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News for 12 August 2016

All the news for Friday 12 August 2016

Men's pool play continues

By Hayley Tafuro

Recapping Thursday's men's field hockey pool play where teams continue to fight for top spots in the standings.

At The Top, It's Only Belgium

Belgium remains as the only undefeated men’s team in pool play after topping Spain 3-1.

It has been a challenge to quell this red-hot Spain team, but Belgium came out cool and calm to immediately establish control of the game.

Cedric Charlier got things started and within the opening seconds of the second quarter, Emmanuel Stockbroekx increased the Belgium lead. Charlier added his second goal before the half’s end, and just like that Spain saw the game slipping away from them.

Spain finally saw its opportunity to score off of a penalty corner. Pau Quemada executed on a powerful shot that had Spain’s fans going wild in the stands.

Belgium stood unwavering, and never let Spain get any closer thanks to tremendous efforts from goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch.

This team has had an absolutely dominating run so far in this tournament, and will look to close out pool play as the No. 1 team in Pool A.

Upset Avoided

Germany avoided a major upset by tying Argentina 4-4 in the final seconds of play.

What looked like an Argentina victory suddenly changed with eight seconds left. The Germans received a penalty corner opportunity where they missed the initial shot off the insert. However, Mathias Muller was in the right place to find the rebound and knock the ball in for the draw.

The momentum shifted back and forth between Argentina and Germany throughout the game.

Argentina went up 1-0 early in the first quarter after Lucas Vila scored, but Germany was ready to take over.

With seconds left in the quarter, Timm Herzbruch maintained perfect position to tip a pass into the goal. The Germans then pushed the field and got it ahead to Christopher Wesley who slapped a shot past Argentina’s goalkeeper. Mats Grambusch added to the lead with an easy tap of the ball off of a rebounded shot.

Argentina relentlessly pursued the lead. A drag flick off a penalty corner from Pedro Ibarra got the team going, and Gonzalo Peillat tied it all up on another corner. Three minutes remained in the game, but it was plenty of time for Matias Rey to put Argentina up by one.
Muller had other plans, and instead thwarted any chance of an upset.

This is Germany’s first tie of the tournament, and they dropped a place in the standings to the Netherlands over goal differential. Argentina, however, stayed stagnant in fourth place.

Luck Had Nothing To Do With It

Ireland outlasted Canada 4-2 in its best game of the Olympic tournament, finally adding three points to its column in the standings.

Both teams were desperate for their first win win, and this one was about as evenly matched as it got.

Or so it seemed heading in.

Ireland came out playing its best half of hockey in the tournament. They entered halftime with a 3-0 lead over the Red Caribou after two goals from Shane O’Donoghue and one from Peter Caruth.

Canada came storming back in the third quarter with a goal from Scott Tupper. Tupper continued to lead the way with another goal coming from a penalty corner attempt.

What looked like a game that would go down to the wire was put away by Michael Darling with minutes remaining. Darling found a way to rip one past Canada’s goalkeeper who was out of position, and the Canada defense couldn’t get there in time to keep the ball out of the cage.

Ireland now bumps itself one place ahead of last while Canada still remains winless in Rio.

Five Just Wasn't Enough

The Netherlands gripped on to 2-1 victory despite India having five chances in a row to tie it up at the end of the game.

With six seconds remaining, India earned a penalty corner that just fell short of the goal. As they played through the time left on the clock, they received one more penalty corner chance to tie it up, which actually ended up turning into four opportunities.

India could not capitalize on any of these, despite doing so earlier in the game thanks to Raghunath Vokkaliga’s drag flick. The Dutch finally claimed victory, which for them meant for now claiming the top spot in the standings ahead of Germany.

Mink Van der Weerden continued his Olympic success by scoring the goal that put the Dutch ahead in the fourth quarter.

India is still very much in contention in Pool B coming in currently at the third spot.

NBC Olympics

More from women's pool play

By Hayley Tafuro

Recapping all of the matchups from Thursday's pool play action in Rio.

Australia Survives Argentina

Australia clung to a 1-0 lead to defeat Argentina in one of the biggest matchups in Pool B.

Both teams hit the pitch hard. They stayed scoreless up until the third quarter where Australia finally capitalized on a chance at a goal. Emily Smith batted down the ball to bounce it to herself and knock it past Argentina goalkeeper Belen Succi.

Maria Barrionuevo had an opportunity to tie the game on a penalty stroke, but Australia’s Rachael Lynch had the perfect reaction to block it.

With the win, Australia moves up to third place over Argentina in the Pool B standings.

Spain Wins First

Thanks to a strong start, Spain held off Germany winning its first game by a score of 2-1.

Spain came out ready to prove themselves in this Olympic tournament. The team scored two quick goals, the first of which came from Cristina Guinea on a rebound from a penalty corner attempt. Guinea and her teammates looked ecstatic.

That energy led to Spain’s next goal. Carola Salvatella swiped the ball away from Germany and dribbled it right up to the goal for a shot.

Germany had an answer before the half ended. Lisa Schutze beat her defender to score and cut the deficit to one goal.

The two teams battled back and forth in the third and fourth quarters, but all Spain had to do was maintain strong defense to get the win.

NBC Olympics

Katie Bam double helps USA blank India 3-0 for fourth Olympic win in Rio

By Jawwad Qamar

USA dominated India after a tentative start in pool B play as Katie Bam continued where she left off yesterday scoring two more goals to take her Olympic tally to 5 goals.

Bam put in a reverse stick shot with a minute left in the opening quarter after receiving a great feed by Katelyn Falgowski to give USA a 1-0 lead. Her second goal came in the 42nd minute on an excellent solo effort – a long run from the left flank into the circle, sidestepping an Indian defender, and hammering the ball past the Indian goalkeeper to the far right for a 2 goal advantage much to the delight of the large crowd from home.

In the 52nd minute Melissa Gonzales got into the act making it 3-0 for USA on a pass from Katie Reinprecht who had received the ball from Kathleen Sharky.

Jackie Briggs had an easy night in goal for USA as she never was tested by the feeble Indian offense which only had one shot on goal the entire game and no penalty corners.

The one negative for the USA in this match was their inability to score on penalty corners as they wasted 9 set piece opportunities with both veterans Rachel Dawson Lauren Crandall coming up empty.

Great Britain followed by defeating Japan 2-0 in the last match of the day and is tied with USA on top of pool B with 12 points. This means it all comes down to the last pool encounter between the two on Saturday to decide who finishes on top.

Fieldhockey.com Exclusive

U.S. Olympic Women’s Field Hockey Team Captures Fourth Straight Victory Earning a Total of 12 Event Points

DEODORO, Brazil - They shook hands after a draw in Lancaster, Pa. knowing all too well it wasn’t over; there was more to the story. Only a few weeks before the Olympic Games during the Citi Rio Send-Off Series, India and the U.S. Olympic Women’s Field Hockey Team’s walked away with one win apiece. The moment to prove who has enough gusto to edge out the other was revealed on the ultimate stage at the Deodoro Olympic Park. Keeping match tempo in fifth gear, Team USA drove hard, engines at full tilt for 60 minutes to leave the pitch as victors with a goal line 3-0. The missing element between the Citi Rio Send-Off Series and the Olympic Games? USWNT dynamite defender and captain Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.). A key contributor in the backfield and leadership, Crandall was out recovering and prepping in the weeks leading up to Rio. Now, rejoining the team, the United States is the strongest it has ever been.

"It was an advantage to be up in the stands watching those 120 minutes of hockey," said Crandall. "I got to watch a lot of their forward movement and noticed what made me frustrated while watching. India took a lot of tempo out of the game when we were in Lancaster. That's something I noticed and it kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to give that energy to the game. Tonight, I encouraged my teammates to bring the tempo and urgency back to the game."

Off the pushback, Team USA found entry into their attacking circle when Kelsey Kolojejchick (Larksville, Pa.) sent a ball across the goalmouth with no result. USA continued to keep possession looking for the open forward lanes. In the fourth minute, India broke into their attacking 25 but was met by Crandall whose solid defense came up with the interception and clear. USA continued to work the ball up field into their offensive circle when Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa. maneuvered through a maze of India's defenders and dished the ball to Katie Bam (Blue Bell, Pa.) who reversed it into the net to make it USA 1, India 0 at the 14th minute mark.

Eager at the start of the second quarter, Kolojejchick drove down the right baseline and dumped the ball at the stroke mark to a waiting Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) who one timed the ball just wide of the goal. A close opportunity came moments later when Kat Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) broke through open space and threaded the ball forward to Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) who crossed it to Witmer. Witmer's redirect was saved by India’s goalkeeper Savita. India quickly countered down the field and India’s forward weaved between two USA defenders and ripped a backhanded shot off that redirected into the goal off her own player's body that nullified the goal. USA responded instantly taking it to the other end of the pitch and earned their first penalty corner at the 20 minute mark. Back-to-back opportunities for Team USA finished with Rachel Dawson’s (Berlin, N.J.) drag flick going wide of the cage. USA kept working hard looking to extend the lead and grabbed another penalty corner in the 23rd minute. India requested a video referral on the play but an inconclusive umpire decision meant the corner stood. Crandall’s sweep off the top was intercepted by India’s flier and they instantly countered with numbers up heading down the field. This play was stopped by a poised defensive tackle by Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) who instantly switched the momentum the other way. Play continued to be locked for Team USA in the attacking half as they looked to find open space. In the 27th minute Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) earned a green card but this did not stop USA’s constant attack to finish out the quarter at USA 1, India 0.

Team USA grabbed a penalty corner one minute into the third quarter. Crandall’s sweep down to K. Reinprecht was deflected wide. India turned momentum and tested USA’s backfield by entering the circle from the right side to send a ball through to the stroke mark. A threatening advance came when India entered the circle with strong possession but the chance was stopped near the goal by Crandall and cleared by Kolojejchick.

India tried to enter Team USA’s defensive circle but the action was stopped by Stefanie Fee’s (Virgina Beach, Va.) solid tackle. This play led to a long outletted ball down the field that eventually found Bam in the left corner. With a determined mentality, Bam took the ball with speed and skill near the goalmouth and ripped a shot on cage that went between India’s goalkeeper Savita’s legs and hit the backboard in the 42nd minute to make it USA 2, India 0. Wasting no time post goal, USA worked it down the field and grabbed a penalty corner in the 44th minute that end with no result to finish out the quarter.

India started off the fourth quarter with speed as they built play into their attacking circle and got a backhanded shot off from Deepkia at a low angle that went high and wide. With disciplined defense Team USA continued to contain India’s pressure and clogging forward balls. Moments later, USA got off two shots, a backhand attempt by Bam that was saved by India’s Savita’s glove and a K. Reinprecht shot that went just wide. India’s Rani earned a green card in the 50th minute and USA took advantage of the player up situation. With quick passing connections Witmer on the left side of the field sent it to K. Reinprecht who one time crossed it to Gonzalez who drove it on target and in the goal to make it USA 3, India. 0.

Still with a player advantage USA quickly countered and earned a penalty corner in the 53rd minute. Off of the chance, Crandall sent the ball back to inserter Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.) whose shot earned USA another penalty corner. This second attempt went unanswered but a minute later another penalty corner opportunity came and off the straight shot by Crandall another penalty corner was awarded. India’s strong defensive unit denied the four penalty corner chances as they took possession the other way. In the 56th minute Crandall was given a 5-minute yellow card giving India a player up on the field. Play finished with USA getting multiple looks on target before taking the ball into the corner of the field to kill the clock and secure the 3-0 victory.

Next, the USWNT will compete against Great Britain on Saturday, August 13 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

USFHA media release

Team USA bests India 3-0, stays undefeated

By Hayley Tafuro

Team USA stays undefeated with the 3-0 win over India behind two goals from Katie Bam.

Team USA is playing its best hockey right now on the world's biggest stage.

Behind another stellar effort from Katie Bam, Team USA shut out India 3-0 to stay undefeated in pool play.

Both teams got out to a sluggish start. It wasn’t until the end of the first quarter that Bam scored the first of her two goals on the first shot of the night for either team. Katelyn Falgowski made a reverse-stick pass to Bam who chipped the ball over a defender’s stick and into the goal.

From there it was all Team USA.

Bam scored her fifth goal overall in the tournament after taking an India defender baseline and dribbling back into the center of the circle to wind up for the shot.

For the second consecutive game, Melissa Gonzalez joined in on the scoring action slamming a powerful shot past India goalkeeper Savita Savita.

U.S. goalkeeper Jackie Briggs has made a huge impact by staying active and aggressive in the cage all tournament long, and she did the same tonight to earn the shutout win.

The U.S. is now 4-0 in Pool B and will face Great Britain for a chance to clinch the top spot.

NBC Olympics

There's no ice, but winning is still nice for the U.S. Olympic women's field hockey team

By Helene Elliott

U.S. captain Lauren Crandall, right, battles India's Namita Toppo for the ball during their preliminary group game Thursday. (Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated Press)

Go cover a hockey game, my editor said.

OK, boss. Gladly. From the long list of Olympic sports that we generally see only every four years, he plucked the one I’m most familiar with. Good thing my Professional Hockey Writers’ Assn. card is tucked into my wallet.

So I get on a bus that’s as cold as Winnipeg in January — the better to get in that hockey mood, no doubt — and about 25 minutes later, there’s the sign: Olympic Hockey Centre. Found it.

No rink. No skates. Illuminated by floodlights is a cobalt-blue synthetic field open to the chilly night air in Deodoro, where two women’s teams are running up and down the 100-yard-by-60-yard field wearing skirts and carrying sticks about half the size of those used by NHL players.

What gives?

It was hockey, as the rest of the world calls it, while we in North America — who reserve that name for the skates-and-puck game — call it field hockey. There are enough differences to appreciate each sport and enough similarities for anyone accustomed to one version to quickly grasp the major points of the other and enjoy it.

“I always say it’s a mix between ice hockey and soccer, is how I describe field hockey,” said defender Lauren Crandall, captain of the surging U.S. women’s Rio field hockey team.

“I think ice hockey fans would love it,” said forward Katie Bam, who scored two goals Thursday in Team USA’s 3-0 victory over India, the team’s fourth consecutive win. “It’s really fast-paced and there’s a lot of skill involved, like in ice hockey. Constant movement, like in ice hockey. I like ice hockey.”

There are 11 players on the field for each team including a goalie, though few NHL goaltenders likely would wear the shocking pink pads that Jaclyn Briggs wore Thursday. Like the ice version, teams change on the fly. Penalties of two minutes or five minutes are signaled by green or yellow cards, but there’s no penalty box for the player to sit in and feel shame, as in the iconic movie “Slap Shot.” In international competition games consist of four 15-minute quarters and they go quickly without TV timeouts.

Video review is permitted, and it’s as tedious to sit through as it is in every other sport that has it. One key difference: field hockey players must shoot right-handed. Bring that to the NHL and coaches would no longer obsess over forming lefty-right defense pairings.

“I think that hockey is a unique sport. It’s fast, it’s quick, it’s got pace, it’s got action,” midfielder Katelyn Falgowski said. “And yes, swinging sticks around like hockey is enjoyable.”

The U.S. women, whose skill and high-tempo game make their matches entertaining, have been the surprise of the Rio Olympic field hockey tournament. Ranked No. 5 in the world — the highest in program history — they upset No. 2 Argentina and No. 3 Australia before defeating Japan, 6-1, and India. They’ve clinched a spot in the quarterfinals and can finish first in their pool with a victory Saturday over Britain, which also won its first four games.

This is all new because the U.S. has never been a women’s field hockey power. Only one U.S. team has won an Olympic medal, a bronze at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. The program was in a decline and hit bottom four years ago when the women finished last among 12 teams in London, prompting changes that included the appointment of former Britain coach Craig Parnham as head coach in 2013.

They built unity by designating a central training spot in Lancaster County, Pa., at the delightfully named Spooky Nook Sports Complex. About half the players are from Pennsylvania; several others are from New Jersey and Delaware.

“We have nine returning players from 2012 and to have that experience is really important,” Crandall said, “but 3½ years ago we started defining a culture and developing a family. It’s that work we’ve done stepping on the field and the work we’ve done  off the field to define ourselves, what we want to be, who we want to be, what we want to look like, what we want to project.”

They’re projecting an aura of confidence and success. Bam, who described herself as a Philadelphia Flyers fan but is adopting the Boston Bruins because she and her husband will be assistant coaches of the Harvard women’s field hockey team, is surprised at the team’s impressive start.

“I didn’t really come in with any expectations, just a goal to play well,” she said. “To be achieving that is really nice for us. I would say I’m slightly surprised, but I’m very, very happy. I didn’t come in writing a script. I wanted it to write itself.”

And so it is. The big prize here isn’t the Stanley Cup, but an Olympic medal would be pretty impressive too.

Los Angeles Times

Indian women hockey team thrashed 0-3 by USA

The Indian women’s hockey team yet again produced a lacklustre performance as it was outplayed by United States of America 0-3 to slump to its third successive loss in the Rio Olympics here today.

Still seeking their first win after returning to women’s Olympic hockey since their 1980 appearance, the Indians were once again left to defend their citadel for most part of the match as the Americans dictated the pace of the Pool B fixture.

With the loss today, India remained as one of the bottom two teams (the other being Japan) with just one point from four matches in the six-team Pool B standings as their chance of making it to the quarterfinals worsened.

India will have to beat higher-ranked Argentina in their final pool fixture on August 13 for any chance of qualifying to the quarterfinals.

The fitter and faster Americans kept the possession with them for long periods of the match while the Indians gave away the ball easily to their opponents, who got nine penalty corners as against none by the Indians.

The Americans, however, could not score a single goal from the penalty corner. All the three goals came from field efforts.

Kathleen Bam scored twice —— in the 14th and 42nd minutes —— while Melissa Gonzalez struck once in the 52nd minute.

The Indians had just a couple of shots at the opposition goal as they were outplayed by their opponents once again.

Just as it seemed that the Indians will maintain a clean slate in the first quarter, they conceded a goal in the 14th minute with the dangerous Kathleen scoring a field goal following a sloppy defending.

Kathleen’s reverse shot went past the Indian goalkeeper Savita Punia.

The Indians did better in the second quarter as they were able to stop the Americans from scoring, including from the two penalty corners.

In the 20th minute, Rani Rampal’s reverse hit found the target but it turned out that the ball sounded the board after being deflected from Preeti Dubey’s leg to the disappointment of the Indian supporters.

The Hindu

Indian women lose 0-3 to USA

s2h team

Indian women’s team lose 0-3 to USA in penultimate Pool B hockey encounter India lost to the USA 0-3 in their penultimate group game at the Olympic Women’s hockey tournament.

In a tepid first quarter, USA and India played out a slug fest in the midfield, both reliant on long balls for circle penetrations into the others territory. USA took the lead in the 14th minute, with virtually the first real opportunity of the match via Kathleen Bam to take the lead.

India were the team who had the ball in the net first in the second quarter, Rani dribbling and twisting away brilliantly from multiple US defenders in the circle, before unleashing a reverse into the goal. The referee though deemed it unlawful and a closer inspection would show that the final touch had come off Preeti Dubey’s shoulder, an illegal deflection that denied them the equaliser.

The USA soon started exerting their influence on the game more effectively and had the first of two successive PCs of the game in the 20th minute, denied though by effective rushing from India’s defensive battery. Their third, would be blocked away by Namita Toppo on the goal line, a save that would take the teams into half time separated by the single goal.

USA came out stronger in the second half and had their fourth PC — the first of the second half — within the first minute. Katherine Reinprecht’s attempt though bounced off a USA stick, to land safely and out of bounds, leaving India with some breathing space and the opportunity to settle in the game.

The game eventually turned into a smart midfield battle and soon India’s use of the flanks came to the fore. Rani was influencing the game for the Eves, controlling possession and space on every Indian attack. The smart movement across both flanks would cause the US problems, but the circle penetrations would amount to nothing, as they successfully pushed away the attacks, denying India the conversions. They soon had their second goal, a solo effort, effectively a counter attack after the ball turned over at the edge of the US circle. Bam ran with the ball towards the Indian circle and cut back to shoot between Savita’s pads to double her tally for the game.

India attacked strongly in the final quarter and Vandana Katariya almost single-handedly fashioned a chance out of nothing, twisting away from her marker inside the circle before unleashing a reverse hit that went wide of the mark. At the other end, Savita pulled off a smart save to deny Bam a hat-trick.

A superbly worked counter gave the US their third goal in the 52nd minute, Melissa Gonzalez the scorer, after a sweeping one touch move from the right gave her an open shot at goal, with only Savita to beat. The US would take their PC count into double digits for the match, but, India, in a vast improvement from their previous game, would defend stoutly, to ensure there would be no goals from them. The USA took the win 3-0.

India play their last group encounter against Argentina at 6:30 PM IST on August 13, 2016.


India falls short, Dutch into the quarters

s2h Team

Cautious in the first half and then rough and tough in the next, India did try force a draw but could not prevent their rival from entering the Quarters after conceding a late penalty corner goal to Mink van der Weerden.

With three wins and a draw, Dutch reached the knock out stage, while India with six points need to await for their last match against Canada to see themselves in the knock out.

This is Mink's seventh goal, still holding him atop the scorer's list.

After a dull, barren first half where both teams content in exploring each other, the spark was lit the moment third quarter started.

Rogier Hofman sent a thundering shot to give Dutch the lead when clock read 31.43 (1-0).

In an emotionally surcharged atmosphere, which saw two Indians getting almost same time yellow card suspensions, the Dutch came out with a penalty corner conversion through Mink van der weerden to seal the match in their favour 2-1.

The Dutch winner came in the 54th minute.

Earlier, Raghunath levelled the score 1-1 with India's second penalty corner in the third quarter.

India got half a dozen penalty corners as the match closed in, but Raghu and Rupinder Pal Singh, who alternatively took the drags, could not beat Jaap Stockmann, the world's No.1 goalkeeper.

Flawless and precision hockey dominate the India-Netherland' match, with no side intent to take risk, considering the formidable attacking strength of each other. As a result, a boring kind of hockey was being dished out where excepting a few close shaves from weel-rooted Indian goalie Sreejesh, there was nothing worth about.

Fag end of first quarter SV Sunil bent as much as possible to send a minus from right baseline inside D, but rival goalie Jaap Stockmann cleared the feeble push effected hardly a yard in front of him by an Indian forward. It was the closest Indians came to make a change in the scoreboard.

Dutch on the other hand, made some good circle entries from deep left, as a result of good right flank attacks, but they could not get into wonted attacking mode.

However, India suffered a body blow when first SV Sunil, and within moments Raghunath got yellow card suspensions. Raghu elbowed a chasing defender near the goalmouth and his penalty was stretched to 10 minutes.

India now need a draw to finish fourth in the pool in its last match (Vs Canada


Spirited Sreejesh & Co are assured of QF berth

Alok Sinha

RIO DE JANEIRO: It was a game which could have gone any team's way. India and the Netherlands were locked 1-1 after the 40th minute and the third quarter was coming to a close. However, the boys in blue, who had just equalized and were on the attack, suffered a huge blow. Two players -VR Raghunath and SV Sunil -were shown yellow cards by the umpire in the 42nd minute. Raghunath was penalized for inappropriate body contact - elbowing a rival - and Sunil for pushing a stick into the back of a defender. It happened in the heat of the moment, but the damage was done.

These two yellows signalled red for India. They were down to nine men with their backs to the wall. It changed the game but brought to fore India's fighting qualities. It also showed why India's Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans is so highly rated. The Indians played with nine men, nine brave men, for almost six minutes. The Dutch smelled the kill and went for it, and the Indians defended, desperately and strongly.

Goalkeeper Sreejesh stood firm, like always, and made two brilliant saves in that period. However, the rhythm of the team had been disturbed by then and the Dutch payers, who had failed to make much of an impression in the first 30 minutes, managed to go ahead 2-1 through a penalty corner.

The suspended Indians were back by then and with just four minutes to go for the hooter, Oltmans pulled goalkeeper Sreejesh out, giving his yellow jersey to Raghunath. It was no holds barred after that - you either got the equalizer or you let in a few more. It's rare to see a coach take this risk in a league match of the Olympics. It was not a knockout game but Oltmans knew what he was doing, and his boys knew it too. They needed that crucial point.

To India's credit, all 11 men went into the attack. They kept hammering at the Dutch defence and at goalkeeper Jaap Stockman, rated along with Sreejesh among the best in the world. The ball stayed in the Dutch half for all of four final minutes and more. The Oranje had no intentions to try and increase the lead.

They pulled back to defend. Then India won a penalty corner through Harmanpreet Singh. Rupinder's flick - the player was featuring in his 150th game for India - found a defender's leg and then began a series of penalty corners. Five in all, back-to-back. The hooter had indicated the end but according to rules, the penalty corners had to be taken. The Indians went after it, again and again and again, trying out small little variations. Zilch.

It was almost like a great escape for the Dutch, such was the intensity of the match at the end. Wednesday's win should take them above India in the table when the quarterfinalists are decided. "We played very well but could not score in the final minutes. A draw would have been the just result. You need some luck too. But I will look at the positives - nine men defended well and even controlled the match. We will continue to fight," skipper Sreejesh said.

Coach Oltmans looked disappointed with the result. The Dutch coach took on the higher-rated Dutch team and almost scored over them. That must rankle. "Today's game showed that we are close to the top teams in the world. A draw would have been satisfying. But to fight for such a long period with nine men is not easy. All credit to the boys," he said.

On pulling Sreejesh out in the last four minutes, Oltmans said: "We tried it out in Spain before coming here. If you want a desired result, you go for broke."

India's berth in the quarterfinals was later confirmed following Germany's 4-4 draw against Argentina. India, who have six points from four matches, will play Canada on Friday. The Netherlands and Germany too qualified for the quarterfinals.

The Times of India

India go down fighting, lose 1-2 to Dutch

Netherland's Mink van der Weerden (L) fights for the ball with India's Akashdeep Singh. AFP photo

India wasted as many as five penalty corners seconds from the final hooter to go down 1-2 against reigning silver medallist Netherlands and slump to their second defeat in the men’s hockey competition of Rio Olympics here on Thursday.

Netherlands scored both their goals from penalty corners through Rogier Hoffman (32nd minute) and Mink van der Weerden (54th), while India’s lone goal came from the stick of VR Raghunath (38th).

But the match witnessed intense drama in the final seconds as India did not bow out without a fight against the world-ranked 2 side.

Trailing 1-2 with four minutes left, India withdrew goalkeeper PR Sreejesh for an additional forward and pressed hard for the equaliser.

Their efforts bore fruit as India earned their fourth penalty corner six seconds from the hooter after appealing for a video referral.

That penalty corner resulted in four more back-to-back short corners but the Indian dragflick battery of Rupinder Pal Singh, who took four tries, and Raghunath failed to break the Dutch defence led by goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann.

The Men in Blue, thus, suffered another heart-breaking defeat after the late loss to reigning Olympic champions Germany in their second Pool B game.

A draw against Netherlands would have sealed India’s place in the quarterfinals. But they now will have to wait for the result of their last pool encounter against Canada on Friday.

India are now placed third in Pool B with six points behind leaders Netherlands (10) and Germany (9). Argentina are placed fourth with four points.

The Tribune

India sure of quarterfinal despite Dutch defeat

Emerging Indian men’s hockey team is sure of making it to the Rio Quarterfinal stage despite losing to The Netherlands on the penultimate engagement today.

As thing turn out today, India’s two wins in first three matches come handy as the last of the engagements will be played tomorrow (Friday, the 12th August). Had India drawn today, which was in its grasp with five penalty corners coming in the last moment, it had chance to finish second in the pool, but it was not to be as the resolute Netherlands would not buckle under pressure. undefined

India will clash against last placed Canada tomorrow to complete its pool outings. If it wins against the hitherto winless Canada, which it seems is likely against its performance so far in Rio, India will be placed third in pool B.

Germany and Netherlands have 10 points each, and they will be at top two.

Things rolled in favour of India today – though it lost narrowly to The Dutch.

Had Argentina defeated Germany, which was cruising with a goal lead till 8 secs left in the clock, we would be having different story to tell, but Germans being what they are, again did what they did against India.

They draw led Argentina to fourth position. Argentina will now meet Ireland in its last pool match.

Argentina now has five points. With a win, it can get over all 8 points.

If India wins tomorrow, it will have nine points and will pip Argentina to 4th spot.

Even a draw against Canada is suffice for India to maintain its third position.

Even in the unlikely event of losing to Canada, India will still be in the quarters, as Ireland which if can win Argentina, will lose out due to heavy minus goal difference.


First knock-out qualification in 36 years but India need to learn from mistakes

Sundeep Misra

Billy Bakker competes with Raghunath Vokkaliga. Reuters

The pendulum decided to swing late; and it swung as if on an overdose of Dianabol. With six minutes left, Holland leading 2-1, India had a penalty corner. Not just one as it transpired but five in quick succession. The hooter had already gone. In the killing tension, India misfired one after the other, the fifth forcing Sander Baart, the Dutch defender to save on the line. Dutch coach Max Caldas’ pumped his fists in celebration; the 2-1 win over India well-earned and hugely fulfilling. India trooped off failing to draw the game but massive lessons to be learnt before playing Canada. For the record, a quarter-final place already confirmed but a win over Canada would ensure a possible 3rd place in Group B.

After a goalless first two quarters, Holland opened the scoring in the 32st minute through Rogier Hofman. India equalized in the 38th minute, off a penalty corner flick by VR Raghunath. The match-winner converted by Mink van der Weerden came in the 54rd minute off the Dutch 4th penalty corner.
Billy Bakker competes with Raghunath Vokkaliga. Reuters

After a 3-3 draw against Argentina in the opening match, the Dutch had it easy against Canada thrashing them 7-0 and then carving up Ireland 5-0. India was the superior side the Dutch encountered after Argentina and the first two quarters showed exactly that sentiment. Both teams played carefully; almost like measuring each pass. Errors were minimum and the play wasn’t fancy, considering the skills at the disposal of both the sides. It also showed the respect that Holland had for India. Most of the play in the 1st quarter was confined to the midfield, a few forays rarely reaching the top of the circle. The first chance for Holland came in the 2nd quarter, 19th minute, when Valentin Verga took a shot which was saved by PR Sreejesh. For the Indian goalkeeper, it was another brilliant display under the bar. It was a slightly different Sreejesh; soft on the pads and not taking too many risks with his outward movement, the Indian goalkeeper waiting for the ball to come before using his pads and gloves. In a swift movement, Holland found itself inside the Indian striking circle but Robert van der Horst’s stiff shot was padded away by Sreejesh.

At the end of the 2nd quarter, both teams were tied goalless. It was like a chess game; both coaches refusing to commit players upwards, fearing counter-attacks. But finally something had to give. Holland earned their 1st penalty corner in the 31st minute and Mink’s flick rebounded off the pads of Sreejesh. Hofman, lurking nearby, swooped and struck the opening salvo. Holland led 1-0.

Stung, India showed pace on the flanks and a few good runs by SV Sunil and Akashdeep Singh rattled the Dutch a bit. India was pushing. Showing good possession, they earned their 1st PC which Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann saved off Rupinder Pal Singh. But the umpire had pointed for a second PC. Raghunath came up and his flick was low, going past the feet of two Dutch defenders to enter the left corner of the Dutch goal. India had equalized and the match was on.

Momentum is lost by rash decisions and for India the 41st minute in the match saw two yellow cards for Sunil and Raghunath. Sunil’s was on the run, his stick prodding the defender. But Raghunath’s was a childish act. His elbow went into the face of the Dutch defender and India had to defend for five minutes with nine men and a further five minutes with ten. But the momentum had shifted. Sreejesh and the defense played a stellar role keeping the Dutch away. Raghunath was back on the pitch in the 51st minute. But the Dutch were riding high by then. After Sreejesh saved the 3rd penalty corner, Mink was successful with the 4th. Holland led 2-1.

India’s structure, so strong in the first two quarters, was now shaky. The forwards had played the 3rd quarters as full time defenders. But they moved, desperate for the equalizer. India had a PC in the 57th minute. Surprisingly, Holland became ultra-defensive. India piled on the pressure and in the end minutes, they hovered in and around the Dutch striking circle. The thriller started with six seconds left. By the time, the ball was injected, the hooter had gone. Five consecutive penalty corners were given by the umpire with one referral in between by the Dutch players rejected by the video umpire. Rupinder Pal Singh took the 4th and 5th flicks. Raghunath came on for the 6th and 7th. And then Rupinder came back for the 8th which almost slipped in except for Baart who stopped the ball on the line.

It was India’s second defeat in the Group with two wins against Ireland and Argentina. India play Canada on Friday and a win should ensure a 3rd place in Group B. India have a hundred percent record against the Canadians in the Olympic Games winning three out of three.


India in men's hockey quarter-finals after 36 years

Jamie Alter

NEW DELHI: India progressed to the men's hockey quarter-finals for the first time since 1980 Moscow Games, even after a 1-2 defeat to the world No 2, Netherlands, at the Olympic Hockey Centre in Deodoro Park in their fourth group match of the 2016 Rio Olympics on Thursday.

After the completion of round four, Indian team is at third spot in the standings with six points, four points behind leaders the Netherlands and Germany and a point ahead of Argentina. India booked the knock-out spot, since fifth placed Ireland won't be able to overtake them anymore with just a game left in the group stage.

A goal-less first half - during which India's defensive line was exceptional - was followed by goals conceded in the 32nd and 54th minutes, leading up to a frenetic last few seconds during which India missed five penalty corner chances to draw level with the Dutch.

India had been excellent in defence during the first half, with goalkeeper PR Sreejesh saving several attempted shots and the defenders keeping the pressure on the Dutch. The back line, in particular, was adept at reading the Dutch attack and repeatedly quelled shots at goal.

The second half, however, saw a familiar pattern play out. Netherlands went ahead 1-0 in the 32nd minute when Rogier Hofman tapped on a rebound, but six minutes later the scores were leveled courtesy a feisty VR Raghunath penalty corner strike. Two brilliant saves from Sreejesh were followed by a converted penalty corner in the 54th minute by Mink van der Weerden.

With 2:30 left on the clock, Ramandeep Singh fired in a penalty corner but the ball was lost in the huddle in front of the Dutch goal. The Netherlands' defence held their nerve to repel whatever India had left in the tank, which led to a harrowing final few moments of the match.

The Times of India

Getting two yellow cards was a game changer: Oltmans

RIO DE JANEIRO: India chief coach Roelant Oltmans said two yellow cards hurt the team badly and that resulted in its 1-2 loss to the Netherlands in a pool B men's hockey match at the Rio Olympic Games on Thursday.

"We were on the attacking side until we got two yellow cards, which was a gamechanger. You had to fight with one or two less. That's not only difficult to score a goal but it also took away a lot of energy from the players that I'm not happy about it," Oltmans said.

The Netherland, world number two and London Olympics silver medallists, scored both their goals from penalty corners through Rogier Hoffman (32nd minute) and Mink van der Weerden (54th), while India's lone goal came from the stick of VR Raghunath (38th).

The Indians dished out some valiant defending in the final stages of the third quarter when they were reduced to nine men. With little more than three minutes left for the quarter to end, SV Sunil and Raghunath had to sit out for five minutes after getting yellow cards from separate incidents.

"We should be proud how tough we have made it. Tomorrow (against Canada in Pool B concluding match) you will see a fresh India," Oltmans, also the team's High Performance director, said.

Trailing 1-2 with four minutes left, India withdrew goalkeeper PR Sreejesh for an additional forward and pressed hard for the equaliser. Their efforts bore fruit as India earned their fourth penalty corner six seconds from the hooter after appealing for a video referral.

That penalty corner resulted in four more back-to-back short corners but the Indian dragflick battery of Rupinder Pal Singh, who took four tries, and Raghunath failed to break the Dutch defence led by goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann.

The coach, however, was not convinced of the final try that went for a video referral.

"Nevertheless, we got our chances to equalise in the last four and half minutes. Unfortunately the last one was held on the line by the defender. Small areas we're still lacking. But we showed that we're close to top sides in the world. It's encouraging," said Oltmans.

"The match had many faces today. Chase game in the first quarters, both teams were well organised and did not give away anything. The second was more or less the same. The third quarter came alive through the only goal that the Netherlands scored. We took over the initiative quite well after that and we scored a goal. We even had chances to score.

"I feel we got too many cards. When we got the cards the momentum was on our side. We came back 1-1 and started to have good attacks. I think that was a game changer," he explained.

Talking about the two yellow cards, Oltmans said: "The first one was for pushing with the stick on the back of the defender. I'm not sure about that and the other one was for elbowing... I will have to see the replays."

On the strategy to play without Sreejesh to bolster the forward, he said: "When we were in Spain we played last four minutes without the goalkeeper. The players are used to it. So far we have created a lot of opportunities in the matches we have played. Don't worry about penalty corners, every match we've been able to convert them."

Sreejesh said it is an usual strategy that the teams apply when they are trailing.

"It's no surprise. It's normal strategy. When we are trailing, we have to build pressure so as to negate the numerical disadvantage. We have to wait for them to make a mistake and score a goal. Last four minutes, we got five PCs," said Sreejesh.

On the missed penalty corners, Sreejesh said: "That's the difference between the win and loss. We should have converted in the dying moments. We still have one more match in the league round. We will concentrate on improving.

"We got opportunities. We could control the game even when we're down to nine players. But unfortunately we could not convert for a 2-2 draw."

Manpreet Singh, who stood in as the captain, said, "We did very well. We had two cards but despite that we did well. Overall, we put up a good show."

He insisted that the team would have to work on its penalty corner conversion, something that has been an issue so far.

"We could not succeed, it's hard luck. We will work on the video session. Our focus is now on Canada tomorrow. We are taking one match at a time," said Manpreet.

The Times of India

Green Machine Secure Immense 4-2 Victory Against Canada

Ireland’s history-makers added yet another amazing victory to their list of achievements as their dramatic 4-2 win over Canada keeps them in with a fighting chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games.

Their cause was helped an hour later when Germany scored a stunning equaliser with mere seconds remaining against Argentina.

The upshot is that if Ireland can beat Argentina in their final group game on Friday evening (11.30pm, Irish time) in Deodoro then a quarter-final spot awaits.

Looking back on the Irish game, head coach Craig Fulton said it was “just what we needed”.

“The first Olympic win, three points. It’s huge. They deserved it. We have been pushing hard for four games and everyone can see the lads are leaving it all on the field. Today, we were clinical.”

Indeed, Shane O’Donoghue scored just 56 seconds into the game with a brilliant drag-flick over the head of the diminutive David Carter for a very early 1-0 lead.

Canada bounced back and had much of the play until their captain and key central defender Scott Tupper took a green card suspension. In his absence, Ireland won another penalty corner that O’Donoghue launched in to the right of the goal for 2-0. Within 75 seconds, it was 3-0 as Peter Caruth dove full-length onto a rebound off Carter’s pads to score – it capped an excellent move that had seen Mikey Watt take the initial first time shot that created the danger.

The foot was taken off the gas in the second half to some extent and Canada pressed forward with menace. The returning Tupper got one back with an excellent shot from the top the circle and Ireland only stayed 3-1 ahead going into the last quarter courtesy of Ronan Gormley’s dexterity, flicking the ball away from the goal line off Matthew Guest’s deflected cross.

Tupper’s drag-flick clipped the inside of the post on its way in to reduce the gap further and it was panic stations soon after. Eugene Magee somehow took another chance off the line, bouncing it off the post and away to safety.

From a rare Irish break-out, Chris Cargo and Watt kept a chance alive and Mitch Darling was on hand to nudge the ball over the line for his second goal of the tournament. It sealed a famous victory and keeps Ireland’s chances alive for another day at least.

Reflecting on the result, Fulton said: “We were under pressure at the end of course but it’s the last quarter of an Olympic pool game and everything counts. Chuffed, proud of everyone.

“The fans, the support has been immense...and I hope it grows and people get behind the team because they really are putting themselves out there.

 “To go 3-0 up, the way we played and executed the corners was something that has been missing from the last three games but we knew we had it in us and it was awesome.”

Ireland 4 (S O’Donoghue 2, P Caruth, M Darling)
Canada 2 (S Tupper 2)

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, R Gormley, M Watt, C Cargo, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, M Darling, K Good, P Gleghorne, C Harte

Subs: J Bell, A Sothern, J Jermyn, P Caruth, K Shimmins

Canada: D Carter, S Tupper, D Teixeira, G Ho-Garcia, K Pereira, J Gill, A Froese, G Johnston, M Pearson, M Sarmento, S Panesar

Subs: B Martin, B Bissett, I Smythe, M Guest, T Curran

Umpires: N Stagno, M Servetto

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ireland’s history boys end 108-year wait

Ronan Gormley makes a dramatic goal line clearance. Pic: Yan Huckendubler

Ireland wrote another chapter in their hockey history this afternoon as they recorded their first win in the Olympic Games since 1908 with a 4-2 success against Canada.

It means that they still have a chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the competition as a win over Argentina on Friday evening will see them through to the knock-out stages.

Speaking about the win, Mitch Darling – who scored the crucial fourth goal for Ireland – said: “It’s great to make another piece of history for Irish hockey, To be part of it individually and collectively, we’re delighted with the win but it means nothing now if we can’t back it up against Argentina.”

Ireland built a 3-0 half-time lead only for Canada to bounce back with two from Scott Tupper to make it very tight with 10 minutes to go before Darling sealed the deal.

“We have to analyse it because there were good phases and not so good phases and We need to be on top form against Argentina. We know Canada are a really resilient side and even at 3-0, we knew they could get back into the game with a sniff.

“We had to stay patient and shut the back door as we know we will get chances; they played a good second half but we came out on top.”

Ireland had to wait right until the end of Germany’s 4-4 draw with Argentina to see if their efforts were enough to keep the Olympic dream alive. In the end, they were grateful to Mathias Muller’s equalising goal eight seconds from the end which means that Friday’s game is still live.

EuroHockey media release

O'Donoghue fires Ireland to historic win

Picture: Koen Suyk

Former KHC Dragons man Shane O’Donoghue found his penalty corner mojo to help power Ireland to a memorable 4-2 win over Canada, the country’s first win at the Olympic Games since 1908.

He scored inside the first minute and added a second goal for good measure before the break, en route to a 3-0 advantage. Former Racing Bruxelles man Scott Tupper pulled back two goals but Mitch Darling nicked a fourth late on for a big win for Ireland.

Speaking about the win, O’Donoghue said: “We made it tough on ourselves but it was always going to be really tight. Both teams were going for the exact same result.”

The Dubliner was pleased to make a big impact from corners with two high rockets beating David Carter at great speed, an area where Ireland struggled earlier in the tournament.

“The big thing with the corners is to stay relaxed. Even though it was frustrating at the start of the week, missing a few against India, but the big plus is we are winning those corners. It needed to happen today and I am glad it did.
“As a team, it was our best start to a game here in Rio. There was a good atmosphere going into it, everyone was relaxed, knew what we had to do and put their bodies on the line.”

O'Donoghue will return to Ireland for his club hockey this season after two successful seasons with Dragons, winning two Belgian titles.

Euro Hockey League media release

Tupper scores twice as Canadian men are defeated by Ireland

Shaheed Devji

Canada’s Scott Tupper scores during a Men’s Preliminary Pool B match between Canada and Ireland on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympics at the Olympic Hockey Centre on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Photo by Yan Huckendubler)

In what could be considered as a must win game for both teams, Canada and Ireland played a hard fought match Thursday at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, with Ireland coming out on top by a score of 4-2.

Book-end goals in the first half propelled the Irish past the Canadians, who valiantly attempted a comeback in the second half.

“We battled really hard in the second half and (had) a really good team performance,” says forward Matthew Sarmento. “But we couldn’t make up for the goals we allowed in the first half.”

Canadian captain Scott Tupper scored twice in the final two frames to bring Canada within striking distance, but a late goal from Ireland’s Michael Darling put the game out of reach.

The loss means Canada cannot advance to the quarterfinal round even if it wins its final preliminary round game against India on Friday (8:30am PT/11:30am ET, Sportsnet, olympics.cbc.ca).

“We knew coming into the tournament we had three tough games off the start and we wanted to try and steal points from any of those three,” says forward Matthew Sarmento. “We didn’t. So we knew that these last two games were do-or-die for us.”

The 12th ranked Irish got on the board early as a penalty corner was given in the first minute. Shane O’Donoghue converted a drag flick in the first minute to put the Green Machine up by a goal.

But Canada was not easily deterred.

The Canadian men pushed back immediately, knowing the importance of getting a positive result, but despite the effort were not able to generate many chances in the first quarter.

After Canadian goalkeeper David Carter made a save early in the second period, Canada nearly broke through.

Strong work from the Ontario connection of Devohn Noronha Teixeira and Keegan Pereira resulted in Canada being awarded its first penalty corner of the game.

After two failed attempts from the stick of Gordon Johnston, Canada was given a third consecutive corner on which a variation sent the ball to Scott Tupper who pushed the ball just high and wide and Canada still trailed 1-0.

The Irish men, knowing they had escaped danger, went back the other way and tested David Carter again. But the Canadian keeper turned away a backhand by O’Donoghue.

But with only moments remaining in the half, Canada found itself a man short on a green card and Ireland took advantage by picking up another corner which O’Donoghue converted to give them the 2-0 lead in the 28th minute.

And then, only a minute later Peter Caruth snuck behind the Canadian defence and potted a third goal before the half.

Knowing the implications of a loss, Canada came out strong in the second half and led by Mark Pearson through the midfield was able to get on the board in the 36th minute.

Pearson ran a ball into the Irish end, moved it quickly to Matthew Guest, who found Iain Smythe on the baseline. Smythe quick found an open Tupper at the top of the Ireland circle and the Canadian captain hammered hope a piercing smash past keeper David Harte for Canada’s first goal.

The goal from the Canadian leader sparked the boys in black and after two chances generated by Matthew Guest, Canada picked up a corner in the 50th minute. Tupper stepped up and put a perfectly placed flick past Harte to bring Canada within one.

With ten minutes to go, Canada had hope.

In the 55th minute, defender Ben Martin pushed forward and dribbled the ball into the Irish circle before finding Mark Pearson in the goal mouth. Pearson quickly put a shot on goal, but he was stopped by Harte and Ireland’s Eugene Magee cleared the ball away from danger.

The stop was a turning point, as in the 57th minute, Ireland took advantage of a Canadian turnover in its own circle when Darling put the ball behind Carter for the 4-2 lead.

With its chances of advancing to the quarterfinals behind them, Canada now will have to regroup and refocus for its final match of 2016 Olympic Games against 5th ranked India on Friday (8:30am PT/11:30am ET, Sportsnet, olympics.cbc.ca).

Field Hockey Canada media release

Australia finds form!

Women defeat Argentina 1 - 0

Holly MacNeil

The Australian Women’s Hockey Team found their form today, playing an absolute blinder against the London Champions Trophy winners and coming away with the 1 – nil win over Argentina!

Emily Smith scored Australia’s winning goal, and goalkeeper Rachael Lynch was on fire – successfully defending a penalty stroke that could have evened the score between the teams.

Argentina lost their referral in the first term after asking to see if the ball hit an Aussie foot, it didn’t, and the Aussies had a chance on penalty corner as a result. Going into quarter time it was nil all.

Australia were pressing in the second term, with Rachael Lynch having a fantastic save on an Argentina attempt at goal. An awesome piece of work saw Brooke Peris pass to Kathryn Slattery in the circle, but goalkeeper Belen Succi was ready and knocked the ball away. Australia were pressing, putting pressure on Argentina.

Giving Australia the edge, Emily Smith came through with an absolute cracker knocking the ball straight into goal minutes into the second half!

Argentina got a chance on penalty corner, Edwina Bone broke on the start so Australia had to defend with three, but Rachael Lynch was all over it, knocking the ball clear.

Australia gave Argentina the chance for a penalty stroke in the final three minutes of the third quarter, and lost their referral in the process. Rachael Lynch read the ball from Maria Barrioneevo perfectly and knocked the ball from danger in a dream save.

With two minutes to go, Argentina gave it everything, replacing their goalkeeper to have another player on pitch. It wasn’t enough and Australia came away with the win after playing an absolute scorcher of a game, retaining third place in the pool standings.

The Australian Women next play Japan on Sunday at 6.30am AWST / 8am ACST / 8.30am AEST.

Emily Smith (FG) 33


Australia squad v ARG
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 340/70
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 106/10
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 184/100
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 154/0
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 108/9
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW) 50/10
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA), 106/33
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 99/13
Casey Sablowski (Albion Park, NSW) 256/44
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA) 60/19
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 161/64
Used Substitute
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 119/2
Kirsten Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 112/2
Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, SA) 40/2
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW) 26/10
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW) 54/6

Hockey Australia media release

Spain Lock down memorable first win in Rio

Spain celebrate their victory over Germany. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek

Spain’s women gave themselves a fighting chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the Olympic Games as they picked up a significant victory over higher ranked Germany 2-1.

Goals in the first 11 minutes from Cristina Guinea and Carola Salvatella set up the result and coach Adrian Lock said it was a just reward for his hard-working side.

“It was great. We have been working really hard through the tournament and maybe that bit of luck hasn’t gone our way. Today the goals went in early and the defensive work we have put in all tournament has paid off.

“We were on the verge of going out and knew we needed the win to have any chance of going through. We need a win against Korea and hopefully other things will go our way.”

Spain were denied direct qualification to the Games last summer in Valencia by Germany in dramatic fashion, conceding a late goal to send a quarter-final game at World League 3 to shoot-out which the Germans won.

Spain would later qualify through the back door but Lock says that performances like that one a year ago showed the level they can reach.

“It’s really important coming from where we are in the ranking to know we can beat higher ranked teams. We have played number 1, 4 and 6 in the world and Germany are eighth and we know they are a top nation, used to playing finals and being at the Olympics.

“But having played them in Valencia, giving them a really good game which we unfortunate not to win, it gives us that belief that we could win. That helps us through at the end when we under a bit of pressure.”

How they finish in the group is a little bit out of their hands but Lock is hopeful they will still be in with a shout when they play Korea in their final group game on Saturday.

“Korea will probably play a similar style to China, looking to counter attack and defending deep. Having won today, we can look forward with confidence, knowing we can compete. If we win and still don’t get through, we may end up being placed ninth which, coming from where we were in 2012 and 13, would still be an epic success.”

EuroHockey media release

Great Britain maintain 100% record with Japan win

Lily Owsley celebrates her goal against Japan. Credit FRANK UIJLENBROEK

Great Britain maintained their perfect record with a 2-0 win over a stubborn Japanese side at the Olympic Games. An early goal from Lily Owsley gave GB the lead and Nicola White added a second with five minutes to go as Danny Kerry’s team made it four wins from four out in Rio.  

Great Britain had settled the quicker of the two sides and took the lead in the fifth minute. FIH Rising Star of the Year Owsley showed great skills along the baseline to get into the circle and fired the ball across where the unfortunate Miyuki Nakagawa diverted into her own net. A penalty corner soon followed but despite a good shot from Giselle Ansley Japan were able to scramble the ball away. Danny Kerry’s side dominated the first quarter with some exciting bursts forwards but it remained 1-0 at the break.

The second quarter started with a penalty corner to the Cherry Blossoms. Mie Nakishima smashed it at goal but Helen Richardson-Walsh showed her prowess in defence with a good clearance. Japan started to come into the game more and more and forced another penalty corner. Minami Shimizu hit the shot but Maddie Hinch got down well and then cleared it out with her stick, snuffing out the danger. At the other end, Hinch’s opposite number Sakiyo Asano excelled herself with a save right out of the top drawer to deny Georgie Twigg. GB survived a late scare in the half. Japan had the ball in the net but the whistle had already gone for a penalty corner, which was overturned after a GB referral.

After the break Kerry’s side increased the pressure as they looked for a second goal. Susannah Townsend broke the line with a good run but her cross couldn’t quite find Danson. Hinch was on hand to deny Hazuki Nagain from a penalty corner and then Sophie Bray’s excellent strike on the backhand was saved by Asano, keeping it 1-0 going into the final quarter.

GB thought they’d doubled their money early in the fourth quarter as Helen Richardson-Walsh smashed in Crista Cullen’s pass but after the umpire called for a referral the goal was disallowed for an infringement in the build up. Bray then went close, showing incredible skills, manufacturing a chance and drilling another backhand in which Asano did well to save once again. It was starting to look like the second goal would never come but with five minutes to go, GB got what they were looking for. Asano made a splendid stop to deny Cullen from a penalty corner but with the ball popping up White showed terrific reflexes and technique to volley in from above her head. There was still time for Nagai to sting Hinch’s gloves with another penalty corner but Great Britain were able to close the game out and maintain their 100% record.     

Great Britain’s next match is 13 August vs. USA at 22:00, live on BBC Sport

Danny Kerry, Great Britain Coach:

“I don't think any of us today would be satisfied with the performance, one or two players had to play well. Laura Unsworth played a mature game and Hollie Webb also very solid. Maddie Hinch also made some important saves but I don't think anyone will be happy with the team performance.”

“However, we've kept a clean sheet, won the game and not played that well. So looking at the big picture, we've won four group games; we're definitely in the top two so if you'd offered us that we'd have taken it every day. Today we had to create our own energy and tempo but we didn't do that.”

“We deliberately haven't looked at other results. The players learned their lesson in a tournament a few years back not to tune in to other teams. We will now because we're definitely in the top two so we can predict a little bit more. We're in a good position that we can scout knowing a bit better, but we feel we can match anyone, like we did against Argentina and Australia.”

Great Britain 2 (1)
Lily Owsley 5 (FG)
Nicola White 55 (PC)

Japan 0 (0)

Great Britain Hockey media release

Stats Speak: Germany and Netherlands will celebrate 200th match in Rio

By B.G.Joshi (India) and Christoph Plass (Germany)

It will be a milestone in international hockey when Olympic Champions Germany will meet Europeans Champions Netherlands in Pool B match. Die Honamas and Oranje match will be 200th between these two traditional rivals.

First international match of these two giants was played in Amsterdam  on Feb 28,1926, Germany won 2-1.Details of 199 match played so far  are:

Head to head: Germany vs. Netherlands















In Olympics







In World Cup







In Champions Trophy







In Europeans Nations Cup







Last 5 matches







 Last played- Dusseldorf- 4 nations tourney, July 2016, won 3-2.


British umpire receives hockey's Golden Whistle at Rio 2016

The excitement of Olympic hockey is in full flow as teams vie for the precious first to fourth places in the pools and the prize of Olympic Quarter-Final places. For the players from the Netherlands, a tense 2-1 victory over India meant they left the field on day six of the competition in euphoric fashion. India trooped off, disappointed in failing to capitalise on the pressure they placed the pool leaders under.
One man whose demeanour never changes whatever the result is Martin Madden, the self-contained Scotsman who, during this game, has just become the 39th man to receive a FIH Golden Whistle for umpiring 100 senior international matches.

Madden is calmness personified, whatever is happening on the pitch, and it is his quiet, thoughtful personality that has made him into one of the top umpires in the world.

It is clearly also in his genes – father Craig was the first Scot to receive the FIH Golden Whistle, back in 1996. Madden himself is just the third Scot to achieve the milestone: fellow umpire Ged Curran joins the two Maddens on the roll call of honour.

Martin became an international umpire in 2000, and reached grade 1 two years later, but he didn’t really hit the big time until he umpired the Hockey Champions Trophy in 2012.

He became a World Panel umpire in 2014, umpiring at the 2014 World Cup in the Hague. Now he is one of the 17 men in the umpiring team for the men’s Olympic event.

Speaking after receiving his Golden Whistle, Martin said that receiving the award was something he “had dreamed about from his first international.” And there was a hint of the competitiveness that has driven him to the top of the game when he added: ‘My dad got his Golden Whistle, so its great to catch up with him as well.”

His appointment to the Rio Olympics is the highlight of Martin’s career so far but he says he is always eager for the next challenge. As soon as this Games is over, the Scotsman will be looking to the next major event to set his sights on.

His love and enthusiasm for the game shines through as he says: “ I’ve walked around and seen a few other sports here in Rio, but there is no other sport like hockey. It is fast and intense and everyone I have spoken to agrees. It is the best sport there is.

“The action on the pitch is intense and here, where you have got the best teams in the world competing, there just isn’t ever a bad game.”

While the pressure on the pitch is intense for the men and women who blow the whistle, there is still some time to enjoy all that Brazil’s major city has to offer.

“I haven’t been to Brazil before, so it is nice to see somewhere new,” and with that magnificent understatement, Martin disappears to debrief and prepare for his next game.

FIH site

9-a-Side hockey: Arshad steers team to victory

KARACHI: A brace by Atiq Arshad steered National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to a comfortable 4-1 victory over Customs and brought his team a step closer to clinching a semi-finals berth in the Premier Pakistan Cup 9-a-Side Hockey Tournament at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Stadium yesterday.

The youngster netted twice, first off a penalty corner in the 10th minute and then in the 29th minute to pave the way for the bankers to register their second straight win.

He was well-supported by Arsalan Qadir and Dilbar Hasan who scored one goal apiece in the 25th and 40th minute respectively. Customs’ consolation goal was netted by Usman in the 31st minute.

“I have so far scored three goals in the tournament, which is a big achievement when you share the field with other more experienced players,” Arshad told The Express Tribune.

The Express Tribune

Hockey resumes: Multi Media welcome Mount Kenya University

By Rebecca Jebet

Kenya Police Moses Cheplait(l) with the ball as Mombasa Sports Club Mariano Emadali blocks when they played Premier League at City Park. Police scored 8-0. ON 06/09/15 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

The Kenya Handball Federation (KHF) national league continues this weekend with eight matches on the cards at the Nyayo National Stadium Handball court.

After picking a resounding performance against newcomers Dedan Kimathi University a week ago, former champions National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) women’s side will face off Mount Kenya University (MKU) Thika Campus from 9am.

NCPB has found it tough especially in the last three seasons from title holders Nairobi Water who have dominated the local and regional scene.

The former champions under the guidance of veteran national team player Edna Kasandi will be seeking to recapture the local title this season after picking three wins from four matches placing them at the second position on the log standing at par with Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) and Nairobi Water.

In the men’s category, Multi Media University (MMU) will welcome MKU Thika Campus before reigning champions, NCPB men’s team takes on former champions Technical University of Kenya (TUK) in another fixture.

NCPB started on a poor note this season, but they are picking up very well after posting two wins in their recent fixtures that placed them at the helm of the table standing with 13 points from seven matches while TUK is placed in a distance 11th position with four points from four matches.

In another men’s encounter, Rangers will face off with Strathmore University who are enjoying top form in the league this season. The Varsity side has so far posted ten points from seven matches in the third place on the table standing two points shy second placed KDF who are also the defending champions.

Strathmore, under the guidance of Peter Mwathi will take advantage of this fixture to overtake the military side on the table standing since the latter are away in Kigali Rwanda where they are taking part in the 10th edition of East African Community Military Games and Cultural event.

On Sunday, MMU will play against Matuu while TUK will lock horns against Rangers with NCPB taking on Matuu. Boomerang will face Rangers in the last match of the day. 

The Standard Online

Skipper Shahrun scrambles to get fit for MHL opener

by Aftar Singh

File photo shows Mohd Shahrun Nabil (left) in action during one of the matches in MHL. – ZABIDI TUSIN/The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: Terengganu skipper Mohd Shahrun Nabil is fighting against time to get fit for the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division, which begins on Aug 19.

The former national captain has been out of action since undergoing surgery for a torn meniscus on his left knee last November.

The 31-year-old midfielder suffered a setback when he tore the meniscus during rehabilitation and had to undergo another surgery in June.

He started training last week after being given the green light by his doctor.

Shahrun, who guided Terengganu to the double – the league and overall titles – in 2014 and last year, admitted that he is far from ready to play in the MHL.

“I’m not fit as I haven’t trained for the last nine months. I only started training three days ago. I will focus on improving my fitness in the next couple of days,” said Shahrun, who has been playing in the MHL since 2004.

“I’m fighting against time to be fit for the Charity Shield match against KLHC (Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club) on Aug 19. I’ll leave it to the coach Sarjit (Singh) to decide whether to field me or not for the KLHC match.”

Sarjit said that he would conduct a test to check on Shahrun’s fitness next week before making a decision.

The coach was buoyed by news that five of the six foreign players they’ve roped in are already here and “we should have enough depth to put up a strong challenge in the league”.

Terengganu, who made their MHL debut in 2012, have hired South Koreans Jang Jong-hyun, Kim Jung-hoo and Kim Ki-hoon; Argentinians Pablo Javier Trevisan and Nicolas Enrique Della Torre; and Pakistan’s Muhamad Irfan for this season.

The Star of Malaysia

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