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News for 22 October 2017

All the news for Sunday 22 October 2017

United States Triumph over Argentina to book spot in Berlin Indoor World Cup

Uruguay Hold Late Canadian Surge for Bronze Medal

2017 Indoor Pan American Cup - Final - USA vs Argentina. Photo: Yan Huckendubler

Gold Medal:  United States 2 v Argentina 1

United States started this match with a slight edge haven beaten Argentina 4-2 earlier in pool play.  Argentina had the first good opportunity as Juliana Rios Ferreyra got her stick on a ball that deflected wide.    They kept on the pressure and Josefina Castaneda earned a corner that they were unable to control at the top of the circle.

Katie Gerzabek earned the first penalty corner for the USA, Ali Campbell’s shot was charged down by Maria Pastor to hold the score at 0-0.  A strong defensive challenge by Americas Anarose McDonough prevented a Carina Guzman attempt at goal.  Argentina was a player down to end the first half but the USA couldn’t take advantage and the match ended scoreless at half.

Argentina began to move the ball round well in the second half with flowing attacks putting the USA on their back foot.  Hanna Prince and Campbell were steady in the USA backfield.  Paityn Wirth was able to quickly control a ball on the counter attack and earn the USA a penalty corner.  The direct strike was sailed high by Ali Campbell.

The USA would not be denied in their next chance.  Gerzabek was in close and slapped the ball home after a pretty passing play for the first goal of the match.    Argentina struck back quickly, a seemingly innocent pass found its’ way to Emma Yanzi who sent a screaming shot past Samantha Carlino to equalize.

The USA wasted no time and drove up the field on the push back and were awarded a penalty stroke.  Who else but Campbell stepped up to bury the shot in the top of the goal to put the USA ahead

Now with the extra player for the final two minutes, Argentina pressed forward.  First Yanzi  had a reverse stick shot that hit the post, then with no time left Argentina earned a corner.   Their layoff attempt drifted over the end line and the USA bench emptied for the celebration.  USA beat Argentina 2-1 in dramatic fashion to hoist the Indoor Pan American Cup.

Bronze Medal:  Canada 2 v Uruguay 3

Canada was looking to repeat their 2-1 pool match win against Uruguay to win the Bronze medal.  Uruguay had the stronger start with quick goals from Maria Teresa Viana Ache and Camila de Maria.    Kathleen Leahy got one back for Canada before Uruguay took a timeout to reset.  They held for a bit until Alison Lee pulled the match even with a blistering penalty corner to level the game 2-2 at half time

Lee had another corner attempt that was blocked by Carolina Mutilva.   Canadas next corner was ssent to the top of the circle where Kathleen Leahy’s shot was blocked by Rosanna Paselle.  Agustina Nieto of Uruguay made an amazing stick save on an Anglela Lancaster corner shot to keep the score level.

This changed the momentum for Uruguay.  They countered and earned a penalty corner driving the circle.  De Maria made no mistake with a powerful strike into the side mesh.   Canada pushed to get the equalizer and earned a penalty corner deep in the Uruguay circle.  That was bravely run down by Viana Ache who took the powerful Lee strike in the left leg.  Uruguay had the next corner and Algorta’s drag flick was block by Kathryn Williams.  The next PC was saved on the line by Lee to keep Canada within one.

Canada took a timeout and pulled their keep for the final 80 seconds.   They had a number of incursions in the Uruguay circle but couldn’t generate a solid chance at goal.  Uruguay come away with the Bronze Medal with a 3-2 victory over Canada.

Click here for photos from the match

Fifth Place:  Trinidad & Tobago 3 v Guyana 1

Trinidad & Tobago looked to repeat their pool match performance against Guyana where they came from behind to win 6-3.    Early on they controlled the ball and smartly earned a penalty corner up the right side.  Alysa Xavier in the Guyana made a smart save against a Kristin Thompson drag flick.

A quick spin move by Laticia Chung resulted in a Guyana corner that was well defended by Alanna Lewis.  TTO responded with two penalty corners the second resulting in an penalty stroke.  That was slapped against the backboard by Lewis to give TTO the lead.

Guyana quickened their pace; Gabriella Xavier and Leigh Sandison had circle incursions but couldn’t generate chances.   TTO entered the half with a 1-0 lead.

The second half had TTO extending their lead with a powerful penalty corner blast by Arielle Williams.   Guyana was quick to bounce back with an excellent run by Marzan Fiedtkou to generate a penalty stroke.  Feidtkow herself stepped up to convert and half the margin.

In the closing minutes Guyana pulled their keeper to siege the TTO goal with six attackers.  As they pressed forward Blair Wynne stole a ball, ran the length of the pitch to score and secure 5th place for Trinidad & Tobago.

Player of the Tournament:  USA Ali Campbell

Goalkeeper of the Tournament:  CAN Kathryn Williams

Leading Goalscorer:  USA Ali Campbell

Junior Player of the Tournament: USA Sammy Popper

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

World Cup Bound! Trinidad and Tobago Dominate Argentina in Gold Medal Match.

Canada Earn Spot on Podium with Victory over Hosts Guyana

2017 Indoor Pan American Cup - Final - Trinidad & Tobago vs Argentina

Gold Medal:  Trinidad & Tobago 7 v Argentina 0

The final match would determine the Mens Pan American representative in the 2018 Indoor World Cup.  Trinidad & Tobago started quickly with a penalty corner drive by Soloman Eccles saved by Guillermo Luna. The rebound was emphatically thumped home by Mickell Pierre to launch TTO into an early lead.

TTO conceded a penalty corner and the Agustin Ceballos shot was ran down by Ron Alexander in the TTO goal.  The next corner was also stopped by Alexander to preserve the margin.   Argentina were pressed and lost possession in the circle, Akim Toussaint stepped up and blasted a ball home to double the margin.

Argentina down a man with Alexis Bull off for a minute made an interception by Joaquin Gonzalez.  He was tackled poorly by Soloman Eccles which resulted in a green card for Eccles and an Argentinian penalty corner.  Sosa fired that opportunity wide and looked unhappy with his effort.  

With time running down in the first half, TTO struck again with Mickell Pierre being the beneficiary of a slick passing play to give TTO a comfortable 3-0 half time lead.

Argentina had a steep hill to climb in the second half and that was made steeper with an early penalty corner conversion by Soloman Eccles.  They built on this lead through clever passing and finishing by Marcus James.  Next chances came for Trinidad & Tobago’s Aidan de Gannes with two quick chances that Demonte athletically saved.

TRI continued to press even as the game became out of reach for Argentina.  Akim Toussaint scored on a quick spin shot followed by a de Gannes tally to make it 7-0.  TRI had the luxury of celebrating even before the final horn.    Trinidad & Tobago book their trip to the Indoor World Cup with a dominating 7-0 victory over Argentina

Bronze Medal:  Canada 4 v Guyana 2

The pool match between these teams was a thrilling 8-5 victory for Canada.  The home crowd here at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall was looking for a different result this time.  Robert France got the home side off to an amazing start when he struck high into the goal to put Guyana up by one.  Canada turned things around on a blistering corner shot by Jonathan Roberts to tie things up.

Guyana pushed forward and were denied on two attempts by Canadian keeper Adam Kapasi.  On the counter a mistake by Medroy Scotland was quickly converted by Devohn Teixeira.  Guyana countered on the fast break and a sliding finish by Andrew Stewart evened things up again.  The teams went to the break 2-2.

Guyana started strong in the second half and were boosted in numbers with a card by Gurtej Dhaliwal.    Kapasi made an amazing save on a Guyana deflection.  Canada was on their heels but Ken Pereira was able to escape a trap and on the counter attack Dhaliwal earned a corner that was ran down by Medroy Scotland in the Guyanese goal.  Canada continue the pressure and a slick passing play found Dhaliwal open at the top to slide the ball under Scotland to give Canada the lead.

Guaya tried to come back quickly and on their next penalty corner the direct strike by Adrien d’Andrade was effectively run down by Kapasi.  Their next attempt had Andrew Stewart striking wide on the layoff.

A solid counter attack by Tyler Branco led to a Canadian penalty corner that was blasted into the roof of the goal by Jonathan Roberts.  Buyana pressed forward and it was Kapasi holding back the pressure with consecutive saves.  The next corner was optioned well by Guyana but Jonathan Roberts made an amazing save on the line.  Guyana pulled their keeper with 2 minutes to play but it would be Canada day as they carried the score 4-2 to take home the Bronze medal

Click here for photos from the match

Fifth Place:  Barbados 6 v Mexico 4

The fifth place match featured teams that kept improving throughout the competition.  Mexico were winless and started out quickly with a goal from Chrishopher Vigueras.  This was countered by Che Warner in the 5th.  Then we had the best stretch of hockey from Mexico in the competition.  Over the next 15 minutes they scored 3 goals including two from captain Alan Baas to give them a commanding 4-1 lead.

Barbados made sure that wasn’t the end of the script.  They went on a 5 goal stretch including two by Akeem Rudder and a closing deflection goal by Dave Cox playing in his last game for Barbados.  They take fifth place with a stunning 6-4 come from behind victory.

Player of the Tournament:  Jonathan Roberts CAN

Goalkeeper of the Tournament:  Medroy Scotland GUY

Leading Goalscorer:  Jonathan Roberts CAN  14 goals

Junior Player of the Tournament:  Juan Eleicegui ARG

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

WORLD CUP BOUND: Indoor USWNT Defeats Argentina for IPAC Gold

Image courtesy of Yan Huckendubler/PAHF

GEORGETOWN, Guyana - The U.S. Women's National Indoor Team topped FIH Hero World Ranked No. 13 Argentina by a final of 2-1 in the women's Indoor Pan American Cup (IPAC) final Saturday afternoon in Georgetown, Guyana. The victory also gives the Indoor USWNT a bid to the FIH Indoor World Cup this coming February in Berlin, Germany. It is the team's first ever bid to the Indoor World Cup as USA went 7-0 during the six day event.

Ali Campbell (Boyertown, Pa.) scored the game-winning goal on a penalty stroke attempt late in the second half. The goal was the 19th for Campbell at IPAC, earning her Top Scoring honors for IPAC. Campbell was also named Best Player of the tournament, while Sammy Popper (Blue Bell, Pa.) was named Junior Player of the tournament.

With support in the crowd by U.S. Ambassador, Perry Holloway, and a large contingent from the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, the Indoor USWNT played with poise and determination while achieving new historical feats.

“This was an incredible team effort,” said team captain, Hannah Prince (Gorham, Maine).“We are proud to be the first U.S. Women’s Indoor Team to qualify for the Indoor World Cup and especially proud to have the only female coach in the tournament. Jun [Kentwell] is a fantastic coach and motivator.”

Both squads played strong defense allowing very few opportunities throughout the first half. Katherine Gerzabek (Springfield, Pa.) and Mary Beth Barham (Fairfax, Va.) struck close, and Samantha Carlino (Kennett Square, Pa.) stepped up when it counted to make critical saves, one in particular on a deflection from point blank range.

The second half continued in similar cat and mouse vain. USA earned a corner, but Campbell’s shot flew inches over the crossbar. But a quick free hit found Barham in midfield who slipped the ball through to Gerzabek to give USA the first goal of the contest with a subtle deflection. It did not take Argentina long to respond as they pressed hard for the equalizer, when Emma Yanzi was given a room on the right of the circle moments after the USA goal as she fired the equalizer just inside the far post.
USA responded immediately. Barham intercepted a pass on the top of the Argentina circle and was brought down as she rounded the goalkeeper. Drama ensued from the resulting penalty stroke. Campbell buried the stroke, but the goal was disallowed because the umpire had not blown her whistle. After consultation, the umpires decided a whistle was blown in the stands and the stroke was to be retaken. Campbell kept her nerve and make no mistake converting her chance a second time to give the red, white and blue the 2-1 lead with six minutes left to play.
With the seconds ticking slowly away, USA's defense held strong. The forwards pressed hard up front and recovered into midfield to defend, putting constant pressure on the skillful Argentina players. As time ran out Argentina was awarded their first penalty corner of the half. The tension could be felt throughout the packed arena as Argentina prepared for the final play of the game. They chose an option play but a USA defender got their stick on the ball and it rolled harmlessly over the end line to the relief and joy of the USA Team.
Goal Scoring Summary:
Team     Minute     Player     Action     Score
 USA      31      #6 Gerzabek     FG      1 - 0
 ARG      34      #9 Yanzi     FG       1 - 1
 USA      35      #5 Campbell     PS      2 - 1

USFHA media release

T&T thrash Argentina 7-0, book World Indoor Hockey berth


By Mark Pouchet

FOCUSED, DRIVEN: Team TTO’s Akim Toussaint stalks the play during his team’s 7-0 trashing of Argentina last night in the final of the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) Indoor Pan Am Cup in Guyana. Toussaint scored a double to secure Team TTO’s berth at the FIH Indoor World Cup in Berlin, Germany next year. —Photo: Yan Huckendubler/PAHF

Germany, here we come!

In an undefeated campaign, Team TTO senior men’s hockey team shell-shocked Argentina 7-0 in the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) Indoor Pan American Cup final to storm into the FIH Indoor World Cup in Berlin, Germany next February.

For former national player and current men’s team head coach Raphael Govia, the victory would have been an emotional one and a successful campaign he may have dedicated to his father, Winston Govia, who died Thursday.

Trinidad & Tobago Express

USA Has Five Officials Represented at Indoor Pan American Cups

Left to Right: Dean Wenrich, Rene Zelkin, Ashley Hahn, Aaron Dudek and Gus Soteriades. Images courtesy of Yan Huckendubler/PAHF

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – October 21, 2017 – Did you know that the U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team is not the only USA representatives in Guyana? Five members of USA Field Hockey’s umpire staff were in the appointed group for the 2017 Indoor Pan American Cups (IPAC).

Following the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) recent Official Upgrades and Placements, the handful of USA representatives hit the ground early in IPAC helping to officiate and manage throughout the six-day tournament.

At the men’s IPAC, Dean Wenrich (Lititz, Pa.), who currently sits at Potential for International for men’s indoor, represented as a Umpires Manager for the tournament. Aaron Dudek (Ashburn, Va.) sat in the role of a judge and Gus Soteriades (Hilliard, Ohio), a Grade 1 level for indoor hockey, is an umpire for the event. Soteriades was also recently promoted to the FIH World Development Panel for outdoor hockey.

On the women’s side, Ashley Hahn (Bangor, Pa.) is a national umpire during IPAC, while Rene Zelkin (Lorton, Va.), is serving as a technical official with a  Category 3 level for FIH Tournament Directors.

For a complete list of FIH Official Upgrades and Placements, click here.

USA Umpire Ashley Hahn (right)

USA Umpire Gus Soteriades (right)

USA Technical Official Rene Zelkin (right standing in yellow)

USFHA media release

Malaysia hold Korea to 1-1 draw; Will play India in Final of Hero Asia Cup 2017

Faizal Saari's 59th minute goal clinches final berth for Malaysia

Dhaka (Bangladesh), 21 October, 2017: Malaysia held their nerve till the final hooter to make the Hero Asia Cup 2017 Final with a 1-1 draw against Korea here at the Moulana Bhashani National Stadium. With three points from their win against Pakistan in the Super 4s, Malaysia only needed to draw this match to gain 4 points and go into the Final as No.2 in the Super 4s pool standing. They will play against India on Sunday in the title clash.

It was a game hockey purist would have enjoyed to the final second. It was closely fought with Koreans yet again showcasing tactical superiority as it was a must-win game for Coach Shin Seok Kyo and his boys after having drawn two of their games earlier in the Super 4s. But Faizal Saari’s 59th minute goal dashed the Koreans hopes of inching closer to winning the 2018 Men’s World Cup spot.

At the start though, Malaysia would have felt the pain of missing out on their PC chances but Korea were tactically brilliant to outmaneuver the Malaysian attack every time it looked like they came close to scoring.  Right from the start of the match, the result seemed to be in favour of the Koreans as the Malaysian side attempted to fall back and play defensive hockey, not going in for those brave attacks and find ways to penetrate the Korean circle who played to plan just like they did against India where they drew 1-1.

Malaysia evidently struggled as there was a constant wall of defenders in the 25-yards. Korea managed one goal in the 24th minute through Jihun Yang’s superbly-struck penalty corner. The following minutes saw Korea defend that one goal with all their heart, understanding the fact that only a win could make them play the final.  

The final quarter saw Malaysia remove their goal keeper and play with an extra man to enhance their attack. The trick worked as they won a crucial PC with little less than two minutes to go for the match. This was their best chance to even the score and that’s exactly what Stephen van Huizen’s men did.

Though Korea seemed like they could pull off a surprise when they won a PC with just 11 seconds for the final hooter. But a video referral in favour of Malaysia overruled the PC forcing Korea to settle for a draw.

On making the final, Stephen van Huizen said, "Today was just about fighting till the end to make the final. This was Korea's last chance to make for the 2018 Men's World Cup by entering the final and try to win the title. For us, it was to make sure we had to get a result today because we knew to enter the final we needed a draw. It was tense till the last second. I give all credit to the players, they did well. For the final, I just ask the boys to give their best and ensure a good contest against India."

Next Korea will play Pakistan at 15.00 hours in the bronze medal match while India will take on Malaysia in the final at 17.30 hours.  

Goal of the Match:
Presented by: Mr. Mustafa Khair (Deputy Managing Director, FSIBIL)

Winner: Jihun Yang of Korea

Hero Man of the Match:

Presented by:  Mr Mohammed Munawar Hossain (Member, BHF)

Winner: Seungil Lee of Korea

Asian Hockey Federation media release

Malaysia in the final!

By Jugjet Singh


MALAYSIA diced with danger for 59 minutes before holding South Korea to a famous 1-1 draw to advance into the Asia Cup final for the first time since 1982.

South Korea needed a win, while Malaysia a draw to advance.

Yang Jihun 24th minute low penalty corner push hit goalkeeper S. Kumar's pads and slipped in, to keep the Koreans World Cup dream alive.

But the day belonged to Malaysia, as a 59th minute penalty corner goal from Faizal Shaari was enough to play against India Sunday.
 India had beaten Pakistan 4-0 earlier.

However, it was Malaysia's worse game of the tournament as they made too many errors for almost the entire part of the match, until coach Stephen van Huizen took out goalkeeper S. Kumar and replaced him with a kicking back with three minutes to end.

Pressured by numbers, Korea gave away a 59th minute penalty corner and Faizal Shaari made sure by almost tearing the netting.

"This is what the entire team had wanted -- to play in the final -- and even though there was a lot of drama on and off the pitch (rain delay) today, we achieved our target.

"Now, for some well deserved rest, before we play India."

India had beaten Malaysia 6-2 in the round robin.

Malaysia, India and Pakistan have already qualified for the World Cup via the World League format.

South Korea needed to win the Asia Cup gold to make the grade.

India coach Sjoerd Marijne said: "We had a good game against Malaysia in the round robin (won 6-2) and it would be nice to see if we can match that performance again in the final again."

And India skipper Manpreet Singh felt that they had to play their own game, and not think of the opponent.

"My style of play is to rally my men to play and stick to our game style. We don't let the opponents dictate and we will be doing the same against Malaysia in the final," said Manpreet.

India were not their usual self early in the match, while Pakistan were more determined to score in this rain interrupted match.

The stakes were high, as India only needed a draw while Pakistan were playing for pride after they lost 3-1 in Group A.

Satbir Singh finally breaks the duck in the 39th minute off a goalmouth melee, and India were back in command.

Harmanpreet Singh (51st), Lalit Upadhyay (52nd) and Gurjant Singh (57th) scored the other goals.


               P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
INDIA          3  2  1  0  11 3  7
MALAYSIA       3  1  1  1  6  7  4
S KOREA        3  0  3  0  3  3  3
PAKISTAN       3  0  1  2  3  11 1

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

SUNDAY: Final -- Malaysia v India (7.30pm); Third-Fourth: Pakistan v South Korea (3pm). MALAYSIAN TIME.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Faizal to the rescue

By S. Ramaguru

The saviour: Faizal Saari (left) netted the equaliser against South Korea in the 59th minute.

KUALA LUMPUR: Faizal Saari sent Malaysia into their first-ever Asia Cup hockey final when he scored a late goal to earn a 1-1 draw with South Korea in the final Super Four match.

Malaysia, who finished second with four points, will face unbeaten India in the final at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh, today. India topped the standings after a 4-0 win over arch-rivals Pakistan earlier yesterday.

Yesterday’s final two Super Four fixtures were thrown into disarray after a cyclone hit Bangladesh. Both the matches were delayed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Malaysia went into the match against defending champions South Korea needing just a draw after Pakistan were beaten by India.

It was the Koreans who drew first blood in the 24th minute when Yang Jihun converted a penalty corner.

Malaysia, however, refused to give up. They attacked relentlessly in the third and fourth quarters.

It finally paid off when they earned a penalty corner in the 59th minute. Striker Faizal calmly slotted home to put Malaysia in the title playoff.

As for India, Satbir Singh gave them the lead in the 39th minute.

Two-time champions India added three more goals through Hermanpreet Singh (51st), Lalit Upadhyay (52nd) and Gurjant Singh (57th).

Meanwhile in the classification playoffs, Japan finished fifth after beating hosts Bangladesh 4-0 while China ended up seventh with a 3-2 win over Oman.

The Star of Malaysia

Dominant India rectify mistakes of first half to record 6th straight win over Pakistan

Sundeep Misra

India in action against Pakistan during the Asia Cup. Image courtesy: Twitter @Asia_Hockey

India went into their Super 4 game against Pakistan knowing that preventing their opponents from scoring would be enough for India to cement a place in the Asia Cup final. In the first quarter, India gave the game to them on a platter. In the space of three penalty corners, Pakistan hit the post twice. And twice, they had open play, sticks poised to strike home and both times, Akash Chikte came out and saved.

Pakistan, apart from playing for a victory and overall pride against India, did everything right but score. India, on the other hand, did everything wrong in the first two quarters — they miss-passed as if it was in fashion, gave turn-overs in the midfield, refused to rotate the ball flank to flank, and to be extremely critical, it seemed like India had left their team cohesion in the dressing room before coming onto the ground.

Things came around in the third quarter for India. Satbir Singh had scored the opening goal in the 39th minute, and Pakistan wilted after that as India suddenly found their pace, rhythm and speed to hammer in another three goals to win 4-0 and take their appointed place in the Asia Cup final. It was also India’s sixth straight victory over Pakistan. As far as the Asia Cup goes, this will be India’s eighth final in 10 editions.

India now meet Malaysia, who broke Korean hearts in the dying minutes of their match. South Korea were leading 1-0 and looked all set to play the final but a 59th min penalty corner flick by Faizal Saari instead sent Malaysia into their first ever Asia Cup final with four points. South Korea were left stranded with three points from three draws.

One can easily use the word ‘dominate’ in the win for India. But Indian coach Sjoerd Marijne summed the match perfectly saying it had ‘two faces’. “It was difficult to understand what happened initially,” he said. “I think when we go back; it will be good to understand from the team as to what went wrong.”

It was clear that Pakistan, yet again, came with a clear blueprint on how to play against India and at least try and win. The winning score wasn’t in their hands. But at least the intent was. They used high balls to break up quite a few moves in the Indian midfield. Shakeel Butt was the main playmaker and at the back the reassuring presence of captain Muhammed Irfan helped the Pakistan team make forays on the flank and even through the middle.

India were caught napping on the flanks, and twice, Shan Ali and Muhammad Atiq had space before the defenders cleared. Things could have gotten sticky for India if the post had not come between Pakistan and an opening goal. India breathed easy but the fluency was missing from their game. By the time, the second quarter was about to end, India had already made more than 12 wrong passes. Crucially, they came in the midfield which gave the turn-around time to Pakistan.

Indian attacks were cut off and Pakistan swarmed into that space. The pressure was constantly on India. They had two penalty corners before the break, and Harmanpreet Singh, after falling over his own stick on the first, fired in a perfect second penalty corner but the ball ended up hitting the upright.

In the first two quarters, luck wasn’t favouring either side. But it was Pakistan who probably walked with the feeling that they were still hanging in the match. With just two quarters to play, a win wouldn’t have given them a place in the final as India’s goal difference was plus four to Pakistan’s minus one. But wins are a balm for both nations. And Irfan’s boys were also playing for pride having lost the pool match 1-3.

Marijne said that he spoke to the team and told them that the fate of the match was in their hands. “What had happened in the first two quarters, we will analyse that later. But for now the match is still on and we have two quarters left so go and play your game," he reportedly told the Indian team at half-time.

India still took almost half of the third quarter to come together. In that time, Suraj Karkera pulled off a brilliant save off a Shakeel chance as the ball looped off in the air and he had to fall back to glove it over the bar. At a crucial juncture, the goalkeeper had again saved India.

The first goal arrived off a break in the midfield, from a turn-over that went India’s way. Satbir, to his delight, saw space on the right flank and darted in. Once inside the striking circle, he hit the ball straight to the Pakistan goalkeeper Ali Amjad. Gurjant Singh, who was also next to the goalkeeper, fell and for a moment it looked as if the ball went off his stick. But Satbir’s shot hit a defender's stick and then bounced over and went past Amjad and Gurjant. The deadlock had been broken.

Suddenly a team that couldn’t stitch a pass properly was playing with abandon. Rotations were happening. High balls from the defence were finding the stick of Akashdeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay. Like the receding cyclone in Dhaka, India’s bad play was now a thing of the past; they had put the first two quarters behind them.

Pakistan, who had probably put in their best in the opening quarters, now found the pace too hot to handle. Their legs were tired and the frustration of not getting those goals had set in. On the Indian counter-attack, players were not falling back in numbers. This gave the Indians ample space. But Amjad continued to be a thorn in the Indian side. Three penalty corners — the fifth, sixth and seventh — were saved by him.

But then came Harmanpreet Singh’s long flick from the defence. It found Sumit Kumar just outside the Pakistan striking circle. Atiq tried to pick the ball but Sumit’s pace on the ball was remarkable. Atiq had no option but to push him from the back. The Belgian umpire Michielsen Sebastien pointed for India’s eighth penalty corner and also showed the yellow card to Atiq. Pakistan were reduced to 10 men for five minutes. Harmanpreet fired in his seventh goal of the tournament, his flick beating Pakistan goalkeeper Amjad for the first time in the match. At 2-0, it was apparent that Pakistan would not survive the remaining nine minutes in the match without conceding more.

India missed two more chances, once when Varun Kumar failed to trap with only Amjad in front and then Lalit had the ball but couldn’t control it. Finally, Lalit had the opportunity inside the Pakistan striking circle, and without defenders providing cover or cutting down the space, he slipped the ball past Amjad.

The best move of the match came in the 57th minute. SV Sunil, who didn’t have a great game on Saturday, did enough to hang onto the ball in the midfield before sending it to an overlapping Akashdeep, who sped into the far corner of the striking circle and then shot back to the top of the circle. Gurjant Singh trapped the ball and sent in a flyer past Amjad. At 4-0, the story was over for Pakistan in the 2017 Asia Cup. They remain alive to play the third and fourth-placing match. But dreams of a possible final had crashed.

Manpreet Singh later admitted that they committed plenty of mistakes in the first two quarters. “But I think we did well by understanding them and then playing well in the last two quarters,” he added.

Marijne said he wasn’t thinking of the final or the opponent. But there would be a challenge in playing Malaysia again. “We have already beaten them 6-2 but to face the same team and try and play good hockey would be good.” The Indian coach also said that he wasn’t thinking about the fact that this will be his first final with the Indian national team in his very first tournament.

“I am only thinking of what structure we will have tomorrow (on Sunday) and what kind of play we can achieve. Winning or losing is not what I am bothered about at the moment.” In a nation which constantly flirts with its ‘past’ in hockey, where ‘nostalgia’ is romanticised and eulogised, winning or losing matters, irrespective of the Trophy or the Cup and Marijne should realise that sooner or later, for better or worse.


India takes its appointed place in the fina

s2h team

Despite playing second fiddle in the first half of the crucial Super 4s last engagement, India came alive in the third and fourth quarters to pump in four goals without answer from arch rivals Pakistan to majestically taking its appointed place in the Asia Cup final.

Its India's eighth entry into the Asia's premier and prestigious event and the SEVENTH continuous win over arch rival Pakistan. India were runners up last time in Kuala Lumpur.

Satbir Singh (39th min), Lalit Upadhyay (52), Gurjant Singh (57) and Hamanpreet Singh (51) scored a goal apiece to notch up top spot in the Super 4s table.

Supported by excellent goalie in Amjad Ali, Pakistan resisted slow paced India in the first 35 minutes or so but lost their structure and plot thereafter on a heavy turf. Indians fitness came into play that led to a flattering scoreboard for them.

Winner of the rain deferred match between Malaysia and Korea will take on inform India in the TENTH Asia Cup final.

Satbir Singh, not making much of mark in Dhaka, did everything on his own to get India the elusive goal in the 39th minute. Getting a freehit from his captain Manpreet Singh, he took the ball into circle from right side of net, and nobody to tackle, moved up to pass a short pass to waiting Gurjant Singh, but alert Pakistan golie Amjad Ali dived to block but the ball trickled into the cage much to the relief Indian camp.

Thereafter Lalit Upadhyay and Varun Kumar missed a sitter each, due to poor traping

India got two successive penalty corners in the early fourth quarter, but subtitute goalie Amjad Ali was outstanding. Chinglensana Singh could not stop the pushed ball off the fifth PC, but shot back for attack, both SV Sunil and Sumit had a shot at goal, but Amjad Ali, who was standing with hawkish eye, cleared. He was man possessed today.

Thereafter, the Pakistanis lost steam, allowing India all they wanted: Space. India attacked from both flanks, getting penalty corners in succession. Harmanpreet Singh, who missed first four and then one by Varun Kumar, did not disappoint this time. His flick found the right middle part of the net.

He closed his mouth with his right hand on astonishment, a rare kind of celebration from the up and coming stat.

Pakistan in fact invited trouble, which led to this goal, as this penalty corner was a gift to India, as its forward turned defender Md. Atiq would trip speedying midfielder Sumit near the top of circle, which led to him suspended for five minutes besides conceding this penalty corner. India actually scored twice when it had Pakistan a man less.

SV Sunil thereafter took the initiative. He set up next two goals. He ran fast with ball to the right backline With winner of the match going into the Asia Cup final, both team exercised caution in the crucial match in the early part of the encounter. Its sixth match for both teams, and 55th in the Asia Cup history.

First Quarter belonged to Pakistan who dominated field proceeding. Their work upfront got them three penalty corners, one in a melee of legs in the rival circle, other when Sumit carried inside when receiving a cleared ball and then good attack got them the third. Pakistan however could not break the Rock of Gibraltor in Akash Tikte. Twice he dived to his right to ward of two PC shots while Abu Baker flicked high to wast the team's third penalty corner.

Field umpire whistled for a penalty corner within two minutes of game but it did not survive Pakistan referral.

undefined India got its lone penalty corner in the fag end of first quarter. Its Ramandeep Singh who could place the ball on the right foot of Pak captain Md. Irfan Sr. The process however did not cover with any glory for India. After perfect stop, Harmanpreet Singh dragged the ball a little distance before losing the plot. Ball got below his stick, the flick was not there. Perhaps the ground is heavy due to earlier rain which led to game postponed to little more than one and half hour.

India came close to strike three minutes before half time. A disputed penalty corer was taken by Harmanpreet Singh. His high, powerful flick jut hit the right top T before bouncing out of play.

A little before the botched up PC, Ramandeep Singh had a chance to gain a goal, but his strong reverse was well anticipated by Pak goalie who took on his pads and then Irfan Sr cleared the rebound. Pak had another chance to go up when it got a penalty corner in the second half, but Chikte would not budge. Indian defender Surender Kumar, still with protective face mask on, timely put his stick on the rebound which was negotiated by a forward on the top of D.

The sides changed sides without any goal on the board, which definitely brought pressure on India to deliver. Which the fitter and tactically superior India did in style.

Captain Manpreet Singh, who sent most of defence spliting passes and controlled the pace of the match, was fittingly declared 'Hero Man of the Match'.


Dominant India beat Pakistan 4-0 to enter Asia Cup hockey final

It was India’s fourth win over Pakistan this year, having beaten them twice in the Hockey World League Semi-finals in London and once in the pool stages here.

By virtue of this win, India not only topped the Super 4 stage with seven points, but also continued their domination over Pakistan. Photo Credit: PTI

A dominant India continued their unbeaten run in the tournament and thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan 4-0 to sail into the final of the 10th men’s Asia Cup hockey tournament here on Saturday.

The sixth ranked India, who just needed a draw to seal a place on Sunday’s summit clash, produced a superlative performance after the change of ends to pump in four goals — three field strikes and one through penalty corner. Satbir Singh (39th minute), Harmanpreet Singh (51st), Lalit Upadhyay (52nd) and Gurjant Singh (57th) were the scorers for India.

By virtue of this win, India not only topped the Super 4 stage with seven points, but also continued their domination over Pakistan. It was India’s fourth win over Pakistan this year, having beaten them twice in the Hockey World League Semi-finals in London and once in the pool stages here. The defeat knocked Pakistan out of the final race and India will now play either Korea or Malaysia, who play later in the day, in the final.

Contrary to the result, the Indians were slow to get off the blocks, while Pakistan were the better side in terms of possession in the first two quarters. Pakistan had three chances via penalty corners to take the lead in the first quarter, but wasted all. The Indians secured the first penalty corner in the final minute of the opening quarter, but Harmanpreet messed up the opportunity.

After Ramandeep Singh’s shot was saved by Pakistan goalkeeper Amjad Ali in the 23rd minute, India defended well to deny their rivals from another short corner. Minutes later, Harmanpreet hit the cross bar from India’s second penalty corner as both the teams failed to break the deadlock at half time. But India looked more organised after the change of ends and dominated the proceedings in the final two quarters.

Satbir gave India the lead in the 39th minute after receiving a fine back stick pass from Lalit. Minutes later, Harmanpreet’s effort from India’s third set piece was saved by Amjad Ali. The Indians created chances in the final few minutes of the third quarter but Pakistan custodian Amjad Ali was upto the mark to keep Pakistan in the hunt.

India wasted two more penalty corners in a span of two minutes as Amjad Ali made multiple saves to deny their opponents. India pressed on the gas in the final 10 minutes and scored three goals in a span of six minutes to run away with the game. While Harmanpreet Singh scored his seventh goal of the tournament from India’s sixth penalty corner, Lalit made it 3-0 a minute later by pouncing on a loose ball inside the D. India added salt to Pakistan’s wounds when Gurjant slotted home three minutes from the final hooter after receiving a precision pass from Akshdeep Singh from the right flank.

The Hindu

Pakistan fail to qualify for final as India rout archrivals 4-0

Green Shirts to play for third position today

KARACHI: India defeated Pakistan 4-0 in the Super-4 stage match of the 2017 Men’s Asia Cup Hockey Tournament at Dhaka’s Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium on Saturday. Gurjant Singh’s goal in the 57th minute cemented India’s place in the Asia Cup final. Lalit Upadhyay gave India 3-0 lead after scoring a minute after Harmanpreet Singh. The first goal of the match was scored by Satbir Singh. Pakistan will play in the third position match on Sunday (today). The highly-awaited Super-4 face-off between arch-rivals Pakistan and India was delayed by 90 minutes due to heavy rainfall. The game was crucial for Pakistan while India just needed to draw to cement their position in the final. It was the last match of the Super-4 for the two teams. Pakistan finished at the bottom of the Super-4 with just one point while India topped with seven points.

The first quarter was no indication of things to come. Pakistan were certainly the better side making a number of circle entries and they also earned three penalty corners. But the Indian defence did well. Indians had one PC. The second quarter was more evenly played. India had the best chance but Gurjant’s top of circle shot was well saved by Mohammad Amjad in the goal. Both sides had a penalty corner each. Harmanpreet was unlucky as his terrific flick came off cross bar. The second half was all India. With superb fast moves, they completely dumbfounded Pakistan. Raids came from right, left and centre. Had it not been for some outstanding work from the custodian Amjad, the scoreline would have been more lopsided.

First goal was credited to Stabir. After collecting an excellent ball from Upadhyay, his diagonal pass from the right side of the circle intended for Gurjant was deflected into the cage by a diving Pakistan defender.

Other three goals arrived in the last quarter. Amjad’s brilliance had denied India goal off the first five penalty corners. Off their last PC, in the 51st minute, Amjad was finally beaten. A deceptive flick on the right by Harmanpreet wrong footed the Pakistan net minder. Very next minute, it was 3-0. The tally was completed with three minutes left. A lightening move was given the finishing touch by Gurjant whose top of the circle shot sounded the board.

In the pool match, India won 3-1 against Pakistan. The goals were scored by India’s Harmanpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh and Ramandeep Singh, while Ali Shan scored for Pakistan. Pakistan are three-time Asia Cup champions Pakistan while India have lifted the cup twice. It is interesting to note that Pakistan won all the first three editions of the cup in 1982, ‘85 and ‘89. While India’s victories were achieved in more recent times, in 2003 and 2007. In all of Pakistan’s three Asia Cup wins, India were the runners-up. In 1985 and ‘89, Pakistan defeated their neighbours in the final. The inaugural 1982 competition was played on a single league basis. There also the Green Shirts defeated India in the decisive last match. In total, the traditional rivals have met seven times in the tournament.

The Daily Times

Asia Cup: Pakistan humiliated 4-0 against India


Pakistan were thrashed once again at the hands of India in the ongoing 2017 Asia Cup, this time with a 4-0 scoreline in both teams’ last Super-4s match in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The first two quarters of the match went scoreless, but India broke Pakistan’s defense in the third quarter courtesy a goal by Satbir Singh (39 minutes).

India then went on a rampage against Greenshirts in the final quarter with three goals with a span of six minutes.

Harmanpreet Singh scored the second goal in the 51st minute courtesy a penalty corner, Lalit Upadhyay made it 3-0 in the 52nd minute, while Gurjant Singh finished the match with a field goal in the 57th minute to guide their team into the final of the tournament.

Earlier, Pakistan lost 3-1 against India in their last Group A match. They defeated Bangladesh 7-0 before that and drew 2-2 with Japan.

In the Super-4s round, Pakistan lost 3-2 against Malaysia, drew 1-1 against South Korea before the match against India.

The Express Tribune

India thrash Pakistan 4-0 to enter Asia Cup final

DHAKA  - A dominant India continued their unbeaten run in the tournament and thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan 4-0 to sail into the final of the 10th men's Asia Cup hockey tournament here today.

The sixth ranked India, who just needed a draw to seal a place in tomorrow's summit clash, produced a superlative performance after the change of ends to pump in four goals -- three field strikes and one through penalty corner.

Satbir Singh (39th minute), Harmanpreet Singh (51st), Lalit Upadhyay (52nd) and Gurjant Singh (57th) were the scorers for India. By virtue of this win, India not only topped the Super 4 stage with seven points, but also continued their domination over Pakistan. It was India's fourth win over Pakistan this year, having beaten them twice in the Hockey World League Semi-finals in London and once in the pool stages here. The defeat knocked Pakistan out of the final race and India will now play either Korea or Malaysia, who play later in the day, in the final.

Pakistan had three chances via penalty corners to take the lead in the first quarter, but wasted all. The Indians secured the first penalty corner in the final minute of the opening quarter, but Harmanpreet messed up the opportunity. After Ramandeep Singh's shot was saved by Pakistan goalkeeper Amjad Ali in the 23rd minute, India defended well to deny their rivals from another short corner. Minutes later, Harmanpreet hit the cross bar from India's second penalty corner as both the teams failed to break the deadlock at half time. But India looked more organised after the change of ends and dominated the proceedings in the final two quarters.

Satbir gave India the lead in the 39th minute after receiving a fine back stick pass from Lalit. Minutes later, Harmanpreet's effort from India's third set piece was saved by Amjad Ali.

The Indians created chances in the final few minutes of the third quarter but Pakistan custodian Amjad Ali was upto the mark to keep Pakistan in the hunt. India wasted two more penalty corners in a span of two minutes as Amjad Ali made multiple saves to deny their opponents.

India pressed on the gas in the final 10 minutes and scored three goals in a span of six minutes to run away with the game. 

While Harmanpreet Singh scored his seventh goal of the tournament from India's sixth penalty corner, Lalit made it 3-0 a minute later by pouncing on a loose ball inside the D.

India added salt to Pakistan's wounds when Gurjant slotted home three minutes from the final hooter after receiving a precision pass from Akshdeep Singh from the right flank.

The Nation

India smash Pakistan 4-0 to reach final of Asia Cup Hockey

India booked their spot in the Final of Asia Cup 2017 with a convincing 4-0 victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in the Super 4s match at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium on Saturday, Asian Hockey Federation reported.

Goals from Satbir Singh (39′), Harmanpreet Singh (51′), Lalit Upadhyay (52′) and Gurjant Singh (57′) ensured the top spot in Super 4s for India.

This was the second match between the two sides in the Asia Cup 2017 as they have already faced each other in the Pool stage where India came out on top with a 3-1 victory.

Pakistan started the match on the attack as they won three penalty corners inside the first quarter but could not convert any as the Indian defence was up to the task.

The second quarter saw both the teams battle it out in the midfield as they looked to establish their authority in the match.

The third quarter finally saw India penetrate Pakistan’s circle as their team-work led to a great goal in the 39th minute when forward Satbir Singh made a darting run on the right flank and passed the ball towards the Pakistan goal which made its way inside the goal as the Pakistani defence failed to intercept it.

India started the fourth quarter aggressively as Varun Kumar missed a chance to score when Gurjant Singh found him in the circle with a calculated pass in the 46th minute. India won two successive penalty corners in the 48th and 49th minute, both of which were saved by Pakistan’s Amjad Ali with some heroic saves to deny the Indians.


Stats Speak: Indian eyes on Asian Hockey Grand slam


Winner of Asian Games (Incheon-2014) and Asian Champions Trophy (Kuantan-2016) India are on threshold of Asian Hockey Grand slam in Dhaka.  Today India has to beat Malaysia to win the Asia Cup. No team has won all 3(Asian Games, Asia Cup and Asian Champions Trophy) titles together so far.

However Pakistan have an unprecedented record of having won quadruple crown viz. Olympics(1984),World Cup(1982), Asian Games(1982) and Asia Cup(1982) during great Hasan Sardar regime. Malaysia has maiden entry in Asia Cup final, whereas India will have 8th appearances in final. India beat Malaysia on both the occasions in final matches played in Azlan Shah Cup (1985 and 2009).Under captainship of legendary (late) Mohammad Shahid India won 4-2 in 1985.  

Penalty Corner expert Sandeep Singh was the captain of victorious Indian team in 2009 Azlan Shah Cup.

 Here are statistical highlights of India-Malaysia in international Hockey since inception:










For India

Goals For









In  Asia Cup







Last Five







In  Final 








Asia Cup finals a look back

2h team

1982: Qasim Zia, who later became a minister in the provincial government of his country, and led Pakistan Hockey Federation for a tenure, struck two impeccable penalty corners to corner India in the inaugural edition. Pakistan defeated India comprehensive in the changed venue in Lahore. The score remains biggest margin of victory for Pakistan against India in the realm of Asia Cup. Pakistan legend legend Hasan Sardar’s mesmerizing skills were the highlights of this edition.

1985: Both India and Pakistan entered the finals which was held in a magnificient football stadium which lies adjacent to Maulana Bhasini Stadium where the present edition was going on. Pakistan were the reigning Olympic and Asian Games champions, and has had a string of victories over India. They were expected to easily put it across India to defend the crown. But it was a hard fought and controversial one. The winning goal for Pakistan, blown by Japan umpire, led to turmoil, even hundreds of spectators entering the playing arena. At the end, it was 3-2 in favour of Pakistan. The events that happened 32 years ago, led to five of Indian players including its captain MM Somaya were later suspended by the FIH for indiscipline.

1989: India hosted the third edition hoping to snatch the crown from Pakistan. The twice winner struggled in the pool. It had to beat Korea in the tie-breaker in the semis to lock horns against India. Legend Dhanraj Pillay got his first international cap in this tournament, but had to be a spectator when Qasi Mohib walked away with the title third time in a row. India’s Surjit Singh missed a stroke. India 0 pakistan 2 at Shivaji Stadium, which wore a mourning mood that day.

1993: First time men and women’s Asia Cup was held simultaneously. Asian hockey history had a mutation here. South Korea, which threatened India-Pak monopoly really proved. Korea beat Pakistan 4-0 in the semis, and then put aside Shakeel Ahmad’s India with a solitary goal. Asian hockey hereafter turned a three-horse way, thankfully.

1999: Korea did to India what it did to Pakistan in the semis of previous Asia Cup. Korea shut Indian hopes beating them 5-4 in the tense semis. Then went on to beat Pakistan again on the same scoreline. The scoreline and the success amply reflected resoluteness of Korean, who are here to stay. The semifinal loss was a body blow for India, which won its first Asian Games gold in 32 years, the previous year.

2003: It was India’s. India lost to Pakistan 2-4 in the league, only to post the same scoreline in the final for its first Asia Cup title. Baljit Dhillons India straight away went to Batra Hospital, where Jugraj Singh was given treatment after car accident. Jugraj Singh now coach of the Dhaka Indians.

2007: Asia Cup returned to India after 18 years. India won the competition as would a Champions. Chennai edition was by far the biggest with 11 nations in the fray, spread into two pools. Japan finished Pakistan, which for the first time failed to be in the semis, and thus out of medals. Korea and India, who were in the same pool, met in the finals. Like India against Malaysia in Dhaka, India could open up Korea and finish them into smithereens. India 7 Korea 2, first one-sided final after the inaugural edition.

2009: South Korea recaptured the crown in style and got the Delhi World Cup berth. The Kuantan was perhaps a poorly planned of Asia Cups. Three teams in each pool, a team without direct wins even walking away with bronze. Korea won by posting a solitary goal in the final. The whole Asia Cup suffered because of poor format.

2013: Malaysia again hosted the Asia Cup but in its known venue, the Sultan Azlan Shah stadium. In a tense final, India lost conceding a goal in the last minute. Pakistan's inability to get rid of Korea in the semis cost them heavily: It missed the The Hague World Cup slot.

2017: Asia Cup returned to Dhaka after 32 years. A new format where top two teams in each pool will play out a Super 4s, was introduced successfully. India topped the pool with seven points. Malaysia came second after drawing Korea 1-1, equalizer coming for Malaysia off its second penalty corner 1 minute 46 seconds before hooter. Malaysia needed draw or win to engage India in the final, and it exactly did in the rain deferred match. Koreans were desparate to win Gold in Dhaka, as it would take them to 2018 World Cup. It was not to be. Others, Pakistan,India and Malaysia have already qualified for the next World Cup.


Hockey comes to Bangladesh but no one's playing ball

Susan Ninan & Mohammad Isam

A jubilant Bangladesh team after their win over China - their first in four matches - which helped them to finish sixth at the Asia Cup. Bangladesh Hockey Federation

With two minutes remaining in the second quarter, the giant, new, China-made electronic scoreboard at the Maulana Bhasani stadium in Dhaka read 5-0. Spectators ditched the stands for the exit gates as the Indian team formed a celebratory sky-blue huddle on the ultramarine blue turf. The Asia Cup hockey group stage match was to eventually end 7-0, completing both India's dominance and Bangladesh's ignominy.

The result wasn't unexpected. It was the severity of the scoreline that the gathering had been hoping against.

A week later, though, Bangladesh upset a higher-ranked China 4-3, their first win in four matches, to assure themselves of sixth position in the tournament.

It's the first time in over three decades that the country is hosting the tournament in a sport that is, at best, a distant third after cricket and football. A yawning gulf in rankings between Bangladesh (lowest-placed among Asian countries, just below Trinidad & Tobago at No. 34) and its sub-continental neighbours is one sign of the problem. The country's hockey side has never featured in an Olympic Games or World Cup and finished between 19th and 28th in the World League.

So what exactly has led Bangladesh hockey into the abyss? It would have to be a cocktail of factors, a combination of financial and administrative duress, lack of turfs, players and professionalism and interest around the sport in the country hovering around the apathetic. With so much going wrong, it's tough for the national team to get its results right.

"We don't expect ourselves to beat teams like India or Pakistan," says tournament director Mamanur Rashid, "But at least a goal or two, a fighting match, that's what fans come looking for."

If we have to get down to the broad, most compelling reasons for Bangladesh hockey being stuck in a rut, we'd have to start with ground realities.

The grand total of artificial turfs in Bangladesh stands at two - in the Maulana Bhasani stadium and the national sports institute, Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP), both in the capital city of Dhaka. That's one main reason why the country's traditional feeder channel of players from districts and tribal regions dried up, undermining the sport's growth in Bangladesh by a worrying degree.

The grand total of artificial turfs in Bangladesh stands at two - in the Maulana Bhasani stadium and the national sports institute, Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP), both in the capital city of Dhaka. Bangladesh Hockey Federation

The current national team members are almost all BKSP products. "There are no players from regions like Faridpur, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Chittagong, traditionally considered hockey pockets, anymore," Sanat Babla, a journalist from Bangladesh daily Kaler Kantho says, "Hockey is now totally BKSP-centric and there is virtually nothing played outside Dhaka. Whatever players they produce, that's how good Bangladesh hockey will be. So how far can really we go?"

The existing set-up is riddled with pressing questions. The 12-team Premier Division League, the top-most tier of competitive hockey in Bangladesh, faces the accusation of being over-reliant on foreign players and offering locals little opportunity. The rules allow each team to field five foreign players at the same time. But the quality of foreign players doesn't match the concession; where previously players like Indian stars Mohammad Shahid and Dhanraj Pillay played in the league, it's now home to players predominantly from Pakistan, Kenya and Malaysia. The Indians have moved on to greener turf in Europe.

The national championship was conducted in April this year after a two-year break, with 40 participating teams. However, some big names were missing after they chose to play in German leagues. Ironically, the Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) even considered halting the championship to allow top players to compete in the foreign league. At the grassroots level, a fresh direction was sought through school hockey, which was conducted for two successive years (2014 & 15) before being hit by a money crunch. "We had a very good response with more than 400 schools participating and scholarships being offered to promising boys but lack of finances forced us to discontinue the program for two years now," Abdus Sadeque, BHF general secretary and first captain of liberated Bangladesh, says. The yearly assistance of $30,000 that BHF receives from the National Sports Council too is paltry. It barely suffices for the federation's administrative expenses, with tournaments, national camps and foreign tours all hinging on the benevolence of corporate houses.

Consumed by administrative troubles, BHF has also struggled to keep its house in order and run its domestic leagues on schedule. For the past 12 months, both the Premier League as well as the first division league have not been conducted. BHF pins the dry domestic calendar on hosting three international tournaments in 14 months -- the U-18 Asia Cup in September last year, the Hockey World League round two this March and now the Asia Cup.

To raise public interest in the tournament, Sadeque says, banners had been placed all over Dhaka, roadshows on horse carts organised and free entry for all matches offered, but that still didn't suffice in bringing in crowds in droves.

Bangladesh suffered a 7-0 loss against India in their group match at the Asia Cup. Bangladesh Hockey Federation

The 1985 Asia Cup, the first time Bangladesh hosted the tournament and also the last time it was played on grass, had set off a huge wave of interest in the sport. Starting off with a 3-1 win over Iran, courtesy a Jumman Lusai hat-trick in the opening half, Bangladesh went on to draw against Japan and China before a hard-fought 1-0 loss to eventual champions Pakistan. Bangladesh finished the tournament in sixth place, ahead of China, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Iran. Enthusiastic children and teenagers, from villages across the country, broke off branches of trees to use as hockey sticks and the interest picked up pace quickly and spread wide. But with little effort made to sustain the crazy momentum, it died a natural death.

This time, the tournament is expected to have no such far-reaching effect. "Unlike football, where one ball suffices for an entire neighborhood, hockey has grown into an expensive sport," Sadeque says, "Even cricket, for that matter, is more popular in our smaller towns as 'tape tennis' (South Asian version of street cricket where a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape for greater weight and speed is used), has many takers because there's money in the sport in the long run. That's not the case in hockey."

There's more than just gulf in quality and experience that holds Bangladesh back in the sport. On the eve of their match against India, for instance, Bangladesh players waited for hours for the ground to be watered before their training session but the water pump couldn't be turned on because there was no electricity. Power was restored only after four hours and the practice session had to be cancelled. Discipline issues too have flared during the tournament. During their match against Pakistan earlier in the tournament, one of the players had, reportedly, turned up without his jersey, much to the consternation of coach Mahbub Harun.

Additionally, being the weakest team in almost any given international tournament hasn't made life any easier for Bangladesh. Ahead of the Asia Cup, their request for practice games was cold-shouldered by other countries, says Sadeque. "We are not new to countries turning us down because they see no merit in warming up with the bottom-placed team. This time for instance, India asked us to pay for everything including boarding and even the pitch if we were to come to Bengaluru for practice matches. We didn't have so much money to spare. Finally, China offered to host us."

The Maulana Bhasani stadium underwent refurbishments costing nearly Tk 16.5 crore ($2 million). Bangladesh Hockey Federation

While, expectedly, there's no madcap frenzy around the tournament itself, what it might have set in motion is a quiet but firm push towards greater facilities for the sport in the country. The Maulana Bhasani stadium underwent refurbishments costing nearly Tk 16.5 crore ($2 million), which includes installation of floodlights for the first time, a power sub-station, an electronic scoreboard and improved drainage facilities, in the run-up to the Asia Cup.

BHF has been in talks with both its sports ministry as well as planning ministry to lay turfs in divisional towns over the next couple of years. "Our situation isn't always going to be this way. Once there are more playing pitches, the number of players will rise significantly. Also like India, we need more professionalism in our functioning and approach," Sadeque says. Hope also rests on the next brood of players who currently form the Under-18 side. They beat India 5-4 in the pool stages of the U-18 Asia Cup in September last year before they lost by the same scoreline in the dying seconds of the final against India.

Pretty much like the rest of the subcontinent, Bangladesh's love for Bollywood is self-revelatory. The ubiquitous Chak De India number, synonymous with sporting events, ranging from cricket to luge, in India, curiously came on the sound system in Dhaka as both the India and Bangladesh teams went through their final paces ahead of their pool stage encounter. For a song built to stir even the most unmoved Indian native, to have found place in a match outside the country, with India up against the hosts, was obviously bizarre. Beyond nation and nationality, victory and defeat, the intended theme was probably a call to the underdogs. It didn't matter that the hope was borrowed.


China confirmed for Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

Lausanne, Switzerland: China have become the latest team to qualify for the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 thanks to favourable results at the Hero Asia Cup 2017, which is currently being played in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

China's place was confirmed on Saturday (21 October) when Korea drew 1-1 with Malaysia, a result which put the Malaysians into the final against India. 

Under FIH regulations, the team that wins its continental qualifier automatically qualifies for the World Cup. However, as both India, as hosts, and Malaysia - who finished fourth at the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final in London earlier this year - have already qualified for next year’s showpiece, a World Cup qualification spot opened up for the team next in line that had not yet qualified for the event. That team was China, who take the ticket to Bhubaneswar courtesy of their eighth place finish in the World League Semi-Final in London.

Korea finished one place below Asia rivals China at the World League event in London, a placement that was not going to be enough for a World Cup berth. Winning the Hero Asia Cup 2017 was Korea's final chance to achieve World Cup qualification, but that dream was ended in heartbreakingly dramatic fashion. A last-gasp penalty corner from Malaysia's Faizal Saari tied the match at 1-1 to put the Malaysians into the championship match at the expense of Korea, who miss out on their first Hockey World Cup since the 1998 event in Utrecht, Netherlands. 

Although it is disappointing day for Korean hockey, it is a momentous one for the men of China who have achieved World Cup qualification for the first time in their history. China are the 15th team to qualify for the World Cup, joining hosts India, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Spain and France at the prestigious 16 nation event.

The final men's World Cup qualification place will be decided by the outcome of the Africa Cup of Nations competition, which takes place between 22-29 October in Ismailia, Egypt.

The Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 will be held at the Kalinga Stadium from Wednesday November 28 to Sunday December 16, 2018.

FIH site

Kenya teams in action in Egypt


Kenya's forward Audrey Omaido drives forward during a training session at City Park Stadium on October 17, 2017 in preparation for the Africa Cup of Nation tournament to be held in Egypt. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

The national men and women's hockey teams will be in action on Sunday as the 11th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations bullies off in Ismailia, Egypt.

The women face a daunting task when they take on defending champions South Africa while their male counterparts battle Ghana at the Suez Canal Authority Hockey Stadium in the round robin competition.

The week-long competition, which has brought six nations, will also act as a 2018 World Cup qualifier. The winning men and women's teams will represent the continent at next year's global showpiece in India (men) and UK (women).

The women's competition is wide open with South Africa already through to the World Cup after finishing fifth in the World League Series in August.

With that in mind, Kenya's women will fancy their chances of clinching the slot but the ladies will need a good start against the six-time champions who have been dominant.

Kenya lost 12-0 South Africa in their previous meeting during the 2015 competition and will be looking for a first win against the top ranked team in the continent.


Kenya coach Wilson Otieno believes a good result against South Africa will give them the impetus to have a good tournament but admits his charges face a tall order against the 13th ranked side in the world.

"The match will be a baptism of fire for us but we don't need to show fear because that will definitely work against us. We need to be right in their faces and show them we can compete at this level," Otieno said on Friday night as the departed for Egypt.

It will be Otieno's first assignment after he took over the side early this year from Nixon Nyangaga. He will most likely partner the experienced Audrey Omaido and the returning Pauline Naise in attack with the pacy Maureen Okumu and Yvonne Karanja on both wings. Strathmore Scorpions' Jane Muragu is in line to make her debut for the national team.

"Having played at this level before, I relish the chance to get the chance to mix it up with other coaches on the international stage," Otieno added.

South Africa, coached by Sheldon Rostron, have recalled Olympian Dirkie Chamberlain, Erin Hunter and Izelle Verster after they missed the World League Series.

Kenya men's team renew their rivalry with the Black Sticks of Ghana at 1pm. Kenya will be looking to exact revenge on the former winners, who beat them 1-0 last year in the World League One Series in Accra.

Meshack Senge's charges did beat Ghana to win bronze in South Africa two years ago and today's clash could be another closely fought encounter.

"We know each other well and I think we need to finally settle this score once and for all and get the better of them," Senge said.

The top two teams at the end of the round robin tourney will face off in the final.



Women: Zambia v Ghana -11am, Nigeria v Egypt - 1pm, Kenya v South Africa - 3pm

Men: South Africa v Zambia - 11am, Ghana v Kenya - 1pm, Egypt v Nigeria - 4pm

Daily Nation

Women’s national team chase World Cup ticket

South Africans thrashed Kenya 12-0 in Africa Cup of Nations tie.

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Kenya Flavia Mutiva (l) as Ghana Elizabeth Opoku blocks the ball when they played World League round one at Citypark ,Nairobi. Kenya won 1-0. ON 06/09/14 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

The Kenyan women’s national team will have their work cut out when they face giants South Africa in the opening match of the Africa Hockey Cup of Nations-cum-World Cup qualifier today in Ismailia, Egypt.

The men’s team on the other hand will face perennial rivals Ghana in the opener.

Having settled for bronze in the last two editions of the continental championship, the Kenyan girls will be seeking a better result at this year’s event.

However, they face an uphill task against Africa champions South Africa who will be out to defend their honour.

The South Africans will only be in the tournament to defend their title having already qualified for the World Cup through the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League series.

In their last meeting during the 2015 edition of the biennial tourney, South Africa whipped Kenya 12-0.

Even so, national team coach Wilson Otieno remains optimistic that his charges are capable of causing an upset.

“South Africa are a very good side but we also have a chance and we are determined to give the match our best.

“In terms of build up to this tournament they had better preparation than us, but the girls are yearning to give a good account of themselves,” Otieno said.

Otieno, a former Kenya international and Sikh Union player will be guiding the women for the first time and will be under pressure to prove his mettle.

Telkom’s Lilian Aura who is also the most-capped player with 41 senior international appearances will captain the team.

Youngster Maureen Okumu also of Telkom and Gilly Okumu of Strathmore University will lead Kenya’s goal hunt.

Aura, former skipper Tracy Karanja also of Telkom and Strathmore’s Yvonne Karanja will marshal the midfield.

Veteran Terry Juma, Flavian Mutiva and Rachel Ousa all of Telkom as well as Elizabeth Ngombo and Jane Muragu of Strathmore who will be making her international debut will guard Kenya’s backline.

Telkom’s custodian Cynthia Onyango is expected to start in goal ahead of Amira Sailors Rachel Kerubo.

In the men’s contest, Kenya will be seeking revenge against Ghana who locked them out of FIH World Two after subjecting them to a 1-0 defeat last year.

Police players Oliver Echenje and Amos Barkibir are expected to make their international debut in today’s first eleven.

Maxwel Fuchaka of Butali will captain the team while former national team skipper Richard Birir makes a return.

The Standard Online

Women's Asian Challenge Hockey: Pakistan's first match against Hong Kong China

Pakistan opens its campaign at the Women's Asian Challenge Hockey in Brunei's capital Bandar Seri Bagawan on Monday with a match against Hong Kong China on Monday.

After some withdrawals, three teams are left in the competition, Pakistan, Hong Kong China and the hosts Brunei.
The event is now scheduled to be played on a double league basis followed by the final between the teams finishing first and second.

Pakistan's Matches:
vs Hong Kong China (23 October)
vs Brunei (24 October)
vs Hong Kong China (26 October)
vs Brunei (27 October)
Final (28 October)

PHF media release

Hockey funding

Rosalie Willis

THE Fiji Hockey Federation is in dire need for help in order to qualify for the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast, Australia next year.

The federation needs financial assistance. Lack of funding has led to lack of international games for the national men's and women's teams and also their chances of competing in the Commonwealth Games next April.

In March, the men's team travelled to Bangladesh to play in the Hockey World League Round 2, however the women's team did not go because the federation could not afford to send two teams. Funding for the trip was a struggle, said federation president Dr Robin Mitchell.

"It is those little things which add up that we have to address," he said.

"We would prefer to have money because there are also ongoing programs."

Because of the little funding and amount of fundraising that needs to be done to get the teams to tournaments overseas, the federation has only been able to send the two teams to two tournaments this year.

The women's team has just successfully competed in the Oceania InterContinental Hockey 5s tournament in Sydney, Australia, last weekend.

Winning the final against Samoa 5-2, Mitchell was extremely happy with the result stating that "we played our best game in the final".

However, this might not be enough to bring the team up the world rankings from 13th to 10th in order to qualify for the Commonwealth Games. Having not competed earlier in the year, the women's team has dropped down the rankings with Singapore and Sri Lanka advancing ahead of them.

"We couldn't afford to send the men to Sydney, however they have a lower ranking and are a long shot in qualifying," Dr Mitchell said. Winning the Oceania Cup showed Fiji has the skills to compete internationally.

While funding is an issue for Fiji, it is also an issue for other countries with Dr Mitchell hopeful that if their ranking is not high enough, other teams might not accept their invitation allowing Fiji a chance.

"It is very expensive to send away a team because unlike the Olympics, there is no subsidy," he said.

The Fiji Times

Thomas goals help Clifton Robinsons win

Claire Thomas celebrates a goal for Clifton Robinsons against Bowdon Hightown. Credit Peter Smith

Two goals from Claire Thomas helped Clifton Robinsons battle to a 3-0 win over Bowdon Hightown and boost their campaign in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.

A 22nd minute field goal was followed just before half time by a second goal from Thomas from a penalty corner, and they wrapped up the points with Jo Leigh scoring from a 68th minute penalty corner to move to fourth in the league table.

Leaders Surbiton had to fight back from behind to take a 3-1 win at Holcombe in a repeat of last season’s League Final.

The hosts took an early lead with Emma Tonks scoring from a seventh minute penalty corner, but the sides were level at the break with Alice Sharp scoring on 27 minutes.

Giselle Ansley gave Surbiton the lead for the first time from a penalty corner on 53 minutes, and Sarah Haycroft added a third from open play four minutes later.

Slough are second in the table and level on points with Surbiton after beating Leicester 2-1.

Early goals from Mel Ball and Emma Onien on nine and 12 minutes put them ahead. Maeve Macdonald scored in the 32nd minute for Leicester, but it wasn’t enough as there was no further score in a hard-fought second half.

East Grinstead are third after a 2-0 win over bottom of the table Canterbury. Zoe Burrell and Ellie Rayer scored their goals.

Buckingham opened up a two-nil lead over the University of Birmingham with Lauren Thomas and Phoebe Richards scoring. But Alice Wills and Amelia Andrews bagged second half strikes to ensure a share of the spoils for the University of Birmingham.

Investec Conference East

A hat-trick from Annabel Driver helped Hampstead and Westminster retain their 100% record at the top of the Investec Women’s Conference East.

Amy Askew scored two and Joyce Esser one as Hampstead overcame St Albans 6-3.

Elsewhere, Wimbledon were 6-0 winners over Bedford. Crista Cullen scored a hat-trick, while other goals came from Anna Tomas, Libby Sherriff and Nicky Lloyd.

Sevenoaks are second following their 2-0 home win over Cambridge City, with Sophie Crosley and Samantha Danckert scoring their goals.

Katherine Ridley’s 31st minute penalty corner goal was the only score as Harleston Magpies won 1-0 at Chelmsford, while Southgate and Barnes battled out a tense 0-0 draw.

Investec Conference North

Brooklands Poynton beat title rivals Sutton Coldfield 2-1 as their Investec Women’s Conference North campaign continued.

Helen Turner gave Brooklands the lead after eight minutes and Tilly Dyos-Szolkowska doubled their advantage on 55 minutes. Beth Merriman pulled one back for Sutton Coldfield, but they still lost out.

Elsewhere, the University of Durham were 7-1 winners over Loughborough Students. Tess Howard scored a hat-trick, while others came from Penny Joyce, Anna Baker, Lorna Jane Cruickshank and Nat Konerth.

Wakefield were 2-1 winners over Ben Rhydding with Abi Rawlins and Lauren Brooke scoring their goals, Kelly Baxter had levelled for the visitors.

Investec Conference West

Two goals from Cat Horn and one from Emma Teague helped Trojans open up a four-point lead at the top of the Investec Women’s Conference West, beating Cannock 3-1.

Reading are second after a 1-1 draw with Gloucester, Keelie Perham scoring for the hosts and Danielle Gibson for Gloucester City.

Two goals in the final ten minutes helped Oxford Hawks secure a 2-2 draw with Olton and West Warwicks.

Sally Walton and Harriet Payne scored for the visitors, while Annabelle Denly and Catherine Reaney were on target from penalty corners in a three-minute purple patch for the Hawks.

Elsewhere, Annie Dalton and Katherine Holdgate scored for Isca who beat Team Bath Buccaneers 2-1, while Swansea City overcame Stourport 2-0 with Kat Budd and Katherine Mee on target.

* Full results, tables and fixtures from the Investec Women’s Hockey League is available here - http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/page_noside.asp?section=2342§ionTitle=Fixtures%2C+Results+%26+Standings

England Hockey Board Media release

Beeston go top as Surbiton falter

Beeston's Adam Dixon takes a tumble against Hampstead and Westminster. Credit David Kissman.

Mark Gleghorne hit a brace as Beeston overtook Surbiton at the top of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division after a 4-2 triumph at home to Hampstead & Westminster on Saturday.

Gleghorne opened the scoring from a short corner after just four minutes, but Chris Cargo levelled for the visitors nine minutes later.

Penalty corner specialist Gleghorne had his second of the afternoon and sixth of the season on 23 minutes, before Adam Dixon doubled the Beeston lead soon after.

Toby Roche reduced the arrears before the break but Hampstead could not find another break through, Sam Ward wrapping up the points for the hosts with the final play.

A Nicholas Bandurak hat trick helped Holcombe inflict the first defeat of the season on defending champions Surbiton as they ran out 4-2 winners in their home clash.

Alan Forsyth put Surbiton ahead on 31 minutes but they failed to hold that lead through to the break thanks to Bandurak’s first of the afternoon.

That would prove crucial as the 24-year-old completed his hat-trick after the break, with veteran Barry Middleton also on target.

Arjan Drayton Chana hit a late consolation but it was not enough to prevent Surbiton’s first defeat.

Simon Faulkner converted a hat trick of penalty corners as East Grinstead defeated Canterbury 6-1.

Kieran Mulholland, Chris Griffiths and Rob Cope were all on target, Craig Boyne pulled one back for Canterbury who are yet to score a point this term.

Andrew Ross scored a hat-trick as Sevenoaks picked up their first win of the campaign with a 3-1 victory over Brooklands MU, David Flanagan had levelled for the visitors.

Reading were back to winning ways after a 3-2 home win over Wimbledon, James Carson scoring the winner seven minutes from time.

The hosts led twice through Dale Hutchinson and Stuart Loughrey, but equalisers from Alistair Brogdon and Ed Horler were in vain after Carson’s field goal secured the points.

Men’s Conference North

The University of Nottingham remain top of the Men’s Conference North despite losing their 100% record after a 1-1 draw at Loughborough Students.

James Hodgkinson’s first half goal looked to have given the visitors the points but Murray Collins converted a penalty corner with the final play of the game to snatch a point for Loughborough.

The University of Durham closed the gap with a 4-0 win at Leeds, Richard Jackson again on target with Torben Nowak, Angus Spittles and Rory Patterson also scoring.

Ben White hit a hat trick as Bowdon beat Deeside Ramblers 6-2 at home, Andrey Hayton with a brace for Deeside.

An Adam Wilson double helped Preston picked up their first points of the season with a 4-1 win at strugglers Sheffield Hallam, whilst Callum Stacey’s fifth of the season saw Cannock defeat Doncaster 1-0.

Men’s Conference East

Cambridge City are the new leaders of the Men’s Conference East after a convincing 7-1 home victory over bottom club West Herts.

Euan Gilmour struck four times to take his tally for the campaign to nine, with Brennan Alexander Parker, Darren Cheeseman and Warren D’Souza all on the scoresheet.

Oxted dropped their first points of the season after falling to a 2-0 home defeat against mid-table Chichester. Polish international goalkeeper Maciej Pacanowski starred, making a string of fine saves that included one from a Sam Driver penalty stroke, Alex Pendle and Ollie Baxter on target at the other end.

John Sterlini (2), Joe Sterlini and Kit Cutter were the scorers as Southgate defeated Brighton & Hove 4-1, whilst a brace from Nick Cooper helped Old Georgians to a 2-0 win at Old Loughtonians.

Meanwhile, Richmond’s home game against Teddington was postponed.

Men’s Conference West

The University of Exeter stay top of the Men’s Conference West on goal difference after a 1-0 win at Cardiff & Met on Saturday, Tom Watson scoring the game’s only goal in the first half.

Olton & West Warwicks scored three goals in the final three minutes to claim a dramatic 3-2 victory at home to University of Birmingham.

Tom Poustie struck twice to put the visitors two up, but David Ebbage and Chris Beck levelled the scores in the dying minutes, before Harry Sherlock struck the winner with 10 seconds to play.

Ben Stevenson and Samuel Anderson both scored two as Team Bath Buccaneers beat Clifton Robinsons 4-1, Stevenson also missed a penalty stroke which would’ve given him a hat trick inside just four minutes.

Despite letting a three goal lead slip, Fareham defeated Cheltenham 4-3, Martin Gough scoring the winner six minutes from time, and elsewhere Inderpal Laly struck in the final minute as Havant won 2-1 at Isca.

* Full results, tables and fixtures from the Men’s Hockey League are available here - http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/page_noside.asp?section=2343§ionTitle=Fixtures%2C+Results+%26+Standings

England Hockey Board Media release

USIU-A students trap Vultures in KHU league

By Elizabeth Mburugu

GreenSharks celebrate after scoring against Parkroad when they played Men Premier League at City Park. Greensharks scored 2-0. ON 20/10/2017(Jenipher Wachie, Standard)

United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) beat Kenyatta University’s Vultures 1-0 in a Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match played at City Park Stadium.

Brian Kiplimo’s 18th minute goal was enough to give USIU-A maximum points and move them to fifth place on the standing.

USIU-A who are seeking a good finish this season now have 31 points from nine wins, four draws and six losses.

Coach Tom Olal said they are eyeing a top five finish which is still within their reach. “Our main objective this season is a good finish which we can build on next season.

A top five finish is still achievable but it all depends on our performance in the remaining matches,” Olal said.

The winners dominated the match from the onset, pinning the Vultures in their own half, but their efforts to score were thwarted by Vultures defence. USIU-A enjoyed good possession thanks to Neville Mulupi’s control of the midfield.

They would have taken an early lead but Polycarp Otieno’s effort was cleared by Vultures keeper Dennis Barasa in the fifth minute.

After Otieno’s failed attempt, the match gained momentum with Vultures’ Vincent Owago and Brian Onyango pressing deep into USIU-A’s half .

Kennedy Nyongesa put Kenya’s first choice goalkeeper Linus Sang to the test in the 11th minute but he cleared the ball with ease. Despite their dominance, USIU-A were blunt in finishing and failed to convert their efforts into goals ending the first quarter on a barren draw.

Kiplimo converted a penalty corner three minutes into the second period scoring the only goal of the match.

In other matches, Greensharks drubbed Parkroad Badgers 2-0 to reduce the gap between them and league leaders Kenya Police to 12 points while Wazalendo moved to the top three following their 2-1 win over Parklands. 

In the men’s National League, Wazalendo Masters beat visiting Mvita XI from Mombasa 3-2 to put their points tally at 29 and remain in control of Group A. Fidhelis Kimanzi bagged a brace while James Mwangi scored one goal for Masters.

The Standard Online

Virginia rallies to clinch ACC title with 2-1 win over Louisville

Virginia Athletics

Thirteen was a lucky number for Virginia on Saturday: the Cavaliers' 13th win secured the ACC crown. Virginia Athletics

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The No. 3 Virginia field hockey team (13-3, 5-1 ACC) picked up a 2-1 victory at No. 7 Louisville (11-5, 4-2 ACC) on Saturday at Trager Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky.

With the victory, the Cavaliers clinched the ACC regular season title and will be the No. 1 seed with a first-round bye in the upcoming ACC field hockey championship, being held Nov. 2-5 in Louisville.

Louisville held a 1-0 lead at halftime, but UVA rallied in the second half with junior striker Izzy McDonough tying the game 1:21 into the period. Freshman midfielder Pien Dicke scored the game-winner with just over two minutes remaining in regulation to give the Cavaliers the victory.

Louisville outshoot the Cavaliers 6-2 in the opening period, but UVA had a 7-2 edge in the second half. The loss snapped a seven-game win streak for the Cardinals.

"You win championships with what you do every day," said Virginia head coach Michele Madison. "This team works really hard. To win the regular season ACC title is really special. On any given day, any of those teams can win. We were able to pull out five wins, which is pretty significant and special. It's always great to earn that first-round bye. Louisville is the land of opportunity this year with the ACC tournament and the Final Four being held here, so we are happy to get that first championship here.

"I thought we possessed the ball really well today. I wish we were able to create more shots, but Louisville played a very aggressive and stingy defense. We are happy with the outcome of picking up a win over a quality opponent. Onward to Miami!"

Louisville had a penalty corner 14 minutes into the game. After an initial shot by Taylor Stone and save from redshirt junior Carrera Lucas, a Louisville player was fouled right in front of the net to set up a penalty stroke. Stone converted the stroke to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.

The Cavaliers came out energized in the second half with McDonough scoring on a cross from freshman forward Makayla Gallen 1:21 into the period. After applying pressure for most of the half, the Cavaliers finally broke through and scored a second goal on their seventh shot of the period after Dominique van Slooten was on the stick stop for a penalty corner, receiving the injection and then dribbling it at the top of the circle before passing it to Dicke on the right side who smoked in a shot to put UVA up 2-1 with 2:09 remaining.

Louisville pulled its goalie to gain an extra attacker for the final two minutes. The Cardinals had a good opportunity when they were awarded a penalty corner with 1:10 remaining. The initial shot was blocked, but another foul gave the Cardinals a second corner opportunity with 38 seconds remaining. Minout Mink took a hard shot with 10 seconds remaining, but Lucas made the save. Virginia cleared the ball out of the circle and ran the final few seconds off the clock to secure the victory.

This was Virginia's sixth top 10 matchup of the season. The Cavaliers have picked up victories over then-No. 1 Duke, No. 7 Syracuse, No. 8 Boston College and now No. 7 Louisville, but fell to then-No. 7 Penn State and No. 6 North Carolina.

This is sixth time that Virginia has won at least a share of the ACC regular season title and its fourth time as the outright champion. This will be the fifth time UVA has been the No. 1 seed in the ACC championship, the last time coming in 2014. Last season, Virginia won the conference tournament for the first time in program history while coming in as the No. 6 seed. Virginia will begin play in the conference tournament in the semifinals, taking on the winner of the quarterfinal match-up between 4-seed Wake Forest and 5-seed North Carolina.

The Cavaliers close out the weekend by playing at Miami (Ohio) on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Miami (8-7, 5-0 MAC) defeated Central Michigan on Friday night to clinch the Mid-American Conference regular-season title.


Michigan blanks No. 8 Northwestern to claim Big Ten title

Leah Howard, Michigan Athletics

The Wolverines 11th-straight win was also the one that clinched the Big Ten regular season title. Michigan Field Hockey on Twitter

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior Katie Trombetta broke a scoreless tie in the closing 10 minutes of regulation to propel the No. 4-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team to a 1-0 win against No. 8 Northwestern and the outright Big Ten Conference regular-season championship on Friday afternoon in front of 526 fans at Phyllis Ocker Field. It was also the Wolverines' 11th consecutive win.

The Wolverines completed their Big Ten slate with a perfect 8-0 record; no other team had fewer than two conference losses. Michigan owns nine Big Ten regular-season titles in program history and have now won five outright -- 2000, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2017.

Michigan converted on a late penalty-corner opportunity, with Trombetta's direct shot ricocheting off a Wildcats defender and high into the cage. Junior Maggie Bettez and sophomore Guadalupe Fernandez Lacort earned assists for the insert and stop, respectively. It was Trombetta's third goal of the season.

The Wolverines kept up the pressure after the go-ahead goal, drawing three more corners, including two with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. Northwestern drew a late corner of its own, however, and played it out with time expired. The direct shot was blocked, play was whistled dead and Northwestern was not given an opportunity for referral.

It was the fifth time in consecutive series meetings that the Michigan-Northwestern game was decided by just one goal.

Michigan outshot the Wildcats, 13-8, and outcornered them, 8-3. Senior goalkeeper Sam Swenson earned four saves for her seventh complete-game shutout -- and U-M's ninth over the last 11 games -- while Northwestern goalie Annie Kalfas stopped three of four Michigan shots on goal.


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