All the news for Saturday 15 July 2017
Japan & Argentina take control of women’s pools on Day 7 in Johannesburg
Chile claimed a crucial win against host nation South Africa to remain in the hunt for a place in the competition quarter-finals in Johannesburg. Copyright: FIH / Getty Images
Johannesburg, South Africa: Chile kept alive their hopes of achieving a first ever Hockey World Cup qualification by claiming a crucial victory, while Japan and Argentina took control of their respective pools at the women’s Hockey World League Semi-Final at the University of the Witwatersrand.
In Pool A, Poland’s (FIH Hero World Ranking: 18) hopes of reaching the quarter-finals were ended when they fell to a 2-0 defeat against Japan (WR: 11). The Cherry Blossoms scored goals in the third and fourth quarters through Hazuki Nagai and Kana Nomura to remain very much in the hunt for a first place finish, which would set up a quarter-final match against the team that finishes fourth in Pool B.
“I think we controlled possession very well although we probably didn’t open them up as much as we would have liked to”, said Japan Head Coach Anthony Farry after the match, before confirming that his player’s minds were very much on their final pool game against Germany before allowing any thoughts about the quarter-finals to creep in. “The Germany match will determine where we will finish. We’ve got a fair bit of work to do ourselves before we worry about that too much.”
Japan enter Sunday’s meeting with Germany knowing that victory would be enough to guarantee that crucial first place finish. For Poland, they are now certain of a fifth place finish and will play in the 9-10 classification match.
Both England (WR: 7) and Germany (WR: 2) were in action in the day’s final match, with England edging a tight but entertaining match 1-0 thanks to a superb penalty corner deflection from Jo Hunter. It was the perfect way for Danny Kerry’s team to bounce back after their narrow defeat to Japan on Wednesday, and puts them second in the pool ahead of their face-off with third placed Ireland on Sunday.
“It was a big step up from our defeat against Japan and we had to regroup yesterday and refocus on today’s game”, said England’s Jo Hunter post-match. It was tough physically, a high speed game and we put everything into it and created a lot of chances and eventually got the goal.”
In Pool B, Chile (WR: 20) upset both the home fans and the world rankings with a hard earned 1-0 win over host nation South Africa (WR: 13) to move ahead of their opponents to occupy the fourth quarter-final qualification position. It was a stunning result for the Chileans in their final pool match, although they now must wait for the outcome of South Africa’s concluding pool game against USA before knowing their fate. South Africa’s fate is very much in their own hands, but a win against Janneke Schopman’s USA - defeated by Argentina in the third match of the day - is no easy feat.
As has been the case throughout this event, a big crowd was in attendance to watch the home team in action, but it Manuela Urroz’s penalty corner two minutes after half time that proved decisive as Las Diablas kept alive their dream of qualifying for their first ever Hockey World Cup with the victory.
Speaking after the match, a clearly emotional Chile captain Camila Caram said: “To qualify would mean the world to us. We have never been to a World Cup, so just imagine it.”
At the other end of the Pool B table, the battle between the top two teams took place with Argentina (WR: 3) defeating Pan-American rivals USA (WR: 6) 4-0. The result means that Las Leonas are sitting pretty at the top of the pool, and will be seen as favourites to hold onto that position going into their final pool match against India.
Both sides cancelled each other out for the majority of the first two periods before Argentina took the lead just before half time thanks to Lucina van der Heyde’s penalty corner. Las Leonas effectively ended the contest with two quick-fire goals just after the break, with Martina Cavallero and Agustina Habif on target before 18-year-old Julieta Jankunas, top scorer at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, completed the match scoring.
Speaking after the match, Argentina youngster Eugenia Trinchinetti said: “The plan was to win, of course. We know that USA is a good team so we were well prepared and are very happy because we did what we needed to do. We are thinking about the India match now, so we’ll see what happens.”
On Saturday 15th July, four important matches in the men’s competition will take place as the race to finish as high as possible in the pool standings continues. Remarkably, all four matches are continental derbies, with Europe’s France taking on Spain at 1200 South African Standard Time (UTC +2) before great Oceania rivals New Zealand and Australia play at 1400. Those Pool A matches are followed by a meeting between African nations Egypt and hosts South Africa at 1600, with European giants Belgium and Germany taking to the field at 1800.
More tough roads for SA hockey
by Ken Borland
South African hockey has travelled some tough roads in the last 20 years, but few defeats have been more dismaying than the one their women's team suffered at the hands of Chile in their Hockey World League Semifinal at the Wits Astro on Friday.
South Africa are ranked seven places higher than Chile in the world rankings and, given how well they played in their previous game, pushing South American giants Argentina all the way, there was plenty of expectation that the home side would beat Chile and seal their place in the quarterfinals.
Alas, the only goal was scored by Chile and the 1-0 defeat now means South Africa have to beat the USA, ranked sixth in the world, on Sunday to qualify for the knockout round.
South Africa began the game by doing some nice things on attack, but too many moves broke down due to basic errors and they struggled to get sufficient numbers through the circle, all their entries into the D only bringing one short-corner the whole match.
Chile were strong in midfield through the skilful duo of Agustina Venegas and Manuela Urroz, and they earned several short-corners. Goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande was forced to make a couple of good saves and Lisa-Marie Deetlefs also blocked and cleared a dangerous penalty corner.
A fine tackle by Quanita Bobbs and a good run by Candice Manuel set up South Africa's short-corner just before the end of the first quarter, but the variation to the pusher was not accurate enough and the chance went begging.
At halftime the match was still goalless, a flat South African team seemingly not having the drive to outwork a committed Chile side.
Given all the short-corners Chile were getting, it was always likely they were going to score and it was Urroz who slid in and managed to get her stick to the ball to deflect in what turned out to be the winning goal just two minutes into the second half.
The sluggish home side continued to labour until just before the end of the third quarter, when Tarryn Glasby found a bit of space and fired in a strong shot, but Chile goalkeeper Claudia Schuler managed to get some equipment in the way.
South Africa belatedly raised their tempo in the final chukka, but it was too late by then. It summed up their match when, five minutes from time, the ball bobbled in front of the open goalmouth to Bernie Coston, but the seasoned striker could not scramble it home.
"At the end of the game we saw some movement and passes going forward, but it was too late by then to start playing combination hockey," coach Sheldon Rostron complained.
“We didn’t have enough go-forward ability, you can’t just keep defending. We weren’t potent enough on attack. The approach of the team has to be better, sometimes it’s easier against the bigger teams because there’s not as much expectation. But against the teams ranked below you, you have to make sure you go out and perform, it’s about consistency. It’s about execution and we have to make sure it all comes together against the USA,” Rostron said.
The most alarming aspect of the South African performance was the lack of movement off the ball. The ball-carrier had far too few passing options and this stunted the attack, allowing the Chile defence to swarm around the circle and make it very hard for the home side to find a way through.
Disappointing loss to Chile for SA
The South African national women’s hockey team suffered a devastating loss against Chile in the FIH Hockey World League.
Chile scored the only goal of the match from a great penalty corner variation. Manuela Urroz scored the goal shortly after the start of the second half.
The home team had various chances to score a few goals, but just could not get the ball in the back of the goal-box. South Africa not nearly got to the levels they needed to play at. Some of the players looked a bit flat.
The loss means that South Africans now need to beat America in the last group game if they want to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
South Africa is 13th on the world rankings and Chile 20th.
The SA women’s next game is against the USA on Sunday at 16:00. Tomorrow it is the turn of the SA national men’s team again when the locals come up against Egypt at 16:00. This is a crucial encounter between the African sides, as the looser will probably be eliminated from the tournament.
All matches in the Hockey World League Semi-Final are played at the Wits Hockey Astro in Johannesburg. Twenty of the world’s best men and women’s national teams will take part in these Hockey World Cup 2018 qualifiers from 8 - 23 July.
Tickets for the event can be purchased online at http://hockeyworldleague.nutickets.co.za/HWL
SA Hockey Association media release
USWNT Falls to Argentina in Third FIH Hockey World League Semifinals Game
Heading into their third match of the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals, the U.S. Women’s National Team and FIH Hero World Ranked No. 3 Argentina had identical results in Pool B. Same number of wins, goals for and goals against but the battle would fall in favor of Argentina who tallied two penalty corner goals and two field goals to earn a 4-0 win.
“It is never fun to have a result like that,” said Katelyn Ginolif (Lewes, Del.). “Argentina is an experienced team, they came out hard against us and I think it is a great learning point.”
The battle of the Pan American teams started quick. Argentina’s smart skills and quick possession worked the ball behind USA’s defense. In the 2nd minute of play, Argentina found space and got a hard shot on goal but USA goalkeeper Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.) was there to make the save. Moments later a threat came when Argentina ripped a backhand shot and again, Briggs was there to make the block. USA continued to sustain Argentina’s pressure to finish out the quarter.
For majority of the second quarter possession was shared between the 25 yard lines as both teams stepped up and locked down their attacking circles. In the 26th minute, after a green card was given to USA’s Ali Froede (Burk, Va.), Argentina worked the ball in behind and found themselves in a 1v1 situation with Briggs, who came up with the save. Persistence paid off as Argentina grabbed their first penalty corner of the game a minute later and Lucina von der Heyde successfully converted off a deflection to make it USA 0, Argentina 1 at halftime.
Three minutes into the third quarter, Argentina added two more goals to extend their lead. The first came after elimination skills on the left baseline led to a clinical sliding goal by Martina Cavallero. The second came off a penalty corner, when the initial shot was blocked but Argentina came up with the recovery and possession fell to inserter Agustina Habif who slotted it past Briggs to make it USA 0, Argentina 3.
USA continued to work hard looking for a result as they grabbed their first penalty corner in the 38th minute. Unsuccessful off the penalty corner, a close chance came moments later when Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) ran the left baseline and sent a backhand cross through that went untouched. Another when Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) received the ball in a midfield pocket found a leading Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.) up field. The last few minutes of the quarter showed promise but the score line didn’t change.
Carrying the same high pressure and eagerness to score into the final quarter, USA started to gather more circle penetrations. Although USA showed potential, Argentina’s composure and quickness would deem too much. In the 56th minute, Argentina would seal the score when Julieta Jankunas took advantage of a loss of USA possession at the top of the circle, beat a defender and knock one in to make the final score USA 0, Argentina 4.
“It’s not the end of the tournament, it’s disappointing but it’s not the one that counts,” added Ginolfi. “There’s a lot for us to grow from. Take their pace and hopefully apply it to the next game.”
Team USA currently sits in the second position in Pool B leading into the final preliminary round matches. The U.S. Women’s National Team will return to the pitch on Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 10 a.m. EST when they play host nation South Africa.
Images courtesy of Rodrigo Jaramillo and Getty Images/FIH
USFHA media release
Hunter goal sees England defeat Germany
Laura Unsworth v Germany
A deflected goal from Jo Hunter guided England to victory over Germany in their Hockey World League Semi-Final clash in Johannesburg.
After defeat to Japan on Wednesday, England responded strongly and dominated against their German counterparts to grab a deserved 1-0 win.
England’s second victory of the tournament lifts them to second in pool A ahead of their final group game against Ireland on Sunday.
Reflecting on the match, head coach Danny Kerry said: “This evening we were exceptional at being intelligent, fast and constantly threatening.
“We limited Germany to very few opportunities and created numerous chances ourselves. The girls can be very proud of how they went about their business.”
England started well and were quick to put the German backline under pressure, Laura Unsworth’s crashed ball into the circle was just out of Sophie Bray’s reach in the circle inside two minutes of the start.
Germany responded strongly and were soon creating chances of their own, a last ditch tackle from Anna Toman stopped Camile Nobis from striking at goal before Maddie Hinch saved well from Charlotte Stapenhorst just before the first break.
The second quarter saw England settle and dominate the next 15 minutes. Alex Danson took a blow to the head after striking into the keeper’s pads but was able to continue, Germany keeping out the resulting penalty corner.
Bray was charged down by Julia Ciupka in the German goal when she broke into the circle and before the half-time break she was again at her best to somehow keep out three consecutive efforts as the sides went in level at the break.
England kept up their tempo and pressure and when Germany received two cards in a minute camped in the German half. However they couldn’t get the break through before Germany were restored to eleven players but soon after did break the deadlock.
From a penalty corner Unsworth slapped towards the right post where Jo Hunter was on hand to deflect high into the net as England’s pressure eventually told.
The match tightened up in the final fifteen minutes and with time running out for Germany they elected for a kicking back, but England’s defence held firm to secure all three points.
Next up for England are Ireland in their final Pool A game on Sunday afternoon at 1pm UK time, live on BT Sport.
England starting XI: Maddie Hinch, Laura Unsworth, Giselle Ansley, Hollie Webb, Anna Toman, Sarah Haycroft, Susannah Townsend, Emily Defroand, Nicola White, Alex Danson, Sophie Bray
Subs (Used): Zoe Shipperley, Shona McCallin, Jo Hunter, Hannah Martin, Lily Owsley, Grace Balsdon
Subs (Unused): Amy Tennant (GK)
England Hockey Board Media release
Hockey squad not thinning out despite loaning players
KUALA LUMPUR: The national hockey team will be at full strength for the KL SEA Games.
This is despite them having to “loan out” three players to the indoor hockey squad.
The three are Syed Mohd Syafiq Syed Cholan (pic), Hairi Abdul Rahman and Mohd Najmi Jazlan.
That leaves national coach Stephen van Huizen with 20 players in training ahead of the Games next month.
He said that the players resumed training at the Tun Razak Stadium on Thursday.
“Our training programme for the SEA Games (Aug 19-30) and Asia Cup (in Dhaka from Oct 12-22) are already fixed, so we will just continue with it,” he said, adding that none of the players are seriously injured.
“Only Nabil Fiqri Mohamed Nor is still carrying a injury sustained at the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in London (in June). But he is now up and about and will be able to train with us. There are a few others with minor injuries, but nothing serious. All can train.”
Five teams – Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia – will compete in the SEA Games field hockey, which will be held at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Malaysia are odds-on favourites to win both the men and women’s gold medals.
Two more golds are at stake in the indoor game.
The Star of Malaysia
Ramon Alegre links up with Polo in coaching role
© Frank Uijlenbroek
Ramon Alegre will take on the role of Real Club de Polo assistant coach for the coming season with the 36-year-old former international supporting Carlos Garcia Cuenca.
Alegre played in three Olympic Games and won the EHL with SV Kampong in 2016 in his final year as a player. Previously, he played for Polo from 2013 to 2015 with his brother David.
"I wanted to see hockey from another point of view and for that there is no better place than the Polo. I know the staff well, the players and the club, " Alegre explained..
"I face this new challenge with enthusiasm. The team has to fight for every title and that motivates me a lot. The last two seasons, the league has just escaped us and so we will work hard to be up there.
"We can not force the team to win everything, but we have to fight for it. The main thing is to work to the fullest to achieve it."
Euro Hockey League media release
Dhyanchand Sports Academy in senior division hockey semis
NAGPUR: Title favourites Dhyanchand Sports Academy made it to the semifinals of the VHA Senior Division Hockey League after recording a thrashing 8-0 win over Kamptee United on Thursday.
It was their third successive victory in the league as competitive hockey returned to Vidarbha Hockey Association (VHA) ground after a gap of 45 days.
The match was the continuation of game between both the teams which was stalled due to heavy wind storm that lashed the city on May 28 . The game was stopped after 20 minutes and remaining 40-minute action was played on Thursday.
Riding on an excellent play of Akib Rahim, who scored three goals (24th minute, 38th, 58th), Dhyanchand scored eight goals and attacked at will from the word go.
Apart from Akib, midfielder Wasim Khan (57th and 59th) scored two goals. Akib's elder brother Sakib Rahim (32nd), Vishal Sangani (39th) and Amit Yadav (47th) scored a goal each.
The VHA play-field was heavy and ball was not moving freely due to thick grass on one side of ground. However, Dhyanchand players adjusted well and made the mockery of the defence line of Kamptee boys throughout the match.
Akib's brilliant goal within four minutes of Thursday's game set the tone of the day as Dhyanchand boys converted most of the chance that came their way.
The highlights of the match was the first goal from Akib. The first-half goal saw Akib control the cross from right-out Faiz Khan, dodge the defender and hit the target through powerful reverse hit. The goal was followed by the field goals amid sloppy stick-work by Kamptee defenders.
In the second half, Vishal, the youngest player in action, stole the show with a clever deflection off Akib's bullet hit. When Akib dribbled the ball into the 'D' and struck it wide, Vishal, who was standing on the right of the goal, lifted the stick and diverted the ball into the goal.
The winners, who defeated South Eastern Central Railway (SERC) 3-1 in their tournament opener and got the better of Athletic Club 5-0 in next match, will take on Young Police Boys before they leave for Mumbai to play All India tournament.
The Times of India
Inaugural USFHL Adult National Championship Set to Take Place in Lancaster, Pa.
LANCASTER, Pa. - Fourteen of the top adult club teams from across the United States will have the chance to compete in the first ever United States Field Hockey League (USFHL) Adult National Championship, presented by Anikan Sports taking place July 28-30, at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. Each participating team was selected by their community to compete in the National Championship. The following teams will face off to determine the 2017 National Champion:
DC Dragons, DC Metro
Greenwich FHC, NYC
Miami Surf, Miami
Midwest Warriors, Midwest
Philly Premier, Philadelphia
SEFHC, DC/VA Beach
Baltimore Field Hockey Association (BFHA), Baltimore
DC Dragons, DC Metro
Lancaster United, Lancaster
Miami Surf, Miami
NCAFH North Carolina, North Carolina
Olympic Club, California
Rovers (Greenwich), NYC
The USFHL is a new national league where competitive adult communities throughout the United States compete to be National Champions. Additionally, the USFHL is designed to grow the game for adults by encouraging local hockey competition. It is led by local field hockey leaders, and will support adult hockey with technology to improve organization and ease of participation. The goal is to strengthen a pipeline by increasing growth in adult engagement and participation in local clubs, associations, leagues, tournaments and open field hockey.
The USFHL will host its inaugural National Championship the weekend prior to the Pan American Cups at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. This creates an exciting backdrop as international athletes practice while the competition is happening. The event will include an All-Star game, social events and seminars for adult leaders to network and share knowledge to grow the game.
USFHA media release
DPM Tharman launches ActiveSG hockey academy
Wang Meng Meng
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam scores from his effort at the ActiveSG Hockey Academy Launch. PHOTO: SPORT SINGAPORE
SINGAPORE - In a boost to the local hockey scene, national sports movement ActiveSG launched its Hockey Academy on Saturday (July 15) morning.
The academy will work with the Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) and local private academies to offer affordable and quality coaching programmes for children. Pricing and further details of these programmes will be announced later.
Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who was the guest of honour at the academy's launch at Sengkang Hockey Stadium, said: "Sports played a big part of my life when I was growing up and have certainly shaped me to be the person I am today.
"Sports and the challenges that come with it can build character and resilience in a person and this array of clubs and academies offered by ActiveSG will strengthen our youths and prepare them for adulthood."
Mr Shanmugaratnam was a former combined schools hockey player in his youth.
Mathavan Devadas, president of SHF, said: "We are excited to partner ActiveSG to grow the sport of hockey and to create a more robust calendar of events for the sport.
"I am optimistic that this academy will increase the talent pool of hockey players in Singapore, leading to a brighter future for our national team in the years to come."
As part of the academy's launch, past and present Team Singapore players were present to show their support. Among the former internationals were Olympians Ajit Singh (Melbourne, 1956), Anwarul Haque and Douglas Nonis (Tokyo, 1964).
Lim Teck Yin, chief executive officer of national sports agency Sport Singapore said, "We are delighted to have with us our hockey Olympians, who competed with the world's best hockey players during the 1956 and 1964 Olympics. Hockey has a rich history in our county and through this academy, we hope to keep this tradition going and interest more youths to try out this fun and exciting sport."
To find out more or register interest for the programme, visit www.myactivesg.com/academy/hockey.
The Straits Times