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News for 18 January 2018

All the news for Thursday 18 January 2018

Women's Asian Games Qualifier 2018 - Day 4 & 5

16 Jan 2018

PAK v INA     3 - 0
KAZ v HKG     0 - 3
THA v TPE     5 - 0

17 Jan 2018

SGP v PAK     3 - 0
KAZ v INA     3 - 0
HKG v TPE     0 - 0

Rank Team GP W D L GF GA GD P
1 Thailand 4 4 0 0 20 0 20 12
2 Hong Kong China 4 2 2 0 7 1 6 8
3 Chinese Taipei 5 2 2 1 6 6 0 8
4 Kazakhstan 4 2 1 1 10 4 6 7
5 Singapore 4 1 1 2 4 4 0 4
6 Pakistan 5 1 0 4 3 19 -16 3
7 Indonesia 4 0 0 4 0 16 -16 0

FIH Match Centre

4 Nations Invitational Tournament (M)
Tauranga (NZL)

IND v BEL     0 - 2
NZL v JPN     4 - 1

Rank Team GP W D L GF GA GD P
1 New Zealand 2 2 0 0 9 5 4 6
2 India 2 1 0 1 6 2 4 3
3 Belgium 2 1 0 1 6 5 1 3
4 Japan 2 0 0 2 1 10 -9 0

FIH Match Centre

Superior Belgium posts an easy 2-0 win over India

s2h team

Superior Belgium put up a superlative show to defeat India 2-0 in the University of Waikato 4-Nation being underway in New Zealand.

Precise and methodical, Belgium put India on defence for most part of first half. Belgium gained lead using two short scoops on their left flank that saw the ball move from their circle to the rival. On entering the circle from left, a shot was taken towards the cage, which goalie PR Sreejesh deflected only to see captain Arthu de Sloover trap the rebound and make a strong reverse that saw the ball entering the other corner of the net (1-0). This was in the 8th minute.

India got a chance to equalize when it got a penalty corner in the 21st minute, but the first charger deflected Harmanpreet's drag.

India also got another penalty corner early after lemon time, which was also wasted.

However, four minutes into the third quarter, Victor Wegnez had all the time inside D to scoop the ball into other corner, even as Sreejesh was rooted in the other (2-0) in the 34th minute.

Vivek Sagar broke through the defence and sent a stinching cross into D. Both Mandeep and Lalit dived to deflect the ball into D but in vain. This was a golden miss in the 36th min.

In the 37th minutes, India got another penalty corner after a defender tripped Ramandeep Singh outside D. India could not make use of it, again the first charger wont allow Harmanpreet Singh to take a shot. India till then had wasted three penalty corners.

India created quiet a few chances in the dying moments, but Mandeep, Manpreet, Ramandeep could not make a dent. Mandeep, left to all alone, hit the ball high while Manpreet's great cross was intercepted in front of goal. Ramandeep Singh got a gem of a chance but delayed to shoot leaving an alert defender to clear.

India defeated Japan yesterday 6-0 while Begium went down to the hosts 4-5.


India go down 0-2 to Belgium

NEW DELHI: The Indian men's hockey team put on a fighting performance but it wasn't enough for them to prevent a 0-2 against Belgium in the third match of the Four Nations Hockey Tournament in Tauranga on Thursday. Arthur De Sloover and Victor Wegnez scored in the eighth and 34th minute respectively to help Belgium win and overcome the 4-5 loss suffered at the hands of New Zealand on Wednesday.

The Indian defence was top notch throughout the match, but their midfielders just couldn't attack as much as they'd have wanted to. From the moment the opening whistle went off, it was Belgium who was constantly pushing through and creating chances. Indian defence was able to snuff out whatever chances they could but was caught napping when De Sloover slotted in a wonderfully-collected pass from the left corner. PR Sreejesh, who made his presence felt by saving a couple of close chances in the opening stages of the match, couldn't really hang on to that strike.

India showed the same momentum they did against Japan but their biggest letdown was the inability to convert even a single penalty corner. India had five chances from the corner but not one of them could get past the goalkeeper. For most part of the match, both teams were trying to feel each other out and the second Quarter is where Indian looked much more attacking. They had a couple of chances but again, the capitalisation never quite came.

Shortly after half-time, Wegnez doubled Belgium's lead by penetrating the Indian defence. India upped the momentum and moved fast, but the goal never came. With five minutes to go, Mandeep Singh had a free shot and the goal. It was easily India's best chance of the match but he fired the ball way above the post as the final whistle blew.

The Times of India

Stats Speak: Vivek and Dilpreet are 2nd and 3rd youngest debutants in Indian Hockey

B.G.Joshi (Sehore-Bhopal,India)

Penalty corner expert Sandeep Singh (born Feb 27, 1986) is the youngest ever Indian player. Sandeep debut was in Kuala Lumpur Azlan Shah Cup, when India played versus Germany (Jan 8, 2004) and lost 1-3. Sandeep was 17 years 341 days old on that day and scored only Indian goals.

However Vivek Sagar Prasad (born:  Feb 25, 2000) and Dilpreet Singh (born: Nov 12, 1999) are the 2nd and 3rd youngest debutants respectively in annals of Indian international Hockey.

Both have scored a brace each versus Japan in 6-0 triumph. Vivek was 17 years 352 days old, whereas Dilpreet age was 18 years 36 days on their debut match on Jan 17, 2018.

In Tauranga both youngsters have played better today, but failed to score against mighty Red Lions (Belgium).

Belgium beat India 2-0(Sebastian Dockier-8FG, Vicor Wegnez-34FG) and now on the top of league.

India versus Belgium: head to head















Last 10








Vantage Black Sticks stun Belgium in Tauranga

Photo: www.photosport.nz

The Vantage Black Sticks Men have secured a thrilling 5-4 victory over Belgium in their opening match at the University of Waikato Four Nations in Tauranga.

It was an electric encounter between the hosts and world number three ranked Belgium with the game locked up 3-3 at halftime before New Zealand struck twice more to put the result beyond doubt.

Striker Jared Panchia starred with a double while Marcus Child, Stephen Jenness and Nic Woods also added to the score sheet.

Vantage Black Sticks head coach Darren Smith was pleased with the result which gives his side three series points ahead of tomorrow night’s clash against Japan.

“I thought there were a lot of areas we played well in tonight and especially on attack we saw some quality work in the circle,” he said.

“What I really enjoyed was seeing the grit and passion out there. There are areas we can improve on and we look forward to developing throughout the series.

“To show we can win against a world class side like Belgium certainly puts us on the right foot and sets us up for the rest of the week.”

Belgium opened the scoring in the sixth minute through an Amuary Keusters field goal but the Kiwis struck back just minutes later with Jared Panchia finding space to shoot past the goalkeeper.

Marcus Child got the home crowd on their feet in the 13th minute after smashing an aerial ball into the back of the net to give New Zealand the advantage.

The Black Sticks opened a two goal buffer right on quarter time when Stephen Jenness slipped a reverse push into the corner of the cage.

Belgium equalised just out from halftime thanks to a Thomas Briels field goal to send the match into the sheds locked up 3-3.

Two quick goals from New Zealand scored by Nic Woods and Jared Panchia had the hosts rolling and ahead 5-3 midway through the third quarter.

The Red Lions pegged one back after Luypaert’s second goal of the match in the 48th minute but the Kiwis held firm for the victory.

In Thursday’s opening match, India put together a commanding 6-0 victory over Japan thanks to doubles from Vivek Prasad and Dilpreet Singh.

All teams are back in action tomorrow with India going up against Belgium at 5:45pm before the Vantage Black Sticks battle Japan at 7:30pm.

Both tests will be streamed live and then available on demand through the Vantage Black Sticks Facebook page (facebook.com/nzblacksticks).


VANTAGE BLACK STICKS: 5 (Jared Panchia 2, Marcus Child, Stephen Jenness, Nic Woods)
BELGIUM: 4 (Loick Luypaert 2, Amaury Kesuters, Thomas Briels)
Halftime: 3-3

INDIA: 6 (Vivek Prasad 2, Dilpreet Singh 2, Rupinder Singh, Harmanpreet Singh)
Halftime: India 3-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

India's control in midfield, compact defence paved way for big win over Japan

Sundeep Misra

File image of Indian hockey team. PTI

India unveiled two new champion players, Vivek Prasad and Dilpreet Singh, who apart from making their debut for the senior squad also scored twice each in the 6-0 victory over Japan in the 4-Nation Invitational Hockey Tournament in Tauranga, New Zealand. On a windy day, interspersed with rain, India threw up a raft of ideas in the midfield, controlled the right flank and showed compactness in the defence which the Japanese couldn’t breach even with two penalty corners in the third quarter. For India, the scorers were Prasad (12th, 28th), Dilpreet (35th, 45th), Rupinder Pal Singh (7th) and Harmanpreet Singh (41st).

It was a brilliant and if one may say so, an auspicious start to what should be a defining year for Indian hockey with more than six tournaments thrown in. Priorities being the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the big one at the end of the year, the World Cup. All selections as the coach Sjoerd Marijne makes us believe are towards achieving that top podium finish at the Asian Games to ensure India is the first team to qualify for the 2020 Olympics and a possible podium finish at the World Cup in Bhubaneswar.

Team selection couldn’t have been more spot on with Indian captain Manpreet Singh getting a rest; the theory would have been that Japan wouldn’t test the Indian midfield or defence too much. It proved to be correct with Chinglensana wearing the captain’s arm band and doing a good job of ensuring that India played steadily and applied pressure right through.

Japan’s not a bad side and they are preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Not so long back, at the last Azlan Shah, India had stretch itself to breaking point to beat them 4-3 and then in the same tournament the Japs beat World Champions Australia, a stunning result as that was the first time any Aussie side had lost to Japan. But India stormed back at the Asia Cup in Dhaka beating them 5-1.

It was also good to see India U19 cricket  coach Rahul Dravid with the entire Indian team in attendance watching the hockey seniors. Dravid who has played schools hockey with former Olympian and World Cupper Anil Aldrin in Bengaluru must have been an inspiring presence for the national side.

Sreejesh played his first international match after being injured in the match against Australia at the 2017 Azlan Shah tournament. Since leaving the pitch in the first quarter of that match in May, last year, it was tremendous to see India’s best goalkeeper back in his spot; his first test in the match was a harmless hit from outside the Indian striking circle.

The opening goal came off a right flank move which resulted in a penalty corner with Rupinder’s flick hitting a Japanese defender on the hand. The resultant penalty stroke was flicked in causally by Rupinder in the 7th minute. Japan did try pressing through the left flank but the Indian midfield played up with the defenders, Rupinder and Harmanpreet not going back in deep. With not much space at play, Japan had to hold the ball and that is where they lacked. Control was missing and without possession, there wasn’t much that they could do to upset India.

Even with a decent structure at the back, Japan couldn’t sustain. And against an Indian team that plays with speed and pace, just defending for long stretches of time wasn’t really a tactic that could work. India increased the lead in the 12th minute when Rupinder Pal after moving up gave a parallel to Vivek Prasad who powered in and slammed it into goal. It was a debut goal for the youngster and one could see his delight. Named in the starting list for the match, Vivek also became the second youngest Indian to debut for the senior team at 17yrs, 10m and 22 days; the youngest was Sandeep Singh at 17yrs, 10m and 11 days — quite an achievement. In fact, India gave the senior cap to four players in the match — Prasad, Dilpreet, Krishan Pathak and Simranjeet Singh.

At the end of the 1st quarter, India led 2-0.  The 2nd quarter played out almost similarly as the 1st with Japan trying to create some momentum and build through the middle but India kept pressing and pushing the Japanese into frantic defensive positions. India made it 3-0 in the 28th minute when Prasad with good anticipation moved into pick up a rebound and pushed it strongly into the Japanese goal. At the break after two quarters, India sat comfortable with a 3-0 lead.

The rains came in but the speed with which India played didn’t slip. Dilpreet, another youngster, was moving very well into spaces and it was a plucky reverse hit that saw the Japanese goalkeeper bring off a brilliant save. But within seconds, Dilpreet again had a rebound and he smashed it into goal for a 4-0 lead in the 35th minute. Sjoerd didn’t need Sreejesh in goal and so Krishan Pathak made his debut with Japan earning their 1st PC of the match. It was defended well and off a counter, India had their 2nd PC. At this moment of time, it was end to end. But whatever little life there was in Japan’s build-ups was snuffed out by Harmanpreet whose flick deflected of the goalkeeper’s pads, hit the defenders stick and went in. At 5-0, the match had been wrapped up. In the last match against Japan, in Dhaka, Harmanpreet had got the 4th and 5th goals in what was a 5-1 win. In two matches against Japan, Harmanpreet now has three goals, all of penalty corners.

Krishan Pathak made his first senior squad save when Japan had their 2nd penalty corner. The flick was low and Krishan had to stretch to his left but the deflection was brilliant. Meanwhile, Dilpreet was giving glimpses of his striking talent, hitting one reverse over the post and then after getting a slick pass from Mandeep, slamming it in for India’s 6th goal in the 45th minute. Japan had been rolled over. And there was still a quarter left.

In the 4th quarter, probably the only interest left was if India’s defence could be breached and Japan got a consolation goal. The other was if Vivek or Dilpreet could manage a hat-trick on their debut — a huge confidence booster. Japan did manage some moves down the left but yet again Surender and Harmanpreet were solid at the back. Harjeet Singh had a lovely through to Ramandeep who just couldn’t bury the shot into the Japanese goal. If India had a worry in the end it would have been the cards — Gurinder and Harjeet getting a green while Simranjeet Singh got a yellow; a debut yellow, really.

India have now played 78 matches against Japan winning 70 of those with four drawn and four losses. They have scored 289 goals and conceded 61. A former World Champion in Jhansi today would be ecstatic at India’s victory but more so at Vivek Sagar getting two goals. Ashok Kumar, the man who got India’s match-winner in the 75’ World Cup and also the man who picked up Vivek Sagar as a junior said on the day Vivek got selected for the senior side: “He is a unique player. I have given him my blessings to play well and told him to play like he will become a great player. I have given him a few of my skills and I know his game.” With that brace in India’s 6-0 victory, Vivek has taken those few steps forward, hopefully in becoming a more accomplished player.


'Legend' Dravid's pep talk lifts young Indian hockey team

Shashank Kishore in Mount Maunganui

Hockey India

When a youthful Indian men's hockey team took to the pitch at Blake Park, Tauranga for their first match of a busy 2018 against Japan on Wednesday, they couldn't have asked for better support in the crowd. Rahul Dravid, a "legend in Indian sport" as midfielder Manpreet Singh put it, was in attendance, along with the Under-19 cricket team.

Little surprise then that the young Indian team beat Japan 6-0 in the 4-Nations Invitational tournament to kick the new year off on the perfect note.

"I come from a school [St. Joseph's Boys High School, Bengaluru] that played hockey. I played with a couple of guys who went on to play for India. When I played with the school team, that's when I realised I wasn't very good, but I loved playing hockey and following hockey. I follow the Indian team. It's a lovely sport to watch and play," Dravid, whose U-19 team have won their first two games comprehensively against Australia and Papua New Guinea in the ongoing World Cup in New Zealand, told ESPN.

For India, experienced defenders Rupinder Pal Singh and Harmanpreet Singh scored one goal each, while debutants Vivek Sagar Prasad and Dilpreet Singh netted braces as India scored all six goals inside the first three quarters of the game. Prasad became the second-youngest Indian to appear for the men's team, 11 days older than former defender Sandeep Singh's record of 17 years, 10 months and 11 days.

Manpreet thanked the U-19 team for all their support. "It felt great to interact with Rahul Dravid. He said they will come out to watch us play and support us. It was nice for them to stay back till our match finished," he said.

"After that, both teams met and spoke well. Dravid spoke about the importance of not worrying too much about results, but he did say it was important to go in to any game thinking we were in it to win."

The hockey team will play their second game on Thursday against Belgium, while India U-19's third and final group game against Zimbabwe is scheduled for Friday, with Manpreet promising that the hockey team will be watching at the ground this time.

Dravid, who is into his third year of coaching India's youth squads and 'A' teams, spoke of the different mindset needed from his playing days. "It's a lot more challenging and interesting as well. It is very satisfying working with a lot of young players.

"Just being a good player doesn't transfer into being a good coach. It's almost like you have to start over again, learn to coach, learn about things you probably didn't think about as a player. As a coach you sometimes feel you have to think about a lot of other things. It's a great learning curve."


International hockey stars arrive to shine in Karachi

Faizan Lakhani

KARACHI: Top players from around the world have started to arrive in Pakistan to participate in World XI vs Pakistan hockey match as well as to attend the PHF Hall of Fame event in Karachi and Lahore.

Former Spanish player Juan Escarre, Australian umpire Don Prior, New Zealander Phill Burrows, and Australian Grant Schubert reached Karachi Wednesday evening to join Dutch legend Paul Litjens and three-time Olympic goal-keeper Kyle Pontifex — both of whom had arrived here earlier.

Escarre — who has played 256 international matches — said Pakistan can regain its lost glory in the international hockey arena with hard work and a higher number of tournaments.

“You can never be on the top for a longer time. The Spanish team was the same; we saw ups and downs,” he said when asked about the current status of Pakistan's hockey team.

“You have to change things, you have to improve. There’s no secret to be on the top; just keep working and try to compete in more international competitions, just work a little bit more. The talent is here,” said the Spanish player who was part of the team that won the 2004 Champions Trophy in Lahore.

Escarre, 47, explained that the World XI tour and the Pakistan Hockey Federation's (PHF) hall of fame event can be a part to revive hockey in Pakistan but the organisation will have to work hard to see real change.

Australia's Schubert — who has won Gold medals in the World Cup, Champions Trophy, Olympic Games, and the Commonwealth Games for his team — said the top players' gathering would motivate young hockey players in Pakistan.

“It is always exciting when you get to meet your idols [of your youth] and, growing up, it makes you play the best hockey.

"It is important for young hockey players for Pakistan to see the top players play at home,” said the 38-year-old who was declared young player of the year by FIH in 2003.

The Australian striker said the experience of playing for a World XI team against a national side will be an interesting one. “It’s going to be a challenging and a good experience,” he said.

“A world team comprised of players from all over gathering a day before and play a team which has been playing for long. I am excited to play with some of my old friends,” he stated, adding that he’s excited to play in Pakistan and looks forward to playing two competitive matches.

“Hopefully, Pakistan will be soon able to compete with the top teams in the world,” he said when asked about the future he sees for hockey in Pakistan.

The first match of World XI vs Pakistan will be played on Friday, in Karachi, followed by the second one on Sunday, in Lahore.

Geo TV

PHF names U-18 team for World XI matches, Argentina tour after ‘farcical’ trials

Anwar Zuberi

KARACHI: The trials held by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for the selection of the U-18 team for the upcoming matches against the World XI and a tour of Argentina were merely an eyewash and a waste of resources, Dawn can exclusively reveal.

The PHF announced the 20-member squad on Tuesday but a source, on the condition of anonymity, had given Dawn a list of the players a day before predicting that the team had already been selected and the trials were a “farce”.

From that list, 17 were part of the team announced by the PHF while an 18th was named as a stand-bye.

That list of 18 players included Waqar Ali, Adil Rao, Rizwan Ali, Ibrahim Khan, Adeel Latif, Ahmed Nadeem, Junaid Manzoor, Ghazanfar Ali, Afraz, Zakirullah, Moin Shakeel, Naved Alam, Umair Sattar, Rana Waheed, M. Ilyas, Shahzaib, Awais Arshad and Ali Raza. Ali was named as stand-bye by the PHF.

The World XI tour begins with the first match on Friday. The second match is on Sunday before the team flies off to Buenos Aires for a five-match series on February 5.

The PFH said the team was named after getting consent from the president retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar at the end of two-day trials which concluded at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Stadium.

Earlier, the selection committee headed by Islahuddin Siddiqui and comprised of Ayaz Mahmood, Mussadiq Hussain and Farhat Khan watched the trials. Another member Qasim Khan, who missed the opening day’s session, also witnessed the second day’s trials for sometime before rushing to airport to catch a flight.

PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed was also in attendance and discussed the formation of team with selectors and team officials.

Manager-cum head coach of the national team Hasan Sardar also had a meeting with the PHF hierarchy.

Meanwhile, Junaid Manzoor has been named to lead Pakistan junior under-18 hockey team primarily, for the upcoming assignments.

“The team has been selected ‘unanimously’ and on merit,” team manager Qamar Ibrahim told journalists.

Team: Waqar Younus, Adil Rao (goal-keepers), Rizwan Ali (vice captain), Rehan Butt, Moin Shakeel, Adeel Latif, Junaid Manzoor (captain), Shahzaib Khan, Ghazanfer Ali, Afraz Hakeem, Umair Sattar, Naveed Alam, Amjad Ali, Awais Arshad, Rana Waheed, Ahmed Nadeem, M. Ilyas, Waqar Ali, Zakirullah and Ibrahim; Stand-byes: Ali Raza, Hammad Anjum, Murtaza Yaqoob, Zahan Butt, Umer Bilal and Akmal Hussain (goal-keepers); Officials: Qamar Ibrahim (manager/head coach), Kamran Ashraf (coach).


Women’s National Team departs for Chile training tour

The Women’s National Team will be on tour January 17-30, 2018.

The Canadian Women’s National Team is en route to Chile for a two-week training tour featuring four test matches against the host nation. Assistant coach, Steph Andrews, said the trip comes at a great time for the team.

“Not only will it be good to get into some warm weather, it’s also an opportunity to test ourselves against a good side in Chile,” she said.

Canada dropped a heart-breaker, 1-0, against Chile at World League Round 2 in West Vancouver last year and will be looking for revenge. According to Andrews, the search for warm weather has a more strategic meaning than merely getting out of the Vancouver rain.

“We have the Commonwealth Games coming up in April in Australia,” she said. “The warm weather tours help us acclimatize and adapt to playing in the heat. Playing in Chile and then again in California will set us up nicely to be able to play in the heat.”

Veteran midfielder, Hannah Haughn, agreed that the tour to Santiago comes at a good time for the unit. She said the priority is getting back to the level they showed at the 2017 Pan American Cup.

“Last year was tough for us. We didn’t have the results we wanted despite playing well, especially at the end of the year,” Haughn said. “We are very excited to come together as team early in the year and set a benchmark for ourselves moving forward.”

It’s an understatement to say it’s shaping up to be a busy winter/spring for the Women’s National Team. They will spend the rest of January in Chile and then take off to Chula Vista, California for the last two weeks of February training out of the U.S. Elite Training Centre. It will only be a month turn-around for the team before they find themselves on the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games. The team will then head back across the Pacific in May for the prestigious Hawkes Bay tournament in New Zealand. Both Andrews and Haughn say that they think the busy schedule will benefit the team, but it doesn’t come without challenges.

“We will be away from home a lot during this half of the year. We have to focus on managing the stressors that come along with performing day-in-day-out on the road,” Haughn said. “We haven’t had a schedule like this in a long time and it will definitely be a challenge; a good test for us.”

For Andrews, she expects the increase in the quantity and the quality competition to have a great effect on the team.

“Playing matches is critical,” Andrews said. “If you want to gel as a team and play well together, you have to play games. We are really looking forward to testing ourselves against Chile and the U.S. before Commonwealth Games.”

The major test of the year comes at the beginning of April in Australia at the Commonwealth Games. Without looking past the importance of the training tours, Haughn said the team is looking forward to the major multi-sport event on the Gold Coast.

“It’s a pretty special competition. I’m looking forward to being a part of a collective Team Canada and connecting with other Canadian athletes from across the country. It’s a very unique experience,” Haughn said. “On the field, the Commonwealth Games provides us top quality competition, which makes it even more special.”

Haughn said the team has learned a lot over the course of the last few years and have gelled well into a cohesive unit. She said that the team is ready to take that next step and move up in the world rankings.

“I’m looking forward to potentially upsetting some teams at Commonwealth Games and then again at Hawkes Bay,” Haughn said. “These next five months are really huge for us. It’s so much great competition and it really prepares us for Olympic qualification.”

Although the Olympic qualification schedule isn’t set yet, the team believes it will commence in the fall of 2018. After a disappointing exit from the World Cup qualification, the urgency is high and the team is gunning for a spot at Tokyo 2020.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Champions KLHC held by UniKL

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) made a dramatic comeback from three goals down to snatch a 3-3 draw against defending league champions KL Hockey Club (KLHC) in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

The draw was not a good result for star-studded KLHC as they needed a win to stay on track to retain the Premier Division league title.

The KL team have only two points from three matches while UniKL have four points from a win, a draw and a defeat.

KLHC started on a promising note by taking a 3-0 lead in the space of five minutes in the second quarter at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium yesterday.

UniKL defence led by Dutch Sander De Wijn and national player Muhd Najmi Farizal Jazlan conceded the goals due to poor marking.

Joshua Pollard gave KLHC the lead in the 23rd minute off a field goal. KLHC kept up the pressure and netted two goals in the space of one minute.

Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof easily tucked the ball past UniKL goalkeeper David Harte in the 27th minute and a minute later Muhd Razie Abdul Rahim sounded a board off a penalty corner to go 3-0.

UniKL, who are gunning for their first silveware since making their debut in the MHL in 2011, never gave up and scored three goals in the space of 10 minutes in the fourth and final quarter.

Glenn Tunner narrowed the deficit with a field goal in the 45th minute.

The goal boosted the UniKL players and they fought back from the brink of defeat to stun the KLHC defence with two goals within one minute.

UniKL skipper Muhd Marhan Mohd Jalil connected the ball into goal off a pass by Wijn in the 54th minute.

Hardly a minute later, Jeroen Hertzberger equalised for UniKL off a penalty corner drag flick.

UniKL captain Marhan said it took them a long time to settle down in the first half and KLHC already had gone 3-0 up by then.

"It was only in the second half that we found our rhythm and got going.

“I am happy with the fightback shown by my teammates and the draw was a well deserved result," said Marhan.

KLHC skipper Muhd Razie Abdul Rahim said they paid the price for poor defending in the last quarter.

"We started off well but made too many mistakes in the last 15 minutes of the match and allowed UniKL to snatch a draw.

“It was not a good ending for us and we cannot repeat the same mistakes," said Razie.

Tenaga Nasional defeated TNB-Thunderbolt 3-1 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil to record their third consecutive win.

The Star of Malaysia

More teams expected for MJHL

KUALA LUMPUR: More teams are expected to compete in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) this season with the Sukma (Malaysia Games) taking place this year.

Thirty teams featured in the Under-19 league last year (10 teams in Division One and 20 teams in Division Two).

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competition manager Brian Fernandez said they are expecting more teams because of the Sukma in Ipoh in August.

“States will be fielding their teams in the Junior League in preparation for Sukma. The league is expected to begin after Chinese New Year next month,” said Brian.

He added that the MJHL will clash with the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from March 2-10.

“We will have a meeting to decide whether to carry on with the MJHL during the Azlan Shah Cup or take a break for the league,” said Brian.

The closing date of MJHL will be end of this month.

The Star of Malaysia

Magic on the Horizon at Disney Field Hockey Showcase

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - This weekend, field hockey enthusiasts will evade the dreary winter weather up and down the East Coast to travel to the most magical place on earth for the 2018 Disney Field Hockey Showcase, a USA Field Hockey Sanctioned Event. Hosted at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex, thousands of athletes, coaches, umpires and families from across the country will compete across the three-day event for bragging rights and fun in the sun in the shadows of Walt Disney World.

During the course of weekend, 128 total teams in the U-12 Co-Ed, U-14 Girls, U-16 Girls and U-19 Girls divisions will have their chance to make their mark on history, and enjoy all of the spectacular amenities that Walt Disney World has to offer in between matches. Athletes, coaches, umpires and families aren’t the only ones who venture from the wintery weather up north, as college coaches will also be in attendance, scouting some of the best up and coming players across the nation.

Best of luck to all of our participating athletes and above all, experience the magic this weekend alongside Mickey and Friends!

Disney Event Program

For all the latest tournament information, rosters, schedules and more, check out the 2018 Disney Field Hockey Showcase Event Program. This program is easily accessible on all mobile devices by going to usafieldhockey.com, click the three horizontal lines in the upper left-hand corner and click Events. From there you will find Disney FH Showcase and Event Program.

#DisneyFieldHockey & #DisneyFH2018
Although the action on the field is most important, we love to see snapshots of you, your teammates, coaches and fans enjoying themselves during the 2018 Disney Field Hockey Showcase! All attendees are encouraged to post tournament pictures on their social media accounts, such as Instagram or Twitter. Be sure to tag us @USAFieldHockey and use the hashtags #DisneyFieldHockey and #DisneyFH2018. We will feature our favorite shots in a photo gallery!

Stop by the USA Field Hockey Tent
Looking for up-to-date tournament scores on site? Have questions about the event program? Swing by the USA Field Hockey Tent for all your answers.

Learn to Play Field Hockey Clinic and Play Day
After an exciting turnout of more than 80 kids, and their families, at the National Hockey Festival's Learn to Play Field Hockey Clinic and Play Day, USA Field Hockey is excited to announce a second Learn to Play Field Hockey Clinic and Play Day to be hosted in conjunction with the Disney Field Hockey Showcase.

Kids ages 5+, and their families, are invited to attend this FREE event on Saturday, January 20, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET. This event will provide a fun and free opportunity to introduce field hockey to the local Florida communities. This event will be hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

For more information or to register, click here.

Interested in helping at the Disney Learn to Play Field Hockey Clinic and Play Day? USA Field Hockey is looking for volunteers to help facilitate the event. If you are interested in volunteering, please click here.

For all the latest news, information, schedules and more, check out the free 2018 Disney Field Hockey Showcase event program by clicking here.

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