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News for 28 September 2016

All the news for Wednesday 28 September 2016

USMNT Defeat Barbados in First FIH Hockey World League Round 1 Game

SALAMANCA, Mexico - With the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) Hockey World League Round 1 the first steps in a long process to World Cup qualification, the U.S. Men's National Team knew that every possession, goal and defensive play was critical as they opened up the men's division in Salamanca, Mexico against Barbados. After a scoreless first half, the USMNT found the backboard three times to defeat Barbados by a score of 3-1.

“It was a tough, physical game but the way we stuck to the game plan gave us the result we deserved," said Johnny Orozco (Ventura, Calif.), USMNT defender. "We scored some good goals and defended well so overall we’re happy.”

It was a reluctant first half with Team USA creating the majority of the chances but failing to capitalize on their dominance. Barbados were strong and physical, crowding their defensive half while looking to use speed on the counter attack as an offensive outlet. The two teams cancelled each other out and the first half ended deadlocked at 0-0.

There was a sense that once the USMNT broke through the resilience of the Barbados' backline and got that first goal then another would quickly follow. And so it proved. Early in the second half, after some pinball in the circle, the ball broke to Nick Molscan (Wanganui, New Zealand) and he one-timed it into the corner of the Barbados' goal in the 37th minute to give the USA the lead. Team USA continued to press Barbados further and in the 40th minute a penalty corner from Will Holt (Camarillo, Calif.) was fired low and to the goalkeeper’s left and into the goal to make it USA 2, BAR 0.

However, the game was far from over and Barbados took advantage of a loose ball in the USA circle and flicked the ball in to cut the deficit in half. Back came Team USA and in the 49th minute they secured the game safe as Holt grabbed his second with a neat finish from a tight angle after some great work from Sean Cicchi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.). The game finished with a score of 3-1 as the USA keep possession comfortably to its conclusion.

“The players managed the first game well," said Chris Clements, USMNT Head Coach, happy with the result. "It’s been around 14 months since our last tournament, so we’re pleased with how we played. We were able to control the match and each player stuck to their task throughout the entire match. We created some great chances in the first period, however we were more clinical in the second half.”

The USMNT will continue Hockey World League Round 1 play tomorrow as they take on host nation Mexico at 5:45 p.m. EST.

USFHA media release

Salamanca welcomes the World League and makes its dream real

Presentation of the World League Round 1 took place in Salamanca

Josefina Chávez Diaz

City dignitaries celebrated hosting the event and invited the guests to the “Siglo XXI” Stadium.

"We want to thank all those who are here today and invite you to support our national teams tomorrow. It is very important for Mexico to play this tournament at home", said Marlet Correa.

"I would like to highlight the work achieved by the members of the national teams and the Organizing Committee as well as dignitaries that helped in the organization of the event; they made us feel very comfortable." Playing at home will be nice, "said Edgard García

Both, are members of Mexico National Team and have been present at the opening event of the World League Round 1, today. Salamanca is ready.

At the Press Conference, the Major celebrated the start of the event.  "Salamanca is very pleased to host an international event with the participation of 7 teams from 5 countries. The competition will start tomorrow. Our social responsibility is to further promote the sport where youth is involved; this event will be inspirational to many."

Speaking to the Press, the President of the Mexican Hockey Federation, Maria del Carmen Garcia Orozco, said: "It is an honor for the Federation to have the World League at home.” I appreciate the effort and the support of all those who made possible this event. "It has been difficult to achieve, but we have complied with the established requirements ".

The Director of the Sports Committee celebrated the event was awarded to the city, making the dream come true, and explained the changes and work done in the stadium for the World League.

The Siglo XXI Stadium is located at the Unidad Deportiva Sur. The replacement of the synthetic turf, new stands for the followers and lights are some of the improvements made in the venue.

Everything is ready for Mexico, the host, to open the doors for their guests. United States will play Barbados at the opening match at 11:40 on the men’s side, while Mexico will play Guatemala on the women’s. The official opening ceremony of tournament will be held following this match. The last game of the day will face the men of Mexico and Guatemala.

Eng. Antonio Arredondo Muñoz, Major of the city, the President of the Mexican Hockey Federation, Maria del Carmen García Orozco; the President of the local Hockey Association, Lic. Jorge Contreras Peña, the Director of the Sports Committee, Mr. Isaac Piña were present at the event. Marlet Correa and Edgard García, both National Team players, represented the athletes.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Boys U18 Asia Hockey Cup: Rampant Colts put 14 past Hong Kong

KARACHI: A hat-trick by Khairullah helped Pakistan register a whopping 14-0 win over Hong Kong in the Boys U18 Asia Hockey Cup as the Colts progressed to the semi-finals of the event at the Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh yesterday.

Pakistan followed their 6-1 and 6-0 wins over Chinese Taipei and China by thrashing Hong Kong to top Pool A and keep their winning run in the group stages of the tournament intact.

The Colts led 4-0 by half-time and increased the tempo of their game in the second-half when they added 10 more goals to pile misery on the hapless Hong Kong, who did not even once manage to infiltrate Pakistan’s penalty area.

Pakistan, in three pool matches, have now scored 26 goals conceding only one. They will now face India, who finished second in Pool B.

Head coach Kamran Ashraf was delighted with the performance but was quick to advise the team to keep their feet on the ground.

“We have passed the first phase with flying colours and I am happy for the team, but the difficult phase is about to start,” he said. “India will not be as easy as the teams we have had to face, while Bangladesh have been really impressive in the tournament.”

Ashraf further revealed that the team would spend a day analysing India’s weaknesses by watching videos and practicing to capitalise on those weak areas.

“We have to ensure that we are prepared to take on India. We are here to win the tournament and anything other than that is unacceptable for us,” he added.

The Express Tribune

Dhaka evoke mixed feeling for Indian hockey

K. Arumugam

When a chronicler thinks of Dhaka in the hockey context, what must strike him tellingly is difficult to say. The city offered India telling victory and also telling blow. Around the same time Pullela Gopi Chand, who mentored Saina Newal and PV Sindhu, both Olympic medallist, won his All England Badminton Championship, around the same time VV Laxman set the Kolkata turf on fire against Australia to win a historic cricket test, Indian hockey players silently silenced Pakistan in a tie-break to win an invitational tournament, Prime Minister Cup. 26 years ago, on the same turf, Indian men lost the Asia Cup title to Pakistan, but their misconduct against Japan umpire led to the nation touch nadir within a year as a repercussion.

Let us explore Indian hockey expedition that had taken place in Dhaka ever since the nation was born in late 1971.

Dhaka, then known as Dacca, is the birthplace of Pankaj Gupta, the first all round sports administrator of undivided Indian continent. He was involved as Manager and Coach of India’s first four Olympic winning Indian men’s hockey teams.

Competitively, Bangladesh did not organize many events on its soils since the new nation came into being in the early 1970s.

But the one it staged still rankles in the Indian mind. Dhaka Asia Cup held 31 summers ago changed the Indian hockey for almost two decades.

In 1985, India and Pakistan played their Asia Cup final third time on trot, but an umpiring decision that gave a goal to Pakistan which sealed the MM Somaya’s first gold in the new genre of competition went up in smoke. The event was played on the grass grounds where nowadays Bangabandhu football stadium stands next to Moulana Bashini hockey stadium.

There was an assault on ‘ignorant’ umpire from Japan, who had to be stretched out from the field, perhaps first and last time an umpire faced ‘forced exit’ on international stage.

Pakistan won the Gold by the slenderest of margins, but six months later the FIH announced suspension of five men from the team for the misconduct including captain MM Somaya.

Those were the days when such matters are decided by the FIH, not by the Technical Directors as of now. MM Somaya, Rajinder Singh, goalie Romeo James had to thus miss out next year’s world cup, where India for the first time finished last.

Its Dhaka effect, one can say.

On positive side, Prime Minister Cup that the Capital city hosted 15 years ago, gave the Indians moments of happiness.

Led by Punjab Police’s inside forward Baljeet Singh Dhillon, the team won all the three pool matches much like Pakistan on the other pool. India overwhelmed Egypt 7-1 in the semis, Pakistan over Japan 5-0. Thus the summit clash presented both the Asian giants, and fittingly the match went extra mile. In fact, Pakistan led by Ahmad Alam, was just three minutes away from famous victory, but in the 67th minute veteran Dilip TIrkey converted a penalty corner to stretch the match to extra time where captain Dhillon converted India’s sudden death stroke to get the crown.

On the same city, which has grown leap and bounds since then economically, Indian colts led by a tribal star Nilam Sanjeeb Xess will take on Pakistan on Thursday in the 4th Sub-Junior Asia Cup.

What kind of history the Xess led Indian colts will do here will be known in a couple of days


OTHL boy makes it to Indian National team

s2h team

After sweating for six years amidst hundreds of urban poor from five metro cities of India, and after earning a plethora of acclaim from Hockey India to President of India for the concept and execution, the globally known One Thousand Hockey Legs project got a return gift from one of the stakeholders this week when its Delhi boy Kishore Arya, 17, got selected for India’s National team for the fourth Sub-Junior Asia Cup.

Kishore’s selection to Indian team creates many records in its wake.

*****First player from an NGO to make it to the national side of any age group.
*****First player from OTHL family to obtain national colours.
*****First player from government school to knock the national team from Delhi. (Every past Delhi players like MK Kaushik, Harendra Singh etc came from private schools).
*****He is the first player to get selected for Indian team of any group from Delhi in more than two decades. undefined

Kishore’s rise from joyous kid roaming on the public park to part of national team lends credence to the OTHL’s policy of week end practice, giving right break at right time, and one can get good results if sticks to ethics at grassroot level.

He got skills imparted for three years, competitive spirit inculcated in variety of school tournaments the NGO organized, and then when he was successful in trials for STC Patiala, he could attain excellent levels of physical fitness. This is the kind of break which is mentioned above.

The team is at present in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where it made it to knock out stage with a win and loss record in its pool, and is all set to engage arch rival Pakistan on Thursday.

Kishore Arya, son of a car driver, had passed out 10th standard from a OTHL subscribed school from South Delhi, a barren region for Delhi hockey till OTHL made its presence in 2010. Kishore currently an incumbent of National Hockey Academy.

Kishore Arya got selected for Sports Training Centre, Patiala last year, where he improved his game and also fitness. STC is a govt run scheme where selected boys are given freeboarding and lodging for three years by the government of India.

Kishore Arya was part of the OTHL school team as a left half, got selected for the NGO’s Hockey India Sub-Junior National team for Baroda and Jammu numbers.

One Thousand Hockey is the project of Delhi based Non-Governmental Organization, Hockey Citizen Group, which seeks to introduce at least 500 school kids in each city to the sport of hockey and also transform their career for betterment.

The NGO was founded by hockey writer and historian K. Arumugam in 2008 after India failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, and one of the reasons for decline of Indian hockey has been absence of hockey culture in the educational institutions.

About 80 schools in five cities have been beneficiary of OTHL since inception. OTHL introduced hockey in 24 school in Delhi alone.

OTHL participates regularly in the Hockey India age group National Championships.

OTHL was awarded Hockey India President’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2014 (A Trophy and Rs. 5 lacs).

On the recommendations of Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, President of India Presented Sports Promotion Award recently on National Sports Day.

HCG and OTHL are volunteer efforts anyone can join and contribute time and kind.

Its citizen’s zeal that could bring at least one India player from its side, with Kishore Arya entering the national team.


Bell ready for massive weekend for Banbridge

Banbridge’s Matthew Bell says his first experience of the EHL “was unlike anything I had ever experienced before” when, as a teenager, he made his debut in the competition.

The defender has since gone on to be a key figure for his club as well as with Ireland with whom he won a bronze medal at the 2015 European Championships in London.

He is part of the new breed in Irish hockey, young and full of confidence after some impressive achievements in the last few years and he says that getting that EHL experience was a big deal for him in his formative years.

They played out a thriller with CA Montrouge – losing 4-3 – before pushing UHC Hamburg all the way in a 5-3 result.

“The last time we played in the EHL, I had just been brought into the squad towards the end of the season before so I was still new to the senior hockey setup.

“I just remember the pace of the game being unlike anything I had experienced before but we found our feet and showed we could test the best club teams. After that, we as a team always have wanted to get back to the competition to play at that level again!”

And so Bell is hopeful that his club can make a big impact in front of their home fans and reach the KO16 from a tough group that features a resurgent Saint Germain from France along with an impressive Royal Leopold.

His father is on the organising committee for Round1 and the club is ingrained in his family.

“It’s massive for the club and community of Banbridge to have such a large sporting event coming in the town. I’ve seen first-hand the amount of work being put into it from the clubs perspective, so we as a team are very thankful to everyone who’s helping out.

“It’s also a big thing for Irish hockey to host this event for the first time. Hopefully, we can put on a good show and it won’t be too long before it’s held again in Ireland.”

As for the opposition, he says that the club has not looked too far ahead to the games at this stage. The Irish league began last weekend with Bann beating Three Rock Rovers 4-2 before drawing 2-2 with Glenanne, both former EHL clubs.

Looking at those games, he said: “I felt we started slowly in both games, we found ourselves under a lot of pressure and having to defend a lot within the first quarters. But we found our feet and grew into both games. Our penalty corner attack was sharp over the weekend, scoring three from five. hopefully we can carry that into the EHL weekend.

“We haven’t really focused on the EHL at this point in time, we’ve been more focused on the start of the Irish league. We haven’t looked at the other teams just yet, but in the week leading up to it we will be doing plenty of analysis work.

“Both teams have stand out players that we know will be able to influence the game, so we just need to minimise the chances that they have to impact it. We expect both games to be very tough but we know if we play as well as we can, we’ll be able to get the results needed to progress to the next round.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Cruising Amira Sailors top women's league standings


Francis Kariuki of Strathmore University controls the ball during their Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match against Nakuru Club on September 25, 2016. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Newcomers Amira Sailors are surprise leaders of Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League standings after the weekend’s round of matches.

The Chase Bank-sponsored team beat Daystar Falcons 5-0 to go top of the log with 10 points.

In men’s  Premier League, champions Butali Sugar Warriors, Strathmore University Gladiators and Greensharks recorded vital wins in the race for play-off spots.

Parkroad lead the pack in the race for promotion to next season’s top flight after a 2-1 win over Impala in the men’s national league.

Amira, who made their debut this season, underlined their title intentions after another impressive performance at the weekend that put them three points clear at the top.

Lethal striker Susan Oketch grabbed a brace, while Sheila Chebet, Leah Omwandho and Pauline Ochieng each scored once for Amira.

Amira coach Linet Onyango believes it’s premature to consider her team title favourites but she believes the race will be close after he team recorded their third win from four matches.

“We have given a good account of ourselves this season but we need to be more clinical in front of goal because we face tougher opponents in the coming games,” Onyango said on Tuesday.


They are yet to face Orange, Scorpions and Sliders and these matches will be the real test for Onyango’s charges.

USIU Spartans were the highest climbers of the weekend, moving three places to second after their 5-1 win over KU Titans that took them to nine points from five matches.

Strathmore Scorpions and Sliders lost ground on the leaders after the duo battled to a 1-1 draw on Sunday evening.

Scorpions are third on eight points, one ahead of fourth-placed Sliders who have played three matches. Champions Telkom Orange, who were not in action this weekend, are fifth also on seven points from three matches, making it one of the closest title races in recent years.

In men’s league, Butali lead Pool A with 15 points and need only one more win their last two matches to secure a play-off spot.

The team’s 9-0 demolition of Bay Club means they are the only club with a 100 per cent record this season. Two-time champions Strathmore Gladiators are second on 10 points, three ahead of USIU men’s team.

“We are hitting top form at the right moment. If we win our last two matches, we shall be in the play-offs which was our main target when the season began,” Gladiators coach Meshack Senge said.

In Pool B, Greensharks lead the way with 10 points after their 1-0 win over Kenya College of Accountancy of University. The result left the university side in third spot, behind Kenya Police who lie second with seven points.

Chase Sailors stay in fourth place after they lost 3-2 to Wazalendo in Sunday’s final game at City Park Stadium.

Daily Nation

Canterbury hand back Ramesh Patel Shield after Midlands declared rightful winners


Jenny Storey helped Canterbury win the women's NHL title, but the Ramesh Patel Shield is gone. John Davidson

Canterbury Hockey has handed back the Ramesh Patel Shield it was wrongly presented with less than a fortnight ago.

After the Canterbury Cats won the women's National Hockey League (NHL) in Whangarei, Canterbury Hockey was presented with the Shield, which is awarded to the best overall performing region through the under-18, under-21 and NHL tournaments.

However, a few days after returning to Christchurch with the award, Canterbury Hockey chief executive Rod Templeton was told Midlands was the rightful winner.

"We were thrilled to have won it because it is recognised within the hockey associations, and it represents such an iconic name in New Zealand hockey," Templeton said.

"But they re-looked at the rules around it and found that on the countback Midlands actually had one more point than us."

Hockey New Zealand initially suggested Canterbury and Midlands share the Shield named after Ramesh Patel, who played 122 tests for New Zealand, but Canterbury Hockey rebuffed the idea.

"We communicated with Hockey NZ and Midlands and said, 'Under the rules - you won it, you deserve it, you should hold it,'.

"We're very much of the view that we did come second, albeit by a hair's breadth, and as we said to Midlands, they better be careful because we're going to win it next year."

Canterbury and Midlands were tied for points this year, which resulted in the tiebreaker determining the winner on how many tournaments each region had won.

Midlands won three titles - under-18 men, under-21 women and men's NHL team, while Canterbury's men's under-21 and women's NHL teams won their respective tournaments.

Hockey NZ had previously used the number of outright wins achieved across all tournaments as the tiebreaker.

Templeton defended the mistake and suggested a hectic final day, which saw matches rescheduled and moved to different turfs due to to bad weather, could have played a part in the blunder.

"It's unfortunate, and Hockey NZ has put their hand up and said, 'Yep, we made a mistake,'. But the right result is Midlands holds the Shield."


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