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News for 28 October 2016

All the news for Friday 28 October 2016

Malaysia v Pakistan semi-finals

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA came to life in the fourth quarter to hold South Korea to a 1-1 draw in the last pool match of the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan yesterday.

The draw saw them finish second on the standings, and will play third placed Pakistan in the semi-finals on Saturday.

India, top of the table, will meet South Korea in the other semis.

Nabil Fiqri, an Inspector trainee, said his mates did not fear any team in the semi-finals.

"We slowed down the match a little to conserve energy, avoid cards and injuries leading into the semi-finals as that is the most important match at the end of the day.

"Going into the match, we knew that it was either Pakistan or South Korea for us in the last four, and we don't fear both of them and will give our best to play in our first final in the ACT," said Nabil.

For the record, Malaysia have only three bronze medals to show from the last three editions of the ACT.

South Korean coach Paul Lissek was also not worried that his charges will be playing against tournament favourites India.

"We played our best Match of the tournament to hold Malaysia, and could have even beaten them. So, looking at the positive side, if we beat India, we can also win the title for the first time," said Lissek, a former Malaysian national coach.

Even before the match started, Malaysia were hit by the stupidity of Firhan Ashaari who was suspended from the Korea match, for an off the ball incident against India on Wednesday.

Firhan had elbowed India's Akashdeep Singh and was suspended after the Technical Delegates met yesterday morning and watched the recording.

Also suspended, but for two matches, was India's Surender Kumar who hit Malaysia's Azri Hassan in another off the ball incident in the highly charged match where India edged Malaysia 2-1.

And in the match yesterday, coach Stephen van Huizen's men played like they did not have a care in the world, and allowed South Korea to dictate terms.

The first two quarters were uneventful, and Korea took the lead in the 37th minute field goal scored by Jeong Junwoo.

Razie Rahim finally found his rhythm, and scored the equalsier off a penalty corner attempt in the 56th minute.

RESULTS: Pakistan 4 China 0, Malaysia 1 South Korea 1.


SATURDAY: Semi-finals -- Malaysia v Pakistan (6.30pm), India v South Korea (8.30pm).
  Fifth-Sixth: China v Japan (4pm).


         P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
INDIA    5  4  1  0  25 6  13
MALAYSIA 5  3  1  1  18 8  10
PAKISTAN 5  3  0  2  13 10 9
S. KOREA 5  2  2  1  11 9  8
CHINA    5  1  0  4  6  24 3
JAPAN    5  0  0  5  11 27 0

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Haseem Khan's brace in Pakistan's easy 4-0 win over China

It was their  last match of the round robin and only a seven goal defeat to China could have prevented Pakistan from entering the semi final of the 4th Asian Champions Trophy.

Unthinkable didn't happen in Kuantan, Malaysia as Pakistan had an easy sailing in the end.

Their semi final opponent on Saturday will be known after the last match of the round robin between Malaysia and Korea.

The first quarter was more or less evenly matched. Greenshirts were the better side in the next 15 minutes. They completely dominated the last 30 minutes: entering the rival circle at will, creating numerous chances and wasting most. One out of the six penalty corners was converted.

Coming to Pakistan's goals:

First two goals were beautiful opportunistic strikes by Haseem Khan.

In the 21st minute, off the third penalty corner, a variation was employed. Tauseeq,s push from the top of the circle was  deflected into the goal by Haseem's flat stick; two touches.

Just one minute into the second half,  Haseem dived to lunge on a long hit into the Chinese circle with  an extended stick in one hand to score from a close range.

Third and fourth goals both arrived inside the 48th minute. Ali Shan provided finishing touch to a left side attack. Moments later, Ejaz sent a diagonal through pass from the left side which was slotted into the net by M.Irfan Junior, sprinting into the middle of the circle.

After the first 15 minutes, China were mainly seen defending. They did enter Pakistan's circle on occasions, mostly on turn overs and also had four penalty corners. Amjad Ali, Pakistan's goal keeper for the day, performed well whenever called into action.

Scorers: Haseem Khan 2 (21' & 31'), Ali Shan 48'  & M.Irfan Junior 48'

PHF Media release

Pakistan rout China 4-0 to make Asian Champions Trophy semis

KUNTAN -  Two goals by Abdul Haseem Khan steered Pakistan national hockey team into the semi-final of Asian Men’s Champions Trophy tournament, defeating China 4-0 in their last league match in Kuntan, Malaysia on Thursday.

Pakistan, who previously had two wins and two loses in the tournament, required a win today to book their berth in the semi-finals.

Both teams were unable to find the net in the first quarter.

However, Pakistan took 1-0 lead by end of first half, thanks to a 21st minute goal by Haseem from a neatly converted penalty corner.

Haseem struck again in the third quarter, taking the ball into China’s half up to the D area to score the Greenshirts’ second goal in the 31st minute.

Despite a 2-0 lead going into the fourth quarter, Pakistan kept on attacking, with Ali Shan and M Irfan Jr adding one goal each in the 48th and 49th minute respectively.

During the match, China was seen having trouble carrying the ball as the defenders wouldn’t let them pass the defending line.

Pakistan will now face hosts Malaysia for a place in the final.

Top-ranked India will take on South Korea in the semifinals of the fourth Asian Champions Trophy after the Koreans conceded a late equaliser to Malaysia and finished fourth in the round-robin league standings Thursday.

India had topped the league standings with 13 points after finishing their preliminary fixtures on Wednesday, but there was plenty of drama on the last day of the league fixtures.

Pakistan defeated China 4-0 to take their points tally to nine, the same as Malaysia before the last outing against the Koreans, who had seven points ahead of the last match.

Pakistan’s goal-difference was far inferior to that of hosts Malaysia, so a tie on points would put Malaysia ahead.

Malaysia needed a victory or a draw to take the second spot in the group, but a victory in the last outing would have lifted the Koreans to the second place in the standings, pushing Malaysia down to the third spot and Pakistan to the fourth.

In case of a Korean victory today, India's semifinal would have been against Pakistan.

This scenario was unfolding after Jeong Jun-Woo put the Koreans ahead in the 37th minute, while Malaysia s strikers kept spraying their shots wide.

With the Koreans leading by a goal until the 56th minute, an India-Pakistan semifinal was on the horizon, but seasoned shooter Razie Rahim converted a penalty corner four minutes from the end to earn Malaysia a draw.

Behind India, Malaysia finished second in the league standings with 10 points, followed by Pakistan on nine and South Korea on eight.

The Nation

Pakistan set up semi-final clash with Malaysia

By Nabil Tahir

Greenshirts are among the final four of Asian Men’s Champions Trophy. PHOTO COURTESY: AHF

KARACHI: An Abdul Haseem Khan brace helped Pakistan claim third spot in the Asian Champions Trophy group stages with a 4-0 win over China in their last league match, setting up a semi-final date with hosts Malaysia for tomorrow.

Malaysia claimed a late equaliser against South Korea in the other match yesterday to finish second, while Korea will have to play group winners and favourites India in the semi-finals after finishing fourth.

India are the tournament’s only unbeaten side and won four of their five games, ending with 13 points from a possible 15 as well as a whopping +19 goal difference.

Malaysia, meanwhile, claimed 10 points with three wins and a goal difference of +10. Pakistan follow a point behind with nine while Korea ended with eight.

The Greenshirts could have missed out on qualification had China routed them by seven or more goals but that was almost impossible scenario. An even first-half ended 0-0 but Pakistan turned up the style in the second half, scoring four times to hammer home their class.

Pakistan head coach Khawaja Junaid said it didn’t matter to the side whether they played Malaysia or India in the semis and added that they will not simply lie down for the hosts in their clash.

“We lost our opening match to Malaysia 4-2 and were then defeated by India 3-2 but the boys were not as used to the conditions,” he told The Express Tribune. “The experience they have gained in these league matches and the work they have done to overcome their mistakes was seen in the match against China.”

Defensive errors had proven costly in both of Pakistan’s losses, with lapses in concentration settling the two close ties, and Junaid revealed the team has been working to overcome them.

“Our defence line has worked on their mistakes and won’t let Malaysia pass the ball around as easily as they did in the previous match,” he said. “We are eying a spot in the final and will be looking to defend our title if we reach there.”

The Express Tribune

Seung Song Tae: We will learn from India

s2h team

Times have changed. Rather quickly. Even five years before Indians were telling the world that they learn from Korea for player fitness, prowess in the penalty corner conversions, set piece and every department of the game that brings wins.

Now, at least their coach, says that the Korean team will will learn from India when it plays the semifinal on Saturday in the fourth Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan.

Seung Song Tae, who tore Indian defence in every major FIH and AHF events in the 90s, who is now in charge of coach under the guidance of Paul Lisske, rates India high. "My boys are new. They are preparing for World Hockey League. Due to various factors they don't get international exposure. By playing tomorrow in the semis, especially against top ranked India, my set of boys will experience international hockey, and the intensity which goes with it", Seung Song Tae explained.

However, its worthwhile to mention here that its Korea that halted India's winning free here in Kuantan in the league with a commendable draw.

India has beaten all other teams quite comfortably in the six-nation event held on round robin format in the first phase.

The match of the league between Malaysia and Korea determined India's Saturday semifinal rival in the fourth Asian Champions Trophy.

However, till 56h minute it appeared India will engage Pakistan, as Korea was leading with a solitary goal obtained in the 38th minute. A Korean win would have pitted them again against Malaysia in the semis.

However, ever-reliable Rahim Razie converted Malaysia's last penalty corner in the 56th minute to force a draw. It meant Malaysia finished the league with 10 points, Korea 8 while Pakistan with three wins made nine points.

Korea finished fourth in the table and thus will engage former champions India whom they drew in the league.

"Its good to see India on top in Asia. They played the Rio Olympics, and are far better than many other teams at present."


Semifinal line up drawn

s2h team

India will take on Korea while the hosts will engage Pakistan in the Saturday semifinal of the fourth Asian Champions Trophy being staged in the port city of Kuantan, Malaysia.

On the last league day today, Pakistan confirmed its place in the semifinal with a fluent 4-0 win against China. With three wins and two loses, Pak thus collected nine points in the six-nation event.

The semifinal lineup had to wait till the last match played out.

The Korea-Malaysia contest ultimately cleared the picture.

Korea could not keep its 38th minute lead given by centre-forward Junwoo Jeong, who deflected a cross into D over the head of otherwise alert Malaysian goalie Kumar Subramaniam.

Had Korea kept up the lead throughout, they would have again played Malaysia in the semis.

However, Malaysian star Razie Rahim levelled the score four minutes before hooter (1-1) to force a draw.

With three wins and point Malaysia finished second (10m points), Korea fourth (8 points) and Pakistan 3rd.

Indian team suffered a set back when the Technical Delegate of the ACT imposed a two match suspension on Surender Kumar for committing Level 2 offence as per the FIH Code of Conduct.


India to take on South Korea in semi-final

KUANTAN: Top-ranked India will take on South Korea in the semi-final of the fourth Asian Champions Trophy after the Koreans conceded a late equaliser to Malaysia and finished fourth in the round-robin league standings on Thursday.

India had topped the league standings with 13 points after finishing their preliminary fixtures on Wednesday, but there was plenty of drama on the last day of the league fixtures.

Pakistan defeated China 4-0 to take their points tally to nine, the same as Malaysia before the last outing against the Koreans, who had seven points ahead of the last match. Pakistan's goal-difference was far inferior to that of hosts Malaysia, so a tie on points would put Malaysia ahead.

Malaysia needed a victory or a draw to take the second spot in the group, but a victory in the last outing would have lifted the Koreans to the second place in the standings, pushing Malaysia down to the third spot and Pakistan to the fourth.

In case of a Korean victory today, India's semi-final would have been against Pakistan.

This scenario was unfolding after Jeong Jun-Woo put the Koreans ahead in the 37th minute, while Malaysia's strikers kept spraying their shots wide.

With the Koreans leading by a goal until the 56th minute, an India-Pakistan semi-final was on the horizon, but seasoned shooter Razie Rahim converted a penalty corner four minutes from the end to earn Malaysia a draw.

Behind India, Malaysia finished second in the league standings with 10 points, followed by Pakistan on nine and South Korea on eight.

India now get a chance to make up for their erratic show against the young Korean team in the 1-1 draw, while defending champions Pakistan come face to face with Malaysia who had stunned them 4-2 in the opening match.

Pakistan had to overcome some early Chinese resistance before sealing victory today.

China forced two penalty corners before Pakistan came into the contest, earning three successive penalty corners in the 21st minute and opening the account through Abdul Khan, who converted the third penalty corner with a shot along the turf that got deflected into the board.

Abdul got his second goal in open play in the 31st minute, but China continued to launch occasional attacks until the game was taken beyond their reach by two field goals by Pakistan strikers within one minute.

Ali Khan made it 3-0 for Pakistan with a flash strike in the 48th minute and Muhammad Ifran Jr shot on target just 30 seconds later to round off the scoring.

The Times of India

My role is to score from PCs, says ten-goal flicker Rupinder

KUANTAN (Malaysia): By his own admission Rupinder Pal Singh is witnessing a "dream run" in the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy but the ace India drag-flicker said he was just doing his duty as his role in the team is to score goals from penalty corners.

For the first time in his career, Rupinder has scored 10 goals in a hockey tournament with his rasping drag-flicks .

Starting with six goals in India's tournament opener against Japan, Rupinder scored one goal against Pakistan and one against China before producing both Indian goals in the 2-1 victory over Malaysia on Wednesday.

The lanky Indian penalty corner shooter, who mostly plays deep defence, says he is now eager to add a few more goals to his tally in the knockout rounds starting with the semi-finals on Saturday.

"I would call this a dream run. Obviously, I am feeling great. It is indeed a special feeling when you score crucial goals," said Rupinder.

"I have a role to play in this team, and scoring goals from penalty corners is what I am here for," said Rupinder, whose romance with Malaysian grounds continues six years after he made his international debut in the Malaysian city of Ipoh.

"It was in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup that I made my debut for India in 2010 and the next year I got a hat-trick of goals against Great Britain in the same tournament," said the lanky defender, who turns 26 next month.

"Those are all part of my fond hockey memories."

In the tournament so far, the Indian team has not felt the absence of multiple penalty corner options and the role of another short corner specialist, Jasjit Singh Kular has been limited because Rupinder has been on fire.

The opening match of this tournament provided Rupinder his career-best of six goals in a match. He was already India's highest scorer this year even before the start of the Asian Champions Trophy with seven goals from 20 matches.

The Times of India

Surender suspended for two matches

s2h team

In a development that may not be to the liking of Indian team, Technical Delegate Ramesh Appoo has imposed two match suspension on Indian defender and Olympian Surender Kumar, effectively sealing him the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy, as India is left with only two matches in Kuantan (semifinal and final).

Effective part of the Official communique says this:

'In the 49th minute, Surender was shown a yellow card by umpire Murray Grime for an off the ball incident in which Surender lifted his stick in an inappropriate manner thereby causing his stick to hit the chin of Malaysia player No.19

'Surender accepted that the reported conduct constituted a level 2 offence under the FIH Code of Conduct.

Having considered all the evidence before me including the explanation which was given by Surender, I have imposed on him, with immediate effect, a two match suspension'.

In the same stroke, on a different hearing this morning, Appoo also suspended a Malaysian player: "Ashari Firhan was also suspended for a match for deliberate physical contact by extending his elbow into the body of an Indian player No.27 in an off the ball incident .....a Level one offence... I have imposed on Ashri Firhan one match suspension". Firhan will not be playing today's match for Malaysia, which is against Korea.


Indian defender Surender Kumar suspended for 2 matches

KUANTAN: Indian defender Surender Kumar will not play any role in the ongoing fourth Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament after being suspended for two matches following a deliberate foul during the game against Malaysia.

Asian Hockey Federation's Technical Delegate Ramesh Appoo conducted a disciplinary hearing under the Code of Conduct and found Surender guilty of a serious foul, warranting suspension for two matches.

The Indian defender, whose good performance in the Champions Trophy earned him a place in the squad for the Olympic Games, will have to sit out of the knockout round, starting with the semifinal on Saturday.

"Surender was shown a yellow card by the umpire for an off-the-ball incident in which Surender lifted his stick in an inappropriate manner, thereby causing his stick to hit the chin of a Malaysian player," Appoo said in a statement.

"Having considered the evidence before me, including the explanation given by Surender, I have imposed a two-match suspension," the Technical Delegate said.

Surender was sent off in the 49th minute of India's last league match, which they won 2-1 to take the top spot in the round-robin league and now await the last couple of preliminary matches before knowing who they play in the semifinal.

After Surender got the yellow card, India had to play the rest of the match with 10 players but managed to ward off Malaysia's rapid attacks.

India managed to get a late match-winner off a penalty corner from Rupinder Pal Singh with just two minutes left. A one-match suspension was also imposed on Malaysian player Ashari Firhan.

"Team India handed me a video in which Ashari was seen making a deliberate physical contact by extending his elbow into the body of Indian player Akashdeep Singh in an off-the-ball incident," Appoo said.

"I have imposed a one-match suspension on Ashari," he said.

The Times of India

Belgium win thriller in Olympic rematch at Uccle

Sixty-nine days after the Olympic final, Belgium’s red lions got one over Argentina with a 4-3 win at Uccle Sport in front of a bumper crowd of 9,000 who enjoyed some top hockey from the top two in Rio.

Loïck Luypaert opened the scoring from the first Belgian corner. Tom Boon and Thomas Briels added another couple of goals in a 60 second spell for a 3-0 lead.

Florent van Aubel then produced the moment of the night with a breathtaking goal, racing down the left wing before, at full speed, flicked the ball over the shoulder of Juan Vivaldi from a near impossible angle; a four-goal lead.

The South Americans got back into the game via a Gonzalo Peillat penalty corner while Facundo Callioni and Juan Gilardi made it even closer with a late stroke but Belgium held on for the victory.

"The level was very good for a friendly, without preparation, for both teams,”said Belgian captain John-John Dohmen. “We played at 100 mph and delivered a beautiful first half.

“The game was balanced but we were a little bit better. The public responded and it was fantastic to be on that field and I hope we can organize other events like this because everyone comes out a winner."

For Argentina’s part, Luca Masso – who was born in Belgium – was still smiling despite the defeat: "It was a magnificent spectacle. Spectators could not dream of a more beautiful game for a gala event.

“It was a special feeling to play this meeting here in Uccle, where I was born, and in front of my parents and my family.”

Euro Hockey League media release

2016 Central American Indoor Championships starting tomorrow

Four nations, in men and women, will compete for the crown

Patrick Espejo M.

Photo: Patrick Espejo / PanAm Hockey

Panama City. Men and women’s National Teams from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and the host Panama, will play the third edition of the 2016 Central American Indoor Championships organized by the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF). Both competitions, men and women will start tomorrow morning at the Eugenio ‘Yuyin’ Luzcando Gymnasium in this city.

Panama on the women’s side and Guatemala on the men’s will defend their Champions titles obtained in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, last year.

The event will open at 8:30 a.m. with the attendance of local dignitaries. Guatemala and Costa Rica men will play the opening game. At 11:15 a.m. Panama men will receive Honduras. In the afternoon, starting at 3:30 p.m. Costa Rica men will play against Honduras; and Panama to Guatemala at 4:45.

Two games will open the women’s competition. At noon, the ladies from Guatemala will play against Honduras. Panama and Costa Rica teams will play the last game of the day at 6 pm.

The competition, managed by the Brazilian Tournament Director, Thiago de Mattos and PAHF Events & Development Coordinator Laura Macchiotti is played with the Round Robin format. On Sunday, the teams will play the medals games.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

India's junior women's hockey team loses 1-2 to Germany at 5-Nation Meet

BRUSSELS: India's junior women's hockey team went down 1-2 to Germany in a hard-fought encounter at the 5-Nation Invitational Tournament on Thursday.

Elisia Grave opened the scoring in the 25th minute via a short corner conversion. In the final minute of the half, India launched a superb attacking move, with swift movement, that culminated with Jyoti Gupta putting the ball in the back of the net to draw level as they went into the break.

Julia Meffert gave Germany the lead in the 58th minute via another penalty corner conversion and despite India's sustained pressure and possession play, Germany held on for a narrow victory.

The Times of India

Indian hockey colts lose to Belgium in 4-nation tournament

VALENCIA: India's junior men's hockey team lost 2-4 to Belgium in their second game of the four-nation Invitational hockey tournament. India had earlier defeated Germany 3-1 in their opening game.

In Wednesday night's game, it was Belgium who got the breakthrough right in the opening minute, winning a penalty corner right off their first attack and Victor Wegnez converting the same to give them the early lead.

The game's pace dropped a bit after the goal, with both teams slugging it out in the midfield in their effort to get a foothold in the game.

India won a penalty corner in the fourth minute, but the attempt was saved by Loic Van Doren in front of Belgium goal.

India earned a second penalty corner in the 11th minute and from the ensuing attempt, Harmanpreet Singh converted to draw level.

The teams exchanged several penalty corner opportunities in the rest of the first half, but failed to convert a single one to go into the breather tied at 1-1.

After the change of ends, Belgium sounded the board thrice in a span of eight minutes to dismantle the Indians.

Fabrice Van Bockrijck (49th), Antoine Kina (56th) and Gregory Stockbroekx (57th) scoring a goal each to put Belgium on top.

Thereafter, Belgium were content to sit back and defend, relying mostly on counters to surprise the Indians.

Ajay Yadav pulled one back for India in the 60th minute, but despite their constant forays into the rival circle, the Belgians managed to hold on their two goal lead.

The Indian colts will face hosts Spain later today, while the eves will be up against Germany in the five-nation tournament.

The Times of India

Half Black Sticks for SOJC

By Jugjet Singh

THE Black Stick are no strangers to the Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC), having competed regularly since 2011.

New Zealand are also among the teams in Johor that are bound for the Junior World Cup in Lucknow, India from Dec 8-18, but have listed only part of their squad for the coming tournament at Taman Daya Stadium next month.

Although the likes of David Brydon, Dominic Newman, Hayden Phillips and Nicholas Woods are absent, Bryce Collins charges still look strong with the presence of 12 players set for the world meet.

The SOJC is New Zealand's last preparation before heading to India.

The presence of forwards Sam La mine, Jonty Keaney dan Thomas Dylan, midfielders Alex Hanham, Aiden Sarikaya, defenders Breadly Read, Hugh Hendrickson dan Johny Thorn, in addition to goalkeeper Dominic Dizon, makes New Zealand among the contenders for the SOJC this time around.

The coming edition is the perfect warm-up for New Zealand following the participation of teams such Australia, Pakistan, England dan Jepun - teams also competing in the Junior World Cup next month.

The Black Sticks have competed three times in the SOJC, the inaugural edition in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

New Zealand finished last in 2011, before improving by one place in the 2012 edition. In 2014, New Zealand came fourth, giving rise to hope of another improvement.

New Zealand open their campaign against Pakistan on Monday on October 31 followed with matches against Japan and Pakistan before a one day break.

Collins' men play England on November 4 before a showdown with Malaysia the next day. The final classification matches takes place on Nov 6.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Canadian team named for Men's Junior World Cup in December

Shaheed Devji

Canada’s Under-21 team during the National anthem at the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship in Toronto in May 2016 (By Yan Huckendubler)

With just over one month to go before the 2016 International Hockey Federation (FIH) Men’s Hockey Junior Hockey World in Lucknow, India, Field Hockey Canada has named its 18-man Under-21 team slated to compete at the tournament from December 8-18, 2016.

The roster features two players, defender Brandon Pereira and midfielder Balraj Panesar, who will be playing in their second Junior World Cup. Both competed in the 2013 Junior World Cup.

The team is comprised of 13 players, including Pereira and Panesar, who represented Canada at the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship in May in Toronto, where the Canadians captured silver and qualified for the Junior World Cup.

Five new players join the Canadian roster for the Junior World Cup. They include goalkeeper Angus Grauer, defender Gavin Bains, midfielders Parmeet Gill and Rowan Childs, and forward Michael Mackenzie.

The Junior World Cup consists of 16 teams in four pool. Canada has been drawn into Pool D, where it will compete with England, India, and South Africa.

For Canada’s competition schedule, which begins with a match against host India on December 8, click here. For full event details, click here.

2016 Canadian Men’s Junior World Cup Team
Name    Position    Hometown
Amrit Sidhu    Forward    Abbotsford, BC
Angus Grauer    Goalkeeper    Vancouver, BC
Balraj Panesar    Midfielder    Surrey, BC
Brandon Pereira    Defender    Surrey, BC
Fin Boothroyd    Forward    West Vancouver, BC
Floyd Mascarenhas    Defender    Mississauga, ON
Ganga Singh    Defender    Toronto, ON
Gavin Bains    Defender    Ladner, BC
Harbir Sidhu    Midfielder    Victoria, BC
Iqwinder Gill    Goalkeeper    Surrey, BC
Jamie Wallace    Midfielder    Vancouver, BC
Kabir Aujla    Forward    Surrey, BC
Michael Mackenzie    Forward    White Rock, BC
Parmeet Gill    Midfielder    Brampton, ON
Rajan Kahlon    Defender    Vancouver, BC
Rohan Chopra    Forward    Ottawa, ON
Rowan Childs    Midfielder    Tsawwassen, BC
Thomson Harris    Forward    Vancouver, BC

Canada’s reserve athletes are: Josh Brown (Forward – Victoria, BC), Sahib Suri (Midfielder – Surrey, BC), Satbir Brar (Defender – Surrey, BC), and Tarjan Sandhu (Forward – Surrey, BC).

The Canadian coaching staff is as follows:

Inderpal Sehmbi – Head Coach
Geoff Matthews – Assistant Coach
Scott Sandison – Assistant Coach
Alicia Carey – Team Manager
Paul Bundy – Video Analyst

Field Hockey Canada media release

Garcia recalls Lewis and Olton for Vancouver

Nigel Simon

Brian Gracia, coach of the T&T senior women’s hockey team

Brian Gracia, coach of the T&T senior women’s hockey team says the door is open for the return of experienced duo, former captain Alanna Lewis and Samantha Olton to the team for the FIH World League round two qualifiers in West Vancouver, Canada from April 1 to 9, next year.

The duo was controversially axed from the team for disciplinary reasons for last month’s first round qualifiers in Salamanca, Mexico, where the local squad, led by Teresa Lezama, ended second to the host to secure their ticket to the second round.

T&T had wins over Guatemala  13-0 and 14-0 while they  were beaten by Mexico, 3-0 and 4-1 to end second with six points. Mexico also crushed Guatemala, 18-0 and 21-0.

In the second round, T&T will do battle with highly rated India, Belarus, Mexico, Uruguay, Chile, France and hosts Canada.

With a need to strengthen the team for what is expected to be a much tougher challenge, Garcia has invited the two players to training and expects the team to be boosted by the return of no fewer than seven Collegiate players.

Commenting on the pool, Garcia said it will be very tough  but a challenge to relish. He explained: “India is ranked 12th in the world and participated in the last Olympic Games and will be the favourites, while Canada and Belarus at 18th and 19th  should be contenders as well.”

“In Mexico we were deprived of a few of our top players due to school commitments in the USA, but with the qualifiers outside their Collegiate season and exams as well they should be available,” said Garcia.

Players include Tamia Roach, Amie Olton, Dana-Lee De Gannes, Stephanie Whiteman, Brianna Govia, Kayla Brathwaite and Kristin Abreu. Former captain Patricia Borneo Wright-Alexis and Brittney Hingh are also expected back in the fold after taking some time off for personal reasons.

T&T's last run in the FIH World League was in 2014-2015  which saw them winning round one, held in Kingston, Jamaica with wins against Puerto Rico (5-1), Dominican Republic (3-1), Jamaica (2-0) and Barbados (2-0) to end with maximum 12 points.

In round two in Montevideo, Uruguay, T&T managed wins over Kenya (5-0) and Dominican Republic 3-2 while losing to Azerbaijan (5-1), France (3-0), Italy (3-0) and France again, the fifth to sixth playoff, 6-1.

Back in 2012, the “Calypso Stickwomen” were third in Round One at home, courtesy victories over Guyana (5-0), Venezuela (5-1) and Barbados (7-0) after losing to pool winner Canada (4-0) and runner-up Uruguay (2-0).

The second round was then held in Rio de Janeiro where T&T ended in fourth spot behind Argentina, South Africa and Chile.

The first 2017 round two qualifier will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from  January 14 - 22 with Ireland, Italy, hosts Malaysia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Fiji and Wales aiming for qualification for the Hockey World League semi-finals and a shot at 2018 Hockey World Cup qualification.

A couple of weeks later, a further eight women’s teams will take to the field in Valencia, Spain between February 4-12 where hosts Spain will compete against Scotland, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Ghana and a yet to be confirmed team.

Apart from the top two teams in each tournament advancing to the semifinals, the two highest placed teams in the FIH Hero world rankings of the teams that finish third will also move on.

Taking place next June and July, the semifinals offer teams the chance to qualify for the Hockey World League Finals later in the year, plus the ultimate prize of 2018 Hockey World Cup qualification.

The Trinidad Guardian

Francis targets top five World League finish

Nigel Simon

T&T’s Marcus James, second from left, battles for the ball with USA’s Aki Kaeppeler in their 2015 FIH Men’s World League Round Two Qualifier in Chula Vista, California USA on Sunday March 1, 2015 while Kwandwane Browne, left and Akim Toussaint, right, look on. USA won 7-1.

Glen “Fido” Francis, coach of  this country’s senior men’s hockey team has set his sights on a “top five” finish when the T&T Hockey Board host the FIH Men’s World League Round Two Qualifiers from March 25 to April 2.

The tournament will consist of eight teams  at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua inclusive of Malaysia, Japan, Russia, USA, Barbados, Chile, Switzerland and hosts T&T.

The second round begins in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where Canada, Oman, Egypt, hosts Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Fiji compete  between March 4-12 while from March 11-19, Ireland entertains France, Poland, Ukraine, Italy, Wales, Scotland and Austria in Ulster. Commenting on the groups, Francis noted that the quality of teams will be very high.

“But based on what we know, Malaysia will be the pick of the bunch as they are currently doing well in the Asian Cup under their highly rated Australian coach and had a 10-1 win over Japan recently.

“We came up against Russia last time out and they proved a much stronger team than us and we expect them to be a force again which will leave us with Japan, USA, Barbados, Chile and Switzerland to battle out for the other places as those teams are more on our level, ” added Francis, a former national goalkeeper.

With little under four months to go before the tournament which will qualify two teams to the semifinals, Francis said preparations are going based on what is available.

“The team is a young one and some of the guys are preparing for exams as well as carrying injuries, but overall we are targeting a much better showing that we had two years ago and realistically I feel we can finish among the top five.”

Francis said he was also hoping that the team gets exposure to more international warm-up matches.

“We recently hosted Barbados in four-match series, but we honestly need to play tougher opponents to improve our game,” ended Francis.

Apart from the top two teams in each tournament advancing to the semifinals, the two highest placed teams in the FIH Hero World Rankings of the teams that finish third will also move on.

The semifinals which take place next June and July,  offer teams the chance to qualify for the Hockey World League Finals later in the year, plus the ultimate prize of 2018 Hockey World Cup qualification.

When the inaugural FIH World League competition was held in 2012, T&T under the supervision of Francis topped its round one series on home-soil after victories over Chile (2-1), Barbados (3-1) and Venezuela (9-2) at Tacarigua.

However, in the second round in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, T&T suffered losses against Argentina (9-2), South Africa (10-2) and Chile (0-4) but won against Brazil (6-2) and USA, 4-3 via a penalty stroke led by Francis as well.

And two years ago, T&T again topped its round one series in Kingston, Jamaica with wins overs Jamaica (3-0), Barbados (3-1) and Dominican Republic 2-0 via penalty-stroke shootout after a 2-2 draw under the supervision of stand-in coach Raphael Govia.

But in round two played in Chula Vista, California, T&T went under to Russia (6-1), USA (7-1) and Canada (3-0) in Pool B round-robin player before losing to Ireland (12-2) in the quarterfinal, 2-1 to Italy in the fifth to eighth semifinal, and 5-3 to USA in the seventh place playoff.

Among the players expected to return for T&T are 38-year-old England-based former captain Kwandwane Browne who has represented T&T for 18-plus years and with more than 300 international appearances.

It will be the his first appearance since a torn achilles tendon on his left foot in 2015 prior to the Pan American Games in Canada.

Training squad: Kwandwane Browne (England), Lyndell Byer, Dillon Campbell, Shaquille Daniel, Aidan De Gannes, Ghardel Elcock, Kwasi Emmanuel, Kristien Emmanuel, Kieron Emmanuel, Dylan Francis, Nicholas Grant, Marcus James, Tariq Marcano (England), Teague Marcano, Oliver Meyer-Bothling (England), Stefan Mouttet (Australia), Michael O’Connor II, Jabari Perez, Mickell Pierre, Jordan Reynos, Andrey Rocke, Christopher Scipio, Isaiah Scott, Cheon Steele, Karlos Stephen, Akim Toussaint, Jordan Vieira.

The Trinidad Guardian

Weekend College Games

USA Field Hockey highlights some of the top college games in Division I, II and III each week.


DI: No. 15 Iowa vs Ohio State | 3:30 p.m. EST
The match-up between these top two BIG Ten teams will be a great game to watch in Division I field hockey. The last time these squads met in 2015, Ohio State earned a 3-1 victory in Iowa City. The win was the first time the Buckeyes had beaten the Hawkeyes since 2010. Iowa will be looking to get some revenge from last years’ loss when they travel to Ohio State this Thursday. Iowa is 11-6 overall this season and 3-4 in conference play. Ohio State is 6-10 overall this season and 1-6 in conference play. This game is the last BIG Ten match up before the conference tournament begins. Expect both teams to come fired up and ready to leave everything on the field in order to get improve its Big Ten record heading into tournament play.

DII: Limestone vs Queens (N.C.) | 4 p.m.
They met last September when Limestone beat Queens (N.C.) with a score of 1-0. Since the win, Limestone has won five games and lost five games. They have an 8-8 overall record and are 4-3 in conference play. Limestone will look to end its four game losing streak when they face Queens (N.C.) for the second time this season. Queens (N.C) are 7-5 overall and have won their last three games. They will be looking to continue their winning steak and get a revenge victory over Limestone.


DI: No. 10 Northwestern vs Michigan State | 2 p.m. EST
With post season quickly approaching, these two BIG Ten teams will be looking to finish out their regular seasons with victories. This match-up will be the last conference game before heading into post season. Northwestern is 11-6 overall this season and 4-3 in conference play. They were able to ended their four game losing streak last Sunday when they beat Central Michigan 8-0. Michigan State is 8-9 overall this season and 3-4 in conference play. Getting a conference win this Friday is important for both teams for seeding in the BIG Ten Tournament. Tune into see which team moves up in the BIG Ten rankings.

DII: Franklin Pierce vs No. 6 LIU Post | 2 p.m. EST
The match-up between these Division II field hockey teams will be their last game of the 2016 regular season. LIU Post has had a successful season with an overall record of 12-3 and an 8-3 conference record. LIU Post bear four top ranked Division II field hockey teams this season. Franklin Pierce started out the 2016 season strong but struggled as the season went on. They have an overall record of 3-13 and are 0-11 in conference play. Franklin Pierce look to finish the season out with a huge upset win over LIU Post. The upset win would allow Franklin Pierce to wrap up the 2016 on a high note and apply hope for the 2017 season. LIU Post will be looking to continue its four game winning streak and get a win for their seniors on the last game of the 2016 season. Will LIU Post continue its success or will Franklin Pierce be able to pull off a huge upset win?

DIII: Johns Hopkins vs Gettysburg | 3:30 p.m. EST
This game between these Division III field hockey teams could be a nail bitter until the very end. Both teams have similar records so expect the game to be very close in skill level. This match-up is the final Centennial Conference game for both teams before heading into tournament play. Johns Hopkins is 7-9 overall and 3-6 in conference play and are coming off a disappointing 4-3 loss to conference opponents McDaniel last weekend. Gettysburg is 6-8 overall and 4-5 in conference play. Gettysburg is coming off back-to-back Centennial Conference losses. Both teams will be looking to wrap up both conference and regular season play with a win.


DI: No. 7 Louisville vs No. 11 Michigan | 1 p.m. EST
Louisville is 15-3 overall and 3-3 in conference play. Louisville is coming off two big weekends in which they beat two top ranked Atlantic Coach Conference teams. The Cards knocked off No. 5 UNC with a score of 1-0 two weekends ago and beat No. 8 Virginia this past weekend in overtime, 3-2. Louisville will be looking to improve its five game winning streak when they take on No. 11 Michigan this Saturday. Michigan is 10-6 overall and 5-3 in conference play. Michigan is also coming off two huge weekends in which they beat two top ranked opponents. Two weekends ago, Michigan beat No. 15 Iowa 2-1 in overtime and this past weekend they beat No. 10 Northwestern 3-2 in overtime. Both of these teams are very competitive and never give up. Tune into see which top ranked team comes out on top.  

DII: No. 2 Shippensburg vs No. 7 Bloomsburg | 12 p.m. EST
Shippensburg has a 14-2 overall record this season and are 7-1 in conference play. Their only two losses both came in overtime against top ranked East Stroudsburg. Bloomsburg has a 11-5 overall record and are 5-3 in conference play. Bloomsburg has beaten top ranked opponents during the 2016 season including a huge upset win over No. 1 East Stroudsburg. Although Bloomsburg’s overall record isn’t as good as Shippensburg, the team has proven that they should be taken seriously. If you’re in the Bloomsburg, Pa. area, make sure to check out this game.


DI: No. 3 Connecticut vs No. 12 Boston College | 1 p.m. EST
This past weekend, then undefeated Connecticut suffered its first loss of the 2016 season to No. 5 Maryland. The loss caused No. 1 Connecticut to move down two spots in the NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll. Connecticut has an overall record of 16-1 and remain undefeated in conference play. It will be interesting to see how they respond to the loss and if they are able to bounce back for their last two games of the season. Boston College has an overall record of 9-7 and are 3-3 in conference play. They are coming off two wins including a huge 3-2 win over No. 16 Wake Forrest last Friday. Will Connecticut be able to bounce back or will Boston College be able to knock off another top ranked opponent?

DIII: Utica vs Rochester (N.Y.) | 1 p.m. EST
Both of these Division III teams will be looking to finish their 2016 regular seasons with a win. Utica has an overall record of 5-12 and are 4-4 in conference play. After losing two games straight, Utica was able to bounce back with a 3-0 win over Elmira last weekend. Rochester (N.Y.) has a 14-3 overall record and are 4-2 in conference play. Rochester (N.Y.) is ranked fourth in the North Atlantic Conference. Rochester (N.Y.) will be looking to finish out a successful season with a solid victory over Utica. Tune into see if Rochester (N.Y.) can continue their positive momentum or if Utica will get a huge upset win.

Photo Credit: Jim Stephan at Belmont Abbey, Stephen J. Carrera & John Quackenbos/BC Athletics

USFHA media release

Cal field hockey looks for improvement in rematch against Pacific

By Lucy Schaefer

Michael Wan/File

With little more than a week in between matches, the Cal field hockey team will have the chance to redeem itself against the University of the Pacific, to whom it lost 3-1 last Friday. In another double-conference game weekend, the Bears will first face UC Davis on Friday before Pacific on Sunday.

Overall, Cal (4-10) is looking to log at least one more conference win before going into the America East Championships next month and wants to give Pacific (13-4) a better showing than its first matchup.

Earlier this season, Cal managed to beat UC Davis (4-12) by a huge margin, winning 5-1 on the Underhill turf. In that game, five different Bears scored goals and even more were involved in the goal-scoring plays. This Friday, Cal will make the trip out to Davis, California, to play on the Aggie home field.

“We need to not take them lightly, they are a very good team,” said Cal head coach Shellie Onstead. “They are going to be gunning for a good win before they go into the tournament just like everyone else.”

Recently, the Bears have had a hard time getting into an offensive rhythm. In order to seal a win against the Aggies, Cal will need to galvanize its offense and get a lot of players involved when the ball is in the top 25 yards.

“Going there is going to be a real challenge. There is a little bit more emotional charge to it,” Onstead said. “We were in a similar situation last year and they beat us with no time left on the clock.”

Their next game will be very different for the Bears, as Pacific has enjoyed much more success this season than the Aggies. The Tigers’ win against Cal last weekend improved their record to 12-4, even though they are still not nationally ranked.

The Bears will have to improve their energy from last week, where they played good hockey for the majority of the game but could not consistently possess the ball in the match’s crucial moments. Cal will also have to pay special attention to Pacific forward Marguerite van Wyk, who recorded two goals in the last matchup and also leads in the team in shots.

The crowd presence at Underhill will be essential Sunday, as the home fans try to energize their team for the whole 70 minutes.

“Everybody is excited about that (Pacific game). The final home game. The senior game,” Onstead said. “It is nice to have them at home for the last game.”

With another full weekend on the horizon, the Bears’ top priority for this training week is to relax.

“We are going to get some rest to some players that need rest, and then hopefully when that happens we will be able to have a really great go at Pacific on Sunday,” Onstead said.

This weekend constitutes Cal’s final chance to improve its 1-3 conference record in order to have a better standing for the America East Championships starting in November.

The Daily Californian

Planning her wedding helped Gemma Flynn cope with Rio Olympics stress

Gemma Flynn in action for the Black Sticks at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Mark Kolbe/ Getty Images

For many brides-to-be, wedding planning is a pretty stressful experience.

But for Black Stick and future Mrs Richie McCaw, Gemma Flynn, it seems to be the opposite.

In an interview with Skywatch, Flynn revealed that planning her upcoming nuptials helped her cope with the pressure in the lead-up to this year's Olympics.

Gemma Flynn planned her wedding to cope with stress at the Rio Olympics. Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.

Flynn was part of a Black Sticks team that finished fourth at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"While focusing on the Olympics it was good having a nice balance, and being able to look forward to the wedding and talk about that; that's how I dealt with it," she told Skywatch.

However, she said preparing for the games had left her little time to plan the big day. With her major sporting commitment for the year over, she was enjoying turning her attention to the wedding.

She said she and future husband McCaw were "very relaxed" about how they wanted the day.

"He's a typical male; he said, 'I'm happy if you're happy' - which is great. I've given him some jobs that he is happy to go away and do.

"It's what you make of it, and I don't want it to be stressful."

Flynn is scheduled to appear on tonight's episode of Say Yes to the Dress: Australia, a show where "bridal couturier" Adam Dixon helps women design their wedding dress.

Flynn's appearance on the show has been the subject of some controversy, with Kiwis suggesting she could have gone with a New Zealand designer.


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