and Belgium – and then a big stage together for a month. I think we are in great shape because of it and the team believes we can win against anyone.”

EuroHockey media release

NZ Men handed heart breaking loss

Photo: www.photosport.nz

Spain have snatched a dramatic 3-2 win over the New Zealand Men after scoring in the final 30 seconds of their Pool A match at the Rio Olympic Games.

The two sides had earlier traded goals and were locked up at 2-2 at halftime after New Zealand captain Simon Child scored a double.

The Kiwis were awarded a penalty corner with 1:10 remaining on the clock, but Spain defended the attempt and turned the match on its head with a field goal at the other end from Xavier Lleonart securing the result for his side.

Spain remain undefeated and red-hot in Rio with three wins from three games, with 11 goals scored and just two against - the Kiwis the first side to crack their defence.

New Zealand, with two losses and a draw, remain in a battle to avoid elimination ahead of the quarter finals and face a must-win against home side Brazil at 10:30am tomorrow (NZ time), with live coverage on SKY Sport Rio Pop-Up 1.

Head coach Colin Batch said the result was devastating, but they need to move on and focus on winning their last two pool matches.

“We haven’t been starting very well and we saw that again today with Spain scoring virtually from the push back and that’s not good enough,” Batch said.

“The equation is now pretty simple – we need to win our last two pool games against Brazil and Belgium to put fate into our own hands.

“We need to get over the emotion of this game which is still pretty raw and front up tomorrow against Brazil.”

Defender Shea McAleese said his side’s second half just wasn’t up to standard.

“We did well to get back into that game and defended well, but our second half wasn’t good enough. To give away a soft goal like that right on fulltime is unacceptable.

“We’re pretty devastated after a few tight losses and need to learn how to win these games. All we can do now is make sure we win our next two matches to make it to the quarter finals.”

Fresh off their win over world number one Australia, the confident Spanish started with pace and intensity and opened the scoring in just the first minute with Roc Oliva delivering from a penalty corner.

New Zealand responded from the restart after James Coughlan went on a run and found Child in the circle, who beat two defenders and wrong-footed the goalkeeper to level the score.

Spain grabbed the lead back in the 10th minute after Alex Casasayas found himself wide open on the post for a straightforward tap in past Devon Manchester.

Seconds out from halftime the Kiwis found a breakthrough, winning a penalty corner from which Child delivered his second goal with a strong forehand shot from a well-worked set piece.

New Zealand and Spain fought a tight battle over the course of the second half with both sides defending well, led by their goalkeepers.

Lleonart’s strike right on fulltime was a cruel blow for the Kiwis who had looked likely to score a goal of their own during the final five minutes of the match.

Along with the Men’s match against Brazil, the New Zealand Women are also in action tomorrow when they take on Spain at 1:00am (NZ time), live on SKY Sport Rio Pop-Up 2.

New Zealand 2: (Simon Child 2)
Spain 3: (Roc Oliva, Alex Casasayas, Xavier Lleonart)
Halftime: 2-2

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Second ranked Dutch hand Canada loss in third game in Rio

Shaheed Devji

Netherland’s Jorrit Croon (R) vies for the ball with Canada’s Iain Smythe during the men’s field hockey Netherlands vs Canada match of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games at the Olympic Hockey Centre in Rio de Janeiro on August, 9 2016 (Photo credit MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Canada’s men’s field hockey team was handed its third loss at the 2016 Olympic Games 7-0 at the hands of London 2012 Games silver medalist and World No. 2, the Netherlands, Tuesday in Brazil.

With the loss, Canada now sits in sixth in Pool B and will need two wins in its last two pool matches to have a chance at moving on to the knockout round.

After losses to Germany, which won gold in London four years ago, and Argentina, the 7th ranked team in the world, in facing the second ranked Dutch, things did not get any easier for the 15th ranked Canadians.

However, it did not show early in the match.

As it did in the first two matches, Canada started strong. Tuesday was likely the Canadians best start of the tournament.

The positive started resulted in the game’s fist penalty corner being awarded in Canada’s favour in the third minute.

Iain Smythe turned the ball over in the midfield and quickly moved it to an onrushing Mark Pearson, who put on a nice display of skill to get into the Dutch circle and earn the corner.

On the ensuing opportunity, the ball was played to defender Gordon Johnston, who put a low dragflick to the right of Dutch keeper Jacob Stockmann, but the netminder was able to keep his stick tight to the pitch to turn it away.

Despite the miss, the Canadians were likely encouraged by the start.

But it was not long before the Dutch settled and began to see more of the ball, and in the 8th minute picked up their first penalty corner of the match.

Coming off a match in which it stopped nine of eleven Argentinian corners, Canada was surely confident with its corner defence. However, the Dutch converted on their first opportunity thanks to a conversion from Severiano Van Ass.

A minute later, the Dutch had a chance to add to the lead when Billy Bakker was open in the Canadian circle, but Canadian keeper David Carter was quick to challenge and turn his shot away.

Canada pressed at the end of the first quarter and had a glorious opportunity to tie when Mark Pearson played a ball across the face of the goal and Johnston redirected just wide of the goal.

The strong first quarter from the Canadians likely sparked the Dutch to take their play to another level and in the second quarter, they added two goals, the first on a penalty corner from Mink Van Weerden, and the second a field goal from Jeroen Heretzberger.

Canada quickly found itself down by three at half and with a tall order to close the gap in the final thirty.

The best chances came in the 37th minute when Keegan Pereira shot and then in the 42nd on a corner from captain Scott Tupper, which was earned by more impressive three-dimensional skills from Pearson.. But neither opportunity found its way past Stockmann.

The Netherlands added a fourth in the third frame, and then broke out in the final quarter with an additional three goals as Canada pushed to pick up its first.

Canada will now face Ireland on Thursday (7:00am PT/10:00am ET; Sportsnet, olympics,cbc.ca) in a matchup between two winless teams in Pool B

Field Hockey Canada media release

Canadian men's field hockey team remains winless

Netherlands shells Canada 7-0

The Netherlands defeated Canada 7-0 in Olympic men's field hockey competition Tuesday.

The Netherlands (2-0-1) moved into second in Pool B behind Germany (3-0). Canada (0-3) is tied for last with Ireland (0-3).

It marked the first time in the tournament that Canada has been shut out after suffering losses of 6-2 to Germany and 3-1 to Argentina.

The Canadians resume action Thursday facing Ireland, which lost 3-2 to Germany on Tuesday.

The top four teams from each of the two pools advance to the quarter-finals.

After missing the London Olympics four years ago, Canada qualified for the Rio Games with a fourth-place finish at the International Hockey Federation's World League semifinal in Argentina last June.

CBC Olympics

India lose 0-3 to Great Britain in second hockey encounter

Giselle Ansley, Nicola White and Alexandra Danson score one each for Great Britain

Indian’s women hockey team went down 0-3 to Great Britain in their second group encounter at the Olympics on Monday.

The two teams played out a tactically smart, if goalless first period of hockey. Great Britain started off with a huge amount of possession, pushing India into the defence, reliant on the counter. The two teams went into the break locked in a stalemate.

The lack of goals didn’t do anything to the fans’ sense of occasion. The two sets — the loudest in the hockey participants — were well prepared to trade chants and cheers through the game. With little to choose between the two sides in the period before half time, the biggest cheer was drawn by Vandana Katariya’s brilliant dribble that left two Britain players in her wake, before she was muscled off it by a third for a Britain turn over.

But Great Britain got the breakthrough in the 25th minute. Their first PC converted by Giselle Ansley. They doubled that lead two minutes later, Nicola White the player who got the last contact after a brief scuffle in front of the goalmouth after a cross from the left sneaked past the defence. Great Britain went into halftime leading 2-0.

Great Britain came out strong in the second half, and scored their third goal via Alexandra Danson in the 33rd minute. India settled down soon enough though, defending deep looking to hold the score down and search for counters to create inroads into a comeback. The defensive work was soon to be tested though. Britain’s first PC of the second half, was blocked by excellent charging from Namita Toppo and then the second a brilliant bit of anticipation by Sushila Chanu on the goalmouth, to deny them a fourth. There wouldn’t be much more as they headed into a final break, Britain leading 3-0.

The two teams played out the final quarter in the same pattern. Britain held most of the possession, happy to pass the ball around the midfield, and even had a couple of PCs saved by Savita. India would come closest though, first via Monika, her shot testing Maddie Hinch in the goal, before being cleared away. Katariya would have a final chance, off a counter in the final seconds. Hinch would rush out though to make a sharp save and keep the clean sheet.

India next play Australia on August 10, 2016. The match will be broadcasted live on Star Sports, Star Sports HD and Doordarshan at 7:30 PM IST.


Great Britain tames Indian women

Early on resumption in the second half, Alex Danson put it beyond the reach of India, with the third goal.

CANNY EXECUTION: Britain's Nicola White (right) scores the second goal against India in the women's hockey match on Monday.

The Indian women were tamed 3-0 by Great Britain in the second league match of the women’s hockey at the Deodoro Olympic Hockey Centre on Monday evening.

After a quiet first quarter, Britain took control of the situation with two quick goals through Giselle Ansley who converted a penalty corner and Nicola White who guided a cross from the left into the goal.

Early on resumption in the second half, Alex Danson put it beyond the reach of India, with the third goal.

The margin could have been bigger, but India, which had held Japan to a draw in the opening encounter, defended stoutly. While Britain was on top with two wins from as many matches, US enjoyed the same status, ahead of Argentina which has three points. US beat former champion Australia 2-1.

Argentina recovered from its loss to the US in the opening match to beat Japan 4-0.

India will next play Australia, which surprisingly is languishing at the bottom without a point so far after two matches.

India will play US and Argentina in its last two matches. A lot will be at stake in the next three matches as the Indian women make an attempt to be in the top four and make the quarterfinals.

The result:

Great Britain 3 (Giselle Ansley, Nicola White, Alex Danson) bt India 0.

The Hindu

We wouldn't stand for complacency

Kate Richardson-Walsh

Women's team captain Kate Richardson-Walsh was pleased with her side's display in the 3-0 victory against India.

After an excellent 2-1 win over Australia in their first game, our women again picked up three points, this time against a dogged Indian outfit.

Richardson-Walsh told said live on BBC Four after the game, "We played two very different sides in the two games, and had to employ different tactics to suit.

"We had to pass and move it, when we did that it looked beautiful but you have to do it for the full 60 minutes.

"They are two very different teams, Australia play with intensity, India are more on and off so can lure you in, but we had to stay in our style, be disciplined and reflect that in our performance."

Asked if the second game had a different mental approach, Kate said, "There's no way we would ever be complacent, the players and staff wouldn't stand for it, we are here to represent Great Britain, and all 31 of us in the central programme go out there with pride every time we play or train.

"We're taking one game at a time. We've spent many hours talking about our culture, our behaviours and having a gold medal mentality, we live for that and it shows on the field."

Our women's team are next in action at 5:30pm UK time on Wednesday evening.

Great Britain Hockey media release

Labourious morale booster for India against Argentina

s2h Team

Photo Courtesy : Getty Images

Asian Champions India retrieved enormous prestige it lost yesterday against Germany, with a stellar performance against Pan American Champions Argentina in their own dungeon to walk away with 2-1 win.

Dominating first three quarters, India led 2-0 till before facing fast and fury of Argentina who have not lost to India in the last one decade in major FIH events.

Kothajit Singh and Chinglensana struck for India in the first half while Gonzala Peillat posted a consolation goal in the fourth quarter, which witnessed all drama in every move each side created.

Argentina, trailing by two goals, without even getting a single penalty corner till then, returned to as a transformed side in the last quarter, and it told on the Indian defence.

Its experienced forwardline created amble moves upfront which resulted in number of penalty corners and referral in the last quarter.

Gonzalo made it memorable for his side with his first strike off first penalty corner (2-1). Thereafter, both sides opened up matching move for move. Unlike the previous match in which India conceded a last gasp winner to defending champions Germany. India, once warded of third quarter blues, did not contend with covering their circle, but went full steam with attacks.

Chinglensana unleashed an acute angled forehand after a penalty corner push could not be stopped properly to bemuse thrice Olympian goalie Vivaldi to get India its lone goal till half time.

India got its first penalty before this. Rupinder, as expected, sent a powerpacked flicked aiming centre of cage, but goalie managed to palm it strongly, leaving the rising ball fall away from striking circle.

Chinglen's was a surprise element. Its a push he stopped loose standing next to Raghnath faking movements to confuse Vivaldi. The tactic paid off much to the happiness of Indian crowd, mostly from London.

INDIA: PR Sreejesh(gk), V Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Manpreet Singh, Sardar Singh, Devinder Walmiki, Danish Mujtaba, SK Uthappa, Nikkin Thimmaiah, SV Sunil, Chinglensana Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh. SB: Pardeep Mor, Vikas Dahiya. CHIEF COACH: Roelant Oltmans, MANAGER: Tushar Khandker, Physio: Shrikant Iyenkar, Masseur: Arup Naskar, Video: Aadhithya Chakravarthy, Scientific advisor: Mathew Fyles, Analytical Coach: Roger van Gent.

Argentina: Juan Vivaldi(gk), Gonzalo Peillat, Juan Gilardi, Pedro Ibarra, Matias Paredes Lucas Vila, Juan Lopez, Matias Rey, Manuel Brunet, Agustin Mazzilli, Lucas Rossi, Facundo Callioni, Lucas Rey, Joaquin Menini, Ignacio Ortiz, Juan Saladino CHIEF COACH: Carlos Retegui, MANAGER: Alejandro Doherty


India break Argentina jinx

Alok Sinha

RIO DE JANEIRO: India had lost four and drawn one of their last five encounters against Argentina. And after an energy-sapping game against Germany on Monday, which they lost in the dying seconds, the men in blue were in a spot of bother. They had to win this one to stay on course for a quarterfinal spot.

They came in determined to prove a point or two here on Tuesday. That they did, in the face of a last-quarter barrage of attacks by Argentina which would have tested the best defenders of the world. And they walked away from it unscathed, with a 2-1 result which has given them some breathing space and a lot of confidence.

Both Indian goals came through Manipuri boys. The first was via a penalty corner in the eighth minute of the first quarter, as K Chinglensana failed to make a clean stop but recovered immediately to drag the ball into the circle and slam it home. It caught the Argentines unawares.

The second came in the third quarter, off a counter-attack. The Argentines were pressing, but lost the ball at the half line and the Indians raided. Akashdeep ran in from the left flank and passed to Ramandeep, whose hit found a defender, got a deflection and K Kothajit slotted it home.

But that was where India's domination ended. The men in blue and white started pressing, with their midfield and defence building pressure. Something had to give way, and it did in the fourth quarter.

Argentina won their first penalty corner in the 49th minute and Gonzalo Peillat slammed the board without a fuss. 1-2 and India were now worried. Errors crept into their game. They defended stoutly but cleared some by sending up long balls which were picked up by their rivals to attack again.

"That was not part of our game plan," Indian coach Roelant Oltmans admitted later.

What followed Argetina's first goal was a flurry of raids and constant danger of penalty corners. After succumbing to the first, the Indians denied their rivals four times in PCs -once Sreejesh dived to make a good save, then Surinder Kumar made a brilliant on-the-line save, and finally Raghunath rushed out to block the flick and ensuing danger. "It is a big win. Argentina are World Cup bronze-medallists. As expected, we came under a lot of pressure in the last quarter. But the hard work we have put in towards defending PCs showed today. The boys made me proud."

Yes, that was where the match was won and lost. In fact, the Indians even managed to hold on to the ball in the final two minutes and created goal-scoring opportunities.

"It was very tough towards the end, very tense. But we did a wonderful job. Every save I make and every PC the defenders defend gives life to the team. And we are alive here. We will rest tomorrow and come back on Thursday to take on the Netherlands. There is a lot of hard work ahead," goal keeper P Sreejesh said.

One jarring note in India's performance is the number of cards the team has been getting here. In the first match against Ireland, a player was sent out with a yellow in the last two minutes. On Tues day, Indians copped 4 cards -2 green and 2 yellow. When this was pointed out, coach Oltmans said: "I may not agree with all the cards but yes, we have to be careful."

Women outplayed by Britain

The Indian women's team bowed 0-3 to the higher-ranked Britain on Monday night. Britain scored through Giselle Ansley (25th minute), Nicola White (27th) and Alexandra Danson (33rd).

The Times of India

India men's hockey team beat Argentina 2-1

Vineet Ramakrishnan

NEW DELHI: India men's hockey team defeated Argentina 2-1 in their third Pool B encounter at the Olympic Hockey Centre on Tuesday to climb third in the standings with two wins to their name.

Manipur's Chinglensana Kangujam scored the opening goal for India in the eighth minute and the lead was doubled in the third quarter by another Manipuri player - Kothajit Khadangbam.

Similar to their second game against Germany on Monday, in which India faltered and conceded a last-gasp goal to concede the game, the VR Raghunath-led team played a jittery final quarter with Argentina reducing the deficit via penalty corner goal by Gonzalo Peillet early in Q4. With less than eight minutes to go, Argentina earned a barrage of penalty corners but India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh made three crucial saves to deny drag-flick specialist Peillet. India just about managed to stave off Argentina to register a close win. This is the first time India have beaten Argentina since 2009.

India started the match aggressively and earned their first penalty corner of the match in the 7th minute when defender Ramandeep Singh hit the leg of an Argentinean defender inside the circle. Rupinder Pal Singh's flick was blocked, but in the next minute India got their second PC and this time Chinglensana found the net to hand India 1-0 lead in the first quarter.

India got lucky in the dying minutes of the first quarter, when Argentina were denied by the post.

In the next quarter, Argentina looked in better rhythm and were on the charge. While India dominated the play in Q1, the lion's share of possession in Q2 was enjoyed by their opponent. Argentina got close to a goal in Q2 but a fantastic block by Sreejesh helped India maintain their one goal advantage going in to the long break. In the third, India got the better of Argentina and Kothajit Khadangbam doubled the lead scoring a field goal five minutes in to the third quarter.

In the final quarter Argentina clawed their way back into the game and dominated the proceedings. Their sustained pressure inside the D led to as many as four penalty corners, but Sreejesh put aside his disappointment of conceding a goal against Germany with three seconds left on the clock, with three brilliant saves to keep India ahead.

The Times of India

Backed by Brazil, India beat Argentina

A day after heartbreaking loss to Germany, India regroup to post their second win

Rohit Mahajan

Kothajit Singh Khadangbam (2R) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal. Reuters

“Ole, Ole, Ole! India, India,” these shouts came from a bunch of Brazilian supporters of India. There were very few Indian fans at the hockey venue, and they didn't have the songs and chants and the noise the larger bunch of Argentinean fans had.

The Brazilians have an intense sporting rivalry with Argentina. Last night at the tennis venue, fans from the two countries actually came to blows, and security had to rush in to get things under control. Brazil and Argentina share much, and this includes a lot of bad blood.

Brazilian fans are passionate and they're furiously partisan. The after-effects of last night's bust-up were felt today. At the hockey arena today, the national anthems of India and Argentina were played. A raucous bunch of Brazilians, carrying their own country's flag, cheered the Indian anthem and booed after the Argentine anthem. They then proceeded to boo each time the ball was touched by an Argentine player. They cheered wildly when the ball came to the Indians, and they went mad with joy when India went ahead. “No Argentina!” said Markus, a Brazilian fan waving his own country's flag even as he chanted: “Ole India!”

On the other side of the pitch, there were the Argentine fans. Some of them made rude, obscene gestures at the Brazilians on the opposite stands. One of them, clearly drunk, jumped up and down and shouted constantly: “Chupa Brazil, Chupa Brazil!!” This translates to “Brazil sucks!”

Brazil's India-loving fans too weren't shy about jeering the Argentines, and they uttered words that can't be published in a family newspaper.

India win 2-1

There was lesser drama on the pitch, at least in the first three quarters. India were 2-0 up after 45 minutes, in total control. Then, in the fourth quarter, Argentina went out all to find the equaliser.

Yesterday, India were 1-1 with Germany until almost the very end, and were only beaten by a last-gasp goal by the Germans. That's the sort of heartbreak Indian fans dread every time India are leading or holding a bigger and more powerful team.

Today, to begin with, India dominated possession and didn't allow Argentina to create a dangerous move, even though India too didn't make any serious move. India defended solidly against a team that plays very physical hockey; India were penalised with three green cards, two of them in the first quarter. But Argentina didn't get a single penalty corner in the first three quarters. In the last quarter, Argentina got five penalty corners, and captain PR Sreejesh was solid in front of the goal. India defended robustly.

India converted on their second penalty corner opportunity, Chinglensana Singh delaying his shot just a bit before smashing the ball in. A second Manipuri in the team, Kothajit Singh, doubled the lead when he latched on to a loose ball and scored.

In the fourth quarter, Argentina pressed all their men forward, and they scored when Gonzalo Peillat got his drag-flick working.

Now, India didn't panic. In the past, they've gone into their shell at such times, become too defence-minded. Today, right at the end, coach Roelant Oltmans sent in three attackers, withdrawing men from the defence. The idea was to attack and scare Argentina, rather than becoming defensive and jittery.

“Gradually, our team is improving, handling tough situations better,” Sreejesh later said. “The Argentines came hard at us. We conceded one goal, but we defended very well towards the end, so I'm very happy.”

Equally happy were the Argentina-hating Brazilians in the stands.

Results: India 2 (Chinglensana 8', Kothajit 35') bt  Argentina 1 (Peillat)
Germany    3 bt Ireland 2
Netherlands 7 bt Canada 0
Spain 3 bt New Zealand 2

The Tribune

India holds nerve to go past Argentina

Goals from Chinglensana and Kothajit help consolidate team’s push for a quarterfinal spot

Kamesh Srinivasan

Well done mate: Kothajit Singh is the toast of his teammates after he scores India's second goal.

ndia held its ground in the last quarter, especially through some fine work by goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh, to record its second victory in the league, a 2-1 win over Argentina at the Deodoro Olympic Hockey Centre on Tuesday.

Having consolidated its position in the race for the quarterfinal berths, and with two matches left in the group against the Netherlands and Canada, to improve its status further, India celebrated, in a mild fashion, thanking the fans for the support.

Every win deserves celebration for a team that had finished 12th in the last edition in London and had failed to make it to the Beijing Olympics. The team had started well with a win against Ireland, and had played its heart out against defending champion Germany before losing the match in the last four seconds.
Confidence and clarity

There was confidence and clarity in the manner in which the team operated, and coach Roelant Oltmans constantly rotated the players, allowing them to go all out in bursts of speed and energy.

What was gratifying was that India was able to keep its cool and operate sensibly, despite Argentina triggering the alarm bells with a goal in the fourth minute of the fourth quarter, a penalty corner strike by Gonzalo Peillat.

India was sitting in a commanding position till then, thanks to the goals, a penalty corner strike by Chinglensana Kangujam in the eighth minute of the first quarter and by an opportunistic flick by Kothajit Singh in the fifth minute of the second half.

The goalkeeper did stand up to the task, but when Argentina pressed hard with a flurry of penalty corner attempts, many of which passed the video referral challenge, the defenders sprinted out to help him save the citadel better.

Akashdeep Singh eased the tension with two fine runs on the left, and came close to scoring on the second attempt, but his measured scoop hit the post.

Earlier, a fine pass from him went abegging.

India could force only two penalty corners and the third was disallowed after a video referral.

But, overall the team played as a fine cohesive unit, though there was no denying the fact that it could have attacked better when it had possession and control of the turf.

India has paced itself nicely so far to give itself a fair chance in the quarterfinals, rather than finish fourth and run into a top team like Australia in the first knock-out round.

It will be interesting to see how well the team handles the challenge from coach Oltmans's nation, the Netherlands, on Thursday.

The result:

India 2 (Chinglensana, Kothajit) bt Argentina 1 (Peillat).

The Hindu

How can India tilt the final FIVE MINUTES in their favour?

Shashank Gupta

Amongst the whole jubilation and sudden surge of expectations from the Indian Hockey team, I tend to ask the uncomfortable question: What won’t work for India in the next games? Well, to begin with, when the forwards consistently NOT take shots at the goalpost, you tend to ask two questions?

One, is it coach’s strategy that the team plays to earn penalty corners and so forwards, when inside the circle, attempt to create penalty corners instead of choosing a direct shot? This is a game-dependent strategy and can be quickly tweaked based on who is the opponent is. So, no worries!

The bothersome aspect is: Are the forwards sapped of energy because the primary thing on their mind is to defend?

Even though this has shown results in India’s favour, this strength in itself is the soft spot for India. Let me ask you a simple question: How many times did you see Sardara Singh rallying the ball to other forwards?

Well, if you thought for a moment, there lies the answer. The opponents are marking the midfielders as well!

Take another example: The Argentines didn’t let Indians shuffle the ball between the defenders who were planning to build up an attack. Even on otherwise peaceful 16-yard hit, Rupinderpal, Surender and Raghunath were being chased about by Argentines.

In a nutshell, in the upcoming games, even the last one in the Indian line-up won’t be spared of pressure.

Against Argentina, Indians appeared exhausted in the final 10m. Recall, the ball that Sardara picked up and didn’t know what to do when he entered the rival circle alone? Even though this factor was more pronounced against Argentina, this was present against Germany too. Both the opponents in the respective games took the marking on the score-board in the fourth quarter as a thorough insult and went out in violent-waves pouncing on the Indian defence. If you argue that it was because of two games in two days, well the going will get tougher in the upcoming games.

Saying that Germany succeeded in the last three seconds is a partial truth. Defending for such long periods, as India has been doing against Germany and Argentina, is an unsustainable strategy. This strategy for prolonged periods is bound to concede a soft-goal when the opponents are disciplined determined and experienced, like the Germans.

India has already proved that they are mentally strong and can put up a stellar defence for three quarters and a little bit into the fourth quarter. So, the question remains, for how long can they (or rather, would be able to) display that mental strength and bear all eleven opponents in their quarter?

Who will give them the much-needed break? The Forwards? Shuffling around the ball building a flank-based attack? Counter-attacks?

I don’t know what Oltmans has on his mind. If I can see this as an observer, he would have prayed for India during the game itself. Here’s what they can do more often.

1) Goalkeeper calls for a legal break: Recall what German goalkeeper did in the final 10m? He asked for change of gloves! Sreejesh, the captain of the team, has the best view of the turf and his teammate’s energy-levels, too. He can use the rules in his team’s favour to slow down the onslaught.

2) Take a pause often: The team can also slow-down a bit while executing or defending penalty corners.

When Sunil fell down yesterday, he was clever enough to slowly rise from the ground. On another occasion, Manpreet did the same. Neither too slow to get a stretcher called nor too fast to start the game in the next second.

India can think for a second while taking a free-hit. As done aptly by Sunil, India also needs to more of those time-guzzling, otherwise needless, dribbling in the corners of opponent’s quarter.

3) Scoop and breathe easy: When the attacks are unstoppable and relentless, India can get rid of the ball by a mere scoop into the wilderness of the opponent half and buy some time. What India is doing is exactly the reverse. On more than handful occasions, they tend to retain the ball in their jam-packed quarter, and then get it stolen. Good strategy to a build a counter. Backfires when over-used while defending!

4) Have a good meal but not eat cards: India ate 3 Green cards and 1 Yellow card in the game against Argentina. That amounts to 11m! Add another few minutes for the time consumed in changeovers and that comes to nearly one full quarter!!

For one full quarter, 10 men played 1.1 times of their potential!

The third match from now would be an elimination one. What if it goes into extra-time and then a tie-breaker? Would Indians have the same energy levels to survive in the extra-time? Indian strategy is that of a defensive-game, relying solely on counters. Even there also, pick short-corners, take a breather and let the on-fire, Rupinderpal, do the rest.

That has won many Indian hearts till now. Will it win the upcoming games? Can’t say.

However, as the saying going, attack is the best defence. In the 3m against Argentina, India took the game in Argentine quarter and that is where everyone got a much needed break from defending, and India sealed the game in their favour. At the final whistle, the ball was outside Argentine circle.

India has shown a lot of promise and has drawn attention from a lot of non-Hockey followers with their terrific, stellar performance in Olympics.

A little of thinking and a few baby steps focussing to retain energy for the final 5m would surely be the gateway to a much-awaited podium finish.


PR Sreejesh thinks his job is to give 'life' to Indian hockey team

PR Sreejesh along with his teammates acknowledge the applause of fans after beating Argentina on Tuesday (AFP)

India beat Argentina 2-1 on Tuesday. This was their first win against Argentina since Champions Challenge 2009.

Indian hockey captain PR Sreejesh, who played a pivotal role in his side's 2-1 win over Argentina at the Rio Olympics on Tuesday, said it's his job to "give life" to the team in the dying moments of a match.

Leading 2-0 with Chinglensana Singh and Kothajit Singh's strikes in the first three quarters, India survived a final- quarter onslaught from Argentina for a nail-biting win to virtually secure a quarterfinal berth at the men's hockey competition.

Goalkeeper Sreejesh stood tall with two glorious saves as the team put up a dogged defence to avoid any further danger. "The job of a goalkeeper is to give life to your team in the dying moments, you help the team rise up from a tough situation. To save goal was always my first job," Sreejesh said after their match on Pitch 2 of the Olympic Hockey Centre in Deodoro.

"Last 15 minutes was a bit hard. It was a do-or-die effort for them. We conceded one goal yes, but wonderful job overall."

India dominated Argentina in the first three quarters but came under tremendous pressure from the Los Leones in the final 15 minutes during which they conceded as many as five penalty corners. This was India's first win against Argentina since Champions Challenge 2009.

"We played really clever in the last few minutes. We kept the ball deep in their half. We expected them to press hard so we needed to create space for our forwards and at the same time you needed to make sure that you keep the possession," coach Roelant Oltmans said.

"But we were not patient enough the boys played long balls all of a sudden which was not our game plan." This is also the first time since Sydney 2000 when they have won two matches in the Olympics, the other being their win over Ireland in the opener.

Indian hockey's penalty corner specialist Raghunath Vokkaliga, who stood in as captain as part of head coach Roelant Oltmans rotation strategy to take the burden off Sreejesh, said the team was looking in a great shape since London 2012 where they finished at bottom by losing all their matches.

"Scoring goals have improved now, Indian team now knows how to handle big tournaments. If you take the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games, Champions Trophy, we have been playing consistently well. I can say that Indian hockey now knows to handle big tournaments.

"Team has improved really well after London 2012, that's why we're world number five right now. We want to make sure we beat world number 1-2-3-4, so that's our target. trying to achieve that slowly, the credit goes to the full team."

Asked about their approach in the final minutes where Argentine went for an all out attack, he said, "We really did a good job. We have one of the best defending penalty corners in the world. In the last minute, the defence did a very good job. We have a break tomorrow and will come back stronger (against the Netherlands on August 11)."


Hockey side's pride pricked in 2-1 loss

By David Leggat

New Zealand line up for the anthem before the Black Sticks hockey match against Korea, Deodoro Stadium. Photo / Photosport

They began impressively but hit a speed bump second time out.

Now the world No4 New Zealand women's hockey team face a tall order to get a favourable quarter-final draw when the Olympic tournament reaches the sharp end.

Having dealt to South Korea 4-1 in their opening match, New Zealand were beaten 2-1 by Germany in their second pool A game in Rio. And dynamic midfielder Anita McLaren isn't happy.

New Zealand hadn't "turned up" mentally, she said.

"We just seem to do this a lot, it's really disappointing.

"We just have to learn how to be consistent. We have to prepare well and turn up for every single game.

"It's an Olympic Games, it's not just a club match back home. We have to take pride in our performance."

The Black Sticks have three games left before the knockout stage, including one against the world's top ranked Dutch team. Ideally they'd want three wins to push them up the ladder and therefore hand them an easier quarter-final.

There could be no complaints yesterday.

The Black Sticks started assertively, with Petrea Webster scoring early after good lead-up work by Charlotte Harrison.

However ninth-ranked Germany equalised through Pia-Sophie Oldhafer before Anne Schroder got the winner with a strong shot from a penalty corner in the third quarter.

New Zealand had six penalty corners and converted none. Coach Mark Hager acknowledged the result was a setback. "We fought hard but in the end our set pieces were poor, they ran us down and we just need to execute better," he said.

"They outplayed us in three of four quarters. We needed to get at least a point out of this game and we're now stuck back in the pack, which is disappointing."

Goalkeeper Sally Rutherford had to be on top of her game as the Germans, gaining in confidence as the game progressed, exposed New Zealand's defensive frailties.

The Blacks Sticks now have a day off to ponder their situation before facing world No14 Spain early tomorrow (NZT).

After the Spanish, beaten 2-0 by China in their last match, New Zealand play the Netherlands and sixth-ranked China. Suddenly it's not looking the smooth sailing the opening win suggested it might.

The New Zealand Herald

Stats Speak: fascinating set of facts and figures in 108 years of Olympic Hockey (part-8)

By B.G.Joshi (Sehore-Bhopal, India)

Renowned Hockey statistician B.G.Joshi has provided some fascinating set of facts and figures, you probably never knew about the game. Here are the double hat trick (6 goals in a match) scored by a players in Olympics Hockey.

Great Balbir Singh Senior scored 6 goals versus Argentina in London Olympics (1948). It was first ever match of two continental giants. India won the match by
9-1. Details of other matches in Olympics in which double hat trick have registered are:

9 players scored double hat trick in 108 years  of Olympics  Hockey










Roop Singh




Los Angeles



Stanley Shoveller

Great Britain


Sep 3,1920




Dhyan Chand




Los Angeles



Aziz Malik



Aug 3,1948




Juan Amat



Jul 26,1980




Udham Singh



Nov 18,1956




Balbir Singh Senior



Aug 4,1948




Norman Borrett

Great Britain


Aug 5,1948




Fernando Ferrara



Aug 7,1992




11th August- When Pakistan last won Olympic gold

11th August was the day, when in 1984, Pakistan won the last of its three golds at the Olympics.

Though they were the reigning World Champions but Pakistan were not the favourites. Australia had been the dominating force over the last year or so.

Pakistan struggled in the pool games. They remained unbeaten but drew three of the five matches.

Their qualification for the semifinal depended upon the result of the last match of their pool, between Netherlands and Kenya. Netherlands had to win by five goals but they managed only a three goals victory.

In the semifinal, Pakistan played a spirited game to beat Australia 1-0 with the goal coming from Hasan Sardar, easily the best forward of his time. In the final, Pakistan defeated West Germany 2-1 in extra time. Hasan Sardar and Kalimullah were the scorers.

PHF Media release

Scotland Men set to play Czech Rep

Alan Forsyth

Scotland’s Men’s national hockey team will travel to Prague for a three-game challenge against Czech Republic.

It is an exciting time for the men’s team as they kick off their qualifying campaign for the World Cup in 2018. The team has made a great start to the summer by winning a 4-Nations tournament in Poland as part of their preparation for Hockey World League 1 in September. Hockey World League 1 will be held on 6-11 September at the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow.

The opening game against Czech Republic will take place at 6pm on Friday 12 August 2016; the second meeting will be the following day at 5pm; and the third and final encounter will take place on Sunday 14 August 2016 at 12.30pm

Nicolas Parkes is on 49 caps for Scotland and could be in line for a milestone 50th cap in the games in Prague.

Scotland Coach Derek Forsyth said: “The games against the Czech Republic will be a good challenge for us as we continue with our preparation for the WL 1 tournament. We’re looking to build on our performances from our previous camps.”

Scotland’s squad for Czech Republic:

Name, Club
Gordon Amour, Edinburgh University
Russell Anderson, Cannock
Kenny Bain, HGC
Patrick Christie, Durham University
Dan Coultas, Edinburgh University
Callum Duke, Hillhead
David Forrester, Edinburgh University
Alan Forsyth, Surbiton
David Forsyth, Qui Vive
Cammy Fraser, Grange
Ed Greaves, NHTC
Sean Hadfield, Bowdon
Hamish Imrie, Schaerweijde
Willie Marshall, Surbiton
Nick Parkes, Surbiton
Duncan Riddell, Grove Menzieshill
Nick Samra, Surbiton
Jamie Wong, Edinburgh University

Scottish Hockey Union media release

9-a-Side tournament: NBP register emphatic win over SSGC

By Nabil Tahir

KARACHI: National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) won their respective matches on the second day of the Pakistan Cup 9-a-Side Hockey Tournament at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium in Karachi on Monday.

In the first match of the day, Faisal Qadir scored the opening goal for NBP against SSGC in the 17th minute before Dilber Hussein scored twice in two second-half minutes to triple his team’s lead. The final goal was scored by Atiq Arshad in the 40th minute as NBP ran away comfortable 4-0 winners.

All three of NBP’s goalscorers were a part of the junior hockey team that recently visited Europe for a four-nation hockey tournament, and head coach Abuzar Umrao was quick to link the trio’s performance with the foreign excursion.

“The recent tour of the junior team is showing results in this championship as all of our four goals were scored by the members of junior team,” Umrao told The Express Tribune. “This shows that international tours are beneficial to the players and the more they go abroad the more they will progress.”

Meanwhile later on in the day, PAF defeated Pakistan Hockey Federation Development Squad (PDS) 2-0 as Adnan scored the first goal in 20th minute followed by Sami’s strike nine minutes later.

The Express Tribune

An IIT-an who had a dream for Indian hockey

NEW DELHI: The Indian hockey might not have been excelling at the Olympics since 1980, but the history of the sport in India has always managed to be enriching. Back in 2008, when for the first time, the Indian hockey team did not qualify for the Olympics, many sections of the sporting fraternity, fans included, had to endure heartbreak.

But while for many followers - for whom sports in India begins and ends with cricket - weren't really bothered, those who cherished what Indian hockey stands for started becoming restless. One such case in point is K Arumugam.

A water expert, who did his engineering from IIT-Mumbai, Arumugam was serving India's government sector, but the news of India not qualifying for the perennial event disturbed him to an extent that he picked up a hockey stick himself and took upon himself to transform the condition of Indian hockey. "When we did not qualify for Beijing, it came as a shock for the hockey lovers," Arumugam said.

On further exploration, Arumugam found out that the roots of hockey itself wasn't promising in India. Many children had no clue about the sport, and those who did, had no infrastructure. The need of the hour was to make situations for hockey and those wanting to pursue the sport better. Arumugam established the OTHL (One Thousand Hockey Legs), and began the hunt for such children.

Arumugam began the search in Pondicherry and managed to set up playing conditions before taking it to Chennai, Kanpur, Kolkata and capital city Delhi. Regarding the process, Arumugam said: "We go to schools and ask the principal for permission. Then we select students from Class 6th and 7th and provide them hockey kits. To ensure they get better at their game, we keep a coach as well. Often we take them to watch hockey matches across the city so it keeps their interest in the sport going."

It's been eight years that the little dream that Arumugam had is now a full-fledged reality. Out of approximately 2500 students, many have reached national level and that day isn't far when they represent India at the highest level.

The Times of India

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