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News for 22 January 2018

All the news for Monday 22 January 2018

2018 EuroHockey Indoor Championships (W) - Final Day

The EuroHockey Indoor Championships for Women were held across 3 Division at 3 venues. The Final Day's results a listed below.

2018 EuroHockey Indoor Championship (W)
Prague (CZE)

Pool C     UKR v POL     3 - 1 (2 - 0)
Pool C     SUI v RUS     2 - 2 (1 - 0)
3rd/4th Place     BLR v CZE     5 - 3 (2 - 1)
Final     GER v NED     1 - 1 (0 - 0) (2 - 1 SO)

Pool C

Rank Team GP W D L GF GA GD P
1 Ukraine 3 2 1 0 13 7 6 7
2 Switzerland 3 1 2 0 6 5 1 5
3 Russia 3 1 1 1 10 11 -1 4
4 Poland 3 0 0 3 3 9 -6 0

Final Placings

1. Germany
2. Netherlands
3. Belarus
4. Czech Republic
5. Ukraine
6. Switzerland
7. Russia
8. Poland

2018 EuroHockey Indoor Championship II (W)
Brussels (BEL)

Pool C     SCO v LTU     3 - 5 (2 - 4)
Pool C     SWE v WAL     2 - 3 (0 - 1)
Pool D     BEL v ENG     3 - 0 (2 - 0)
Pool D     AUT v CRO     7 - 0 (6 - 0)

Pool C
Rank Team GP W D L GF GA GD P
1 Lithuania 3 2 0 1 16 7 9 6
2 Sweden 3 2 0 1 8 6 2 6
3 Scotland 3 1 0 2 9 7 2 3
4 Wales 3 1 0 2 3 16 -13 3
Pool D
Rank Team GP W D L GF GA GD P
1 Belgium 3 3 0 0 10 0 10 9
2 Austria 3 2 0 1 12 6 6 6
3 England 3 1 0 2 7 9 -2 3
4 Croatia 3 0 0 3 1 15 -14 0

Final Placings

1. Belgium
2. Austria
3. England
4. Croatia
5. Lithuania
6. Sweden
7. Scotland
8. Wales

2018 EuroHockey Indoor Championship III (W)
Apače (SLO)

Pool A     SVK v SLO     3 - 3 (2 - 2)
Pool A     TUR v SVK     8 - 3 (5 - 2)
Pool A     SLO v TUR     1 - 6 (0 - 3)
Final     TUR v SVK     8 - 2 (5 - 2)

Rank Team GP W D L GF GA GD P
1 Turkey 4 4 0 0 29 7 22 12
2 Slovakia 4 1 1 2 12 18 -6 4
3 Slovenia 4 0 1 3 7 23 -16 1

Final Placings

1. Turkey
2. Slovakia
3. Slovenia

FIH Match Centre

Defeat to Lithuania but Scotland retains status

Scotland lost their final match of Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Championship II in Brussels to Lithuania. The result confirmed a second bottom finish in the tournament, but with only one team relegated Scotland retained its status in the second tier of indoor European hockey.

Lithuania opened the match with an early goal when Ugne Chmeliauskaite hit the net to give her side the lead.

Scotland struck back immediately through an Emily Dark drag flick to level the score at 1-1. The young striker bagging her fourth goal of the tournament in the process.

The match swung in Lithuania’s favour when they scored two quick-fire goals half way through the half. Sandra Adomaviciute scored before Chmeliauskaite completed her double to put Lithuania 3-1 up.

The Scots were up for a fight however and Dark struck again, her fifth of the tournament to pull the score back to 3-2.

The Lithuanians had other ideas and a Nomeikaite Erlanda penalty stroke forced a wider gap between the teams at half time.

Lithuania got off to a great start in the second half with another early strike, Chmeliauskaite completed her hat-trick to make for a difficult uphill task for the Scots.

It was a challenge the Scots willingly accepted and they took the game to Lithuania. Vikki Bunce made it 5-3 as the game neared a conclusion, prompting Katie Stott to assume the role of kicking back.

The comeback wasn’t to be and Lithuania clocked up the victory and Scotland finished 7th in the tournament.

Chris Anderson, Scotland women Indoor Head Coach, said, “We played a team who are very good at what they do and we hurt ourselves by making lots of simple errors, and giving them goals basically. It’s quite a young squad and you could see we’re inexperienced, and we got bullied a bit at times.

“But the players worked really hard; Susan Al-Haddad had a great game in goal and it was great to see Emily Dark net again. The main thing is the players will learn from the experience and develop in the future. I’m proud of the hard work and effort we put into the tournament.”


19 Jan 2018

11:20 – Scotland 5-0 Wales
18:30 – Scotland 0-5 Belgium

20 Jan 2018

10:20 – Croatia 1-1 Scotland
16:40 – Sweden 2-1 Scotland

21 Jan 2018

09:00 – Scotland 3-5 Lithuania

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Hockeyroos Secure Spain Test Series Win

Ben Somerford

The Hockeyroos have claimed the Test Series victory over Spain despite a 0-0 draw between the sides at Warwick Hockey Centre on Sunday night.

Australia edged the four-game series with the only win, triumphing 3-2 on Saturday night, with the other three matches ending as draws.

In Sunday's draw, Brooke Peris came the closest for the Hockeyroos when she hit the post in the first quarter.

Spain had their chances, with Berta Bonastre almost scoring a winner in the last quarter when she pushed her shot wide after brilliant lead-up play from Georgina Oliva.

The Hockeyroos will continue their Commonwealth Games preparations with a series of matches against China next month.

Stand-in skipper Kathryn Slattery said: “It’s great to come away with a win for the series.

“We’ve got a lot of learning points to bring out of this series moving forward especially with some big tournaments coming up.”

Peris had the best of the first quarter chances when she hit the woodwork, after Savannah Fitzpatrick had won Australia the first penalty corner of the game.

Australia goalkeeper Rachael Lynch was called upon to deny Berta Bonastre early in the second quarter, while she also did well to deny Carmen Cano.

The Hockeyroos spurned a great chance of their own to take the lead before the main break, when Jordyn Holzberger and Rosie Malone combined to set up Grace Stewart who pushed her shot wide.

Ash Wells denied Lucia Jimenez from close range in the best chance of the third, before Oliva and Bonastre combined in the 48th minute to almost score.

Madi Ratcliffe laid off for Slattery who fired wide as Australia came close in the last, although they survived a late scare when Marta Grau pounced on a loose ball inside the shooting circle, only to miss the target.

Slattery added: “It’s obviously disappointing to not get the win. We were probably a bit sluggish coming off the game yesterday.

“We put together some really good patches of play going forward and if we were a bit more diligent up front we probably would’ve come away with the win.”

Australia 0 Spain 0

Hockey Australia media release

Gaudoin: Plenty Of Positives From Spain Series Win

Ben Somerford

Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin says he’s pleased with the progress of his squad after taking out the Test Series against Spain in Perth over the past week.

Australia claimed one win and three draws from the series which was reduced to four Test matches after the first game was called off when the pitch was deemed unsafe to play following constant rain.

The two sides will play an unofficial match on Tuesday morning at Guildford Grammar to replace the abandoned Test, with the Hockeyroos looking to build up competitively ahead of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April.

Gaudoin said plenty had been gained from the Spain Test Series against the impressive Spaniards.

“Overall the series was pleasing to get some competition,” Gaudoin said.

“Spain are a quality team. Having that opportunity to get matches before the Commonwealth Games was beneficial for our group.

“We weren’t at our peak, but we knew that, so these games have gone a long way towards building us for a good training block before the Commonwealth Games.”

The Hockeyroos welcomed back Jodie Kenny into the fold for the series after she spent time away from the game following the birth of her first child, Harrison.

Karri McMahon and Jordyn Holzberger also did well upon their returns from injuries, while Rosie Malone made her international debut among several highlights.

“I don’t think anyone stood out, it’s early in our preparation,” Gaudoin said.

“I think there’s a blend of people who are starting to hit some good form in a good part of the year with an important tournament coming up.”

Gaudoin and the Hockeyroos selectors utilised the series to help identify the final two players to be added to their 2018 squad, with Kenny, Malone, Kalindi Commerford and Laura Barden in contention.

“These games help a lot,” Gaudoin said. “We’re looking very closely at what we need.

“We’ve got a couple of injuries which we don’t know how they’ll progress.

“The opportunities are there for the athletes to show what they can do.”

The Hockeyroos will play world number eight China in a series of matches in Perth next month with Hockey Australia to confirm details this week.

Hockey Australia media release

India fail to solve Belgium equation yet again after narrow loss in final

Sundeep Misra

Indian and Belgian players in action during the final. Image credit: Twitter/@TheHockeyIndia

Belgium’s 2-1 winning score-line against India in the final of the Four Nations Invitational Hockey Tournament might not tell the extent of the story, but the sub-plots all went to plan.

At Blake Park, awash with sunshine and smoothened over by a cool breeze, Belgium began proceedings as they always do — high pressure — with India ending as they usually do — missed chances, moving well, yet being threaded out by that frustrating margin of a goal that would force Indian coach Sjoerd Marijne back onto the drawing board. Marijne will not be upset with the Indian display. But the constant question swirling inside most players and his head would be — how to put it past Belgium?

There were opportunities today despite the fact that Belgium had more penalty corners than the Indians — 7 to 3 — but the creation that goes into a field goal was something that would make the team management happy. But old issues like closing down the gaps and controlling the ball inside the opponents' striking circle still made you wonder as to how players who go with such fluidity inside the striking circle, fail to whack it in.

Maybe, that’s the difference between winning and losing. On Sunday, and in front of quite a few local Indian fans, India succumbed to their second straight defeat to Belgium in the tournament; the heart-breaking bit was that it came in a final where a win would have a been a step, however tiny, to the structuring of a team in an Asian Games and World Cup year.

Belgium opened with Tom Boon in the fourth minute. India went on to equalise 15 minutes later through Mandeep Singh’s smart poaching skills, with Belgium then scrambling in the striking circle in the 36th minute to score the match-winner off Sebastian Dockier. Between the goals, hockey was fast, fluid with both teams having their highs and lows.

Belgium’s opening salvos were predictable. They pressed hard from both the flanks and used the middle of the striking circle to offset India’s tight defensive play. The passes were short between Arthur dee Sloover, Loick Luypaert and Amaury Keusters and the intent was to side-step Indian defenders, and not to beat them with hits into the Indian striking circle. Harmanpreet Singh, Surender Kumar and Rupinder Pal Singh are good when it comes to figuring out the hits from the opposition players. And Belgium’s tactic worked excellently in the first 10 minutes, giving them their opening goal.

India had already defended Belgium’s first penalty corner, with Chinglensana making a fine run to deflect the ball. India had the counter and missed a sitter immediately when Dilpreet Singh crossed across the Belgium goal-mouth, but Lalit Upadhyay just couldn’t bring his stick down in time. Belgium built-up beautifully and a cross inside the Indian striking circle saw an unmarked Boon gleefully tap the ball past Indian goalkeeper P Sreejesh. Pressure had paid off and Belgium led. India now had to do the chasing.

It was an end-to-end stuff in the first quarter with Belgium looking dangerous on the build-ups and counters, while India created their first penalty corner with five seconds left on the clock. Varun Kumar’s flick was saved on the line. At the end of the first quarter, Belgium led 1-0.

India produced something different in the second quarter — there was more intent as well as turnarounds. Belgium was a little sloppy as India pushed hard through the middle and used the left flank with Mandeep and Dilpreet. Mandeep, especially, had a good game and one could see him increasing his workload. He ran down the balls, clung to the defenders and did force mistakes out of them. It was a Manpreet Singh's high ball that was brought down by Dilpreet and in a flash he had relayed the ball to Mandeep who, despite having his back towards the Belgian goal and goalkeeper, managed to sneak it in for the equaliser.

The match was on as India pushed harder and could have got the lead when Lalit and Mandeep went in, but on the last touch Lalit couldn’t thread it to Mandeep. It was one-all at the break.

Finishing was an issue as Marijne also once lost his cool, shouting to the Indian forwards for more control. The first part of the third quarter was a Mandeep-Lalit-Dilpreet show. They worked the spaces and moved in fast. In a one-to-one situation with the Belgian goalkeeper, Mandeep couldn’t beat him. And then Lalit had a clear look off a Mandeep through, but the shot was wide.

It was a defensive lapse that saw Belgium take the lead. Loick Luypaert saw the gap early and shot towards Sreejesh, expecting a rebound and that’s exactly what happened. The Indian defence should have anticipated and covered the angle, but in a flash, Sebastian Dockier was on the ball, flicking it past Sreejesh. India were chasing the score once again as Belgium led 2-1. Belgium had three consecutive penalty corners with Indian captain and runner Manpreet saving every one of them with his sprints and on the third, deflecting the ball away.

With only a quarter left, India had no option but to use the flanks and create space. They needed a goal. Ramandeep and Lalit had an opportunity but again it was the lack of control in front of the Belgian goal that let India down. Belgium also had a seventh penalty corner, but India defended well and off a counter, saw Dilpreet’s hard hit saved by the goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch. And then in the last five minutes, India pulled off Sreejesh and played with 11 outfield players. In a rocking four-minute session, India earned two penalty corners and almost pulled off an equaliser with three field attempts; a Harmanpreet  hit almost went in, scraping past the post off a Vivek Sagar deflection.

The Four Nations bandwagon now moves to Hamilton for another round of matches, with a final and third/fourth playoff thrown in. In the intervening three days, Marijne would have enough to keep him occupied. Since he became coach, India has now played Belgium thrice, winning once at the quarter-finals of the Hockey World League Finals. It’s not an hour of despair with India trying some really talented youngsters, but the equations that have become so complex against Belgium need to be solved.


Pakistan, World XI play out thrilling 3-3 draw at hockey stadium in Lahore

Pakistan hockey team on Sunday twice came from behind to hold World XI to a 3-3 draw in the second and final match of the series at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore.

Having battered their inexperienced hosts 5-1 in the opening game in Karachi, the formidable World XI continued where they had left off, creating a plethora of opportunities in the opening half, although some uncharacteristic profligacy in front of the goal kept them from taking an early lead.

The opening goal finally arrived in the 28th minute off the stick of Roderick Weusthof as Pakistan goalkeeper Adil Rao's defence was breached for the first time in the game.

It didn't take long for the visitors to double their lead, with Nahuel Salis being the goalscorer this time as his angular shot in the 36th minute sneaked past Rao.

Having conceded their second, the Greenshirts suddenly came alive, opening their account just a minute later, thanks to a successful penalty converted by Rizwan Ali.

Pakistan were back on level terms in the 42nd minute when Adeel Latif's powerful hit took a deflection from the goalkeeper and sailed into the goal.

Both teams pushed hard to take the lead but it was World XI whose efforts bore fruit; Weusthof scored his second of the game in the 52nd minute.

But like before, the young Pakistan side responded again, with the equalising goal coming just two minutes from full-time. Having been thwarted in his first attempt at goal, Naveed Alam took a second shot and found the net this time.

Neither side was able to find another goal as the match ended 3-3 and the World XI side clinched the series 1-0.

Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination, Riaz Hussain Pirzada, handed over the trophy to the winning captain Weusthof.


World XI bag series after Lahore clash ends in 3-3 stalemate

Players of Pakistan U-18 and World XI in action during the second exhibition match at the National Stadium on Sunday. M. Arif/White Star

LAHORE: Demonstrating determination, Pakistan U-18 team hit back twice to hold fancied World XI to an exciting 3-3 draw in the second and last match of the series here at the National Hockey Stadium on Sunday.

The result of the match however ended the landmark two-game series in a 1-0 victory for the tourists. On Friday night, the World XI side won the series opener 5-1 at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium in Karachi.

The home youngsters roared back with determination to first level at 2-2 before squaring it again 3-3 against a World XI comprising players from six countries.

Pakistan U-18s — exhibiting a much improved show than they produced in the first match — denied the World XI a win which mounted pressure on the tourists in the fourth quarter to restore the edge but the home side foiled all such efforts with some superb defence and counterattacks.

The World XI took lead with a 28th minute goal when Roderick Weusthof, who struck twice in the match, found the net with a calculated shot. Before half time Pakistan juniors wasted four short corners, out of the total of eight, in direct and indirect conversion chances.

Pakistan U-18 goalkeeper Adil Rao demonstrated his agility and prowess thwarting numerous scoring efforts made by the World XI.

World XI tightened their grip on the match by adding their second goal, six minute into the second half when Nahuel Salis found the goalpost with an angular shot which left the goalkeeper guessing.

Two goals down, the home side made their presence felt converting their fifth penalty corner through Rizwan Ali, a minute after World XI made it 2-1.

On the 42nd minute, in a lovely right side move, Adeel Latif attempted on the goal with a forceful shot and the ball sailed into the post after a deflection of the goalkeeper.

Once again the World XI took lead. Off their second short corner in the 52nd minute, Roderick gave no time to Adil and a host of defenders to make any move with a superb push as the ball swiftly landed inside the post.

Six minutes later, Naveed Alam stood firm after rival goalkeeper defied his first attempt but with his second resolute effort he put the goal in to lock the score at 3-3.

Federal Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada, who was the chief guest on the occasion, gave the winning trophy to the World XI captain Roderick Weusthof of the Netherlands.

Pirzada said the government was taking all measures aimed at creating conducive atmosphere to hold international sports events in Pakistan.

“We are extending cooperation to the national sports federations for organising international competitions in various disciplines,” Pirzada said.

“The visit of the World XI will give a positive message to the world that Pakistan is a peace loving country and its people are sports friendly,” he said.


‘We felt safe’: World XI wins match and hearts in Karachi

By Nabil Tahir

HOCKEY COMES HOME: Although Pakistan team were beat 5-1 in the first match against World XI in Karachi, but the return of international players to the country will reap rewards for the national sport in the long run. PHOTO COURTESY: PHF

KARACHI: World XI hockey team captain Roderick Weusthof heaped praise on young Pakistani players, who have the skill to become potential world beaters at the international level, but need a bit of exposure.

The visiting side comfortably won the opening game of the two-match series which was played at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium in Karachi on Friday.

The Greenshirts scored the opener in the first quarter courtesy Adeel Latif’s strike. The World XI team tried hard to level the score, but the home side’s defense stood firm.

The second quarter was also frustrating for the visitors, who, even after getting numerous chances, weren’t able to equalise.

However, in the third quarter, the visitors finally fought their way back into the game, all thanks to the strike from skipper Weusthof, who turned the penalty corner in the 33rd minute.

From there onwards, the visitor’s did not give anything away to the home side, and scored four more goals courtesy another strike from Weusthof, with Grant Schubert, Philip Meulenbroek and David Alegre also contributing one goal each in the 5-1 victory.

After the match, the 35-year-old Weusthof, while talking to the media, appreciated the young Pakistan team and urged the home crowd to come to Lahore for the second match in big numbers and support the national team.

“The boys played really well in the first quarter,” said Weusthof. “They were faster than us and also more skilful. I have seen a few really skilled players who can be the future of Pakistan hockey. All they need is a bit more experience. I hope they learn from this match and take it to Lahore to give us a tough time and win.”

The Dutch national continued by praising the hospitality of the people of Pakistan.

“We really enjoyed here in Karachi, felt safe and it was really nice to see that people still have the spirit for hockey. It is really important that foreign teams come here and play with Pakistan to see how wonderful a nation they are. I believe if people cheer for their team [in Lahore], it will help them in producing a much better result.”

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Captain Junaid Manzoor said the result is down to the lack of experience in the home team. “We dominated the first quarter,” he said while talking to The Express Tribune. “But then the experienced players of the World XI team, who have gold medals to their names, held us back. But it was a good match and we’ve learned a lot from it.”

He added that they will try to settle the score in the second match against the World XI in Lahore.

“We are still upbeat and have lot of energy for the second match,” said Manzoor. “The World XI players have given us some important tips which we will try to implement in the next match and produce better results.”

The Express Tribune

Pakistan, World XI play 3-3 drawn game

LAHORE: Pakistan junior hockey team played a 3-3 drawn game against the visiting World XI in the second and last match of the series at the National Hockey Stadium here on Sunday. For the entertainment of a handful holiday crowd, the green shirts roared back with determination to first level 2-2 then finally wrapping up the match 3-3. It was a remarkable performance on part of Pakistan junior players who were beaten by 5-1 by the star-studded World XI, a mixture of sixteen top notch players from six countries. Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Riaz Hussain Pirzada was the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony. Also present on the occasion were Pakistan Hockey Federation President Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, PHF Secretary General Shahbaz Ahmad Senior and a number of former hockey Olympians and sponsors of the series.

Pakistan struck brilliance to deny win to the experienced World XI who mounted persistent pressure in the fourth quarter to restore edge and the home side foiled all such efforts with superb attacking skills and counter attacks. In the match, experience versus youth, the World XI took the lead with a 28th minute goal when Roderick Weusthof, who struck twice in the match, found the net with a calculated shot, two minutes before the half time. Pakistan wasted as many as four shorts corners, out of total eight of the play, in direct and indirect conversion drills. World XI forward line Roderick Weusthof, Nahuel Salis, John Escarre, Rob Reckersw and Diego Paz created a number of scoring sitter in the first half but the Pakistan defence denied them any goal. Pakistan keeper Adil Rao also stood under the bar and saved scoring sitters. The main weakness of Pakistan was lack of coordination and planning and poor finish inside the striking circle and they wasted ideal sitters in the first half by fumbling the ball besides failure to apply proper force on the ball and timely shooting in open goal scoring chances.

On the other hand, Pakistani goalkeeper Adil Rao demonstrated agility and prowess under the bar and thwarted numerous scoring sitters of the world XI with greater anticipation. World XI tightened their grip on the match by adding their second goal, six minute into the second half when Nahuel Salis found the goalpost with an angular shot which left the goalkeeper guessing.

Two goals down, Pakistan made their presence felt in the ground by converting their fifth penalty corner through Rizwan Ali, one minute after World XI made it 2-2.

In the 42nd minute, in a lovely right side move, Adeel Latif attempted a goal with a forceful shot and the ball sailed into the post after a deflection of the goalkeeper. After being 2-2, the game turned into a battle with both sides using every tactics to re-establish supremacy. It was once again the World XI who took the lead. Off their second short corner of the play in the 52nd minute, Roderick Weusthof gave no time to Pakistan goalkeeper and a host of defenders to make any move with a superb push as the ball swiftly landed inside the post. Six minutes later, Naveed Alam stood firm and with resolute effort put the third goal in to lock the score at 3-3 amid applause from the crowd and the team members.

IPC Minister says government taking all measures to hold international sports events: Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada said on Sunday the government was taking all measures for creating conducive atmosphere for holding international sports events in the country. “We are extending cooperation to the national sports federations for organising international sports competitions in various disciplines,” he told media after Pakistan and World XI hockey match at the National Hockey Stadium. The Minister said it was a good sign for country’s sports that foreign teams had started visiting Pakistan and the presence of the World XI widely speaks about the efforts of the federal government for creating peaceful atmosphere for elite sports event by defeating terrorism. “The visit of the World XI will give a positive message to the world that Pakistan is a peace loving country and its people are sports friendly,” he said. He expressed his gratitude to the law enforcement agencies and the federal and the Punjab governments for making the tour of World XI a success.

The Daily Times

Mismanagement and thin crowd mar second match

Azhar Khan

LAHORE - A very thin crowd and mismanagement by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) made the international match between Pakistan juniors and World XI a flop show.

The National Hockey Stadium is the world’s largest field hockey stadium with a seating capacity of around 70,000 people, but it could attract only 2,500 to 3,000 hockey lovers due to unprofessional approach of the federation. The entire stadium wore a deserted look except for a few stands, which were filled with men and women hockey players, their families and near and dear ones of PHF officials.

Although PTV, the national broadcaster, aired the match live, only a handful of spectators came to witness the match at the stadium. The main reason for this flop show was a little publicity of the match between Pakistan and World XI. It is common that before a match or event of such level, a hype is created through the print, electronic and social media and banners and flex signboards in every nook and corner of the city, but for this particular event, no such hype was created. As a result, the match did not prove to be a crowd puller and the national game once again suffered due to unprofessional approach of the PHF, especially due to a private PR agency, which failed to make the event a success.

Although the company had been instrumental in making the PSL matches in Pakistan a great success yet this time it failed to deliver and the only sufferer of this mismanagement turned out to be the national game. Pakistan still has a good hockey fan following, but the need of the hour is to bring the hockey fans to the stadium and this will be possible only if Pakistan Hockey Federation policymakers sit together and find out a solution to the problem. They need to understand that relying only on a third party would not serve the purpose.

Mismanagement was order of the day, as media boxes were occupied by common people. This made media persons perform their duties from general stands. There were no proper food and water arrangements for journalists, while each and every facility was available to near and dear ones of PHF high ups. They were sitting in general stands near VVIP boxes, yet they were being fully facilitated.

The worst mismanagement was witnessed during the concluding ceremony when family members of PHF bosses and VVIPs were allowed to enter the ground to see the concluding ceremony, but journalists were barred from entering and performing their official duties. Later, on the intervention of a PHF official, half of the journalists were allowed entry while rest of the journalists were left high and dry outside the arena, where the closing ceremony was going on.

The PHF under its president Brig (r) Sajjad Khokhar has been doing a good job and utilizing all resources to raise the standard of Pakistan hockey. However, there is a dire need for PHF bosses to be more professional and overcome such minor things because such mismanagement could make a successful event a flop show.

The Nation

PHF official Shahbaz says Pakistan hockey decline is due to lack of commitment

Ikram el Hak

As a school going kid I used to get enthralled, as were other boys of my school, by simply spell-bounding skills of Shahbaz Ahmed Senior, the Pakistani hockey legend. The goal he scored against Holland in World Cup final in Lahore in 1990 can never be forgotten. But all this is consigned to history and reality of the day is that Pakistan couldn’t even qualify for the World Cup 2014 and their current world ranking is 15. In an exclusive talk with this scribe the other day, Shahbaz, who is presently working as secretary general of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, talked about the reason behind this disaster. According to him, Pakistan hockey needs true servers of the game who feel the inner urge to see Pakistan flag flying high but unfortunately that spirit of olden days is missing amongst youngsters. He said during his days his inborn patriotism kept goading him to try his utmost to see Pakistan emerge triumphant in every competition. Nevertheless, he was in the know about fact that Pakistan young hockey aspirants aren’t offered a secured career in the national game, unlike cricket.

He still remembers during his playing times a player was offered Rs.20 a day during camps still it couldn’t deter them from going all-out for the dignity and honour of Pakistan. “A player is paid Rs.1000 now but sans any job security. Non-availability of sponsors is to be blamed for this while sponsors will only be lured if media starts projecting the game across the country behind this lack of media coverage to lure sponsor into the game.” Shahbaz believes when our team has plunged to humiliating 15th rank in the world how could one expect a financier to come forward? “But I hold that the government can’t be absolved from its responsibility of pledging job securities to the players.”

When I asked him about quality of hockey broadcast, he agreed that there was enough room for improvement and broadcasters must cover all the PHF events like cricket as hockey was Pakistan’s national sport. But he was satisfied with the commentary standard much to my amazement because Pakistan produced commentators the likes of S M Naqi and Zakir Hussain but who is filling their boots? No one. He further said that English commentary on hockey was not in the demand because hockey audience in the country were, mainly, not English-literate. But what if you have to enhance your fan-base? How would you attract your educated youth to the game who watch and compare the sporting events around the world? He applauded the idea of pressing upon the authorities to ensure the coverage of our domestic hockey matches on regular basis.

But one must applaud his efforts for bringing international hockey back to Pakistan. Though one could argue that the players featuring in the World XI are no longer part of contemporary hockey still you can’t take credit away from the PHF for hosting an international event in Karachi where no one else could. Still one reckon they missed the trick by not involving PTV World and Ten Sports for the promulgation of the fact that Pakistan can organise international sporting events in the wake of elimination of terrorism. On the other hand the national federation is all-set to organise four-nation tournament as well which will be first one to be played in ages in Pakistan.

The Daily Times

Scotland women win against Wales in Gran Canaria

Scotland women won the first of five test-matches against Wales 1-0 as part of their warm-weather camp in Gran Canaria. The camp, and Wales fixtures, come ahead of Gold Coast Commonwealth Games selection, which will be announced on 14 February.

Scotland started the match confidently and took control from the outset, dominating possession and looking dangerous.

The Scots created a number of chances in the first quarter, the best of which fell to Laura Swanson from a well-worked corner, but the young midfielder was unlucky not to hit the net and finish off a fine routine.

It was from Scotland’s fourth corner of the match, midway through the second quarter, that the Tartan Hearts scored a well-deserved goal. From the injection the ball was switched left before Katie Robertson was on hand to deflect the ball off the bar and into the net to make it 1-0 to Scotland.

It was a delightful finish, and an eye-catching team goal, to put the Scots in the driving seat.

It was very nearly 2-0 in the third quarter when Nikki Lloyd almost scored a birthday goal. A slick Scottish attack down the right saw some nice play by Fiona Bruce, who picked out Lloyd at the top of the D, but her neat reverse stick shot zipped just wide of the target.

The Scots continued to control the match in the final quarter and saw out the game well to take the victory – the first in the five-match series between the teams in Gran Canaria.

Scotland Women’s Head Coach, Gordon Shepherd, said, “It was a good team performance. We were always in charge and the match was fairly one-sided; we had five corners to their one, we defended well and our goalkeeper never touched the ball – but we could still be more clinical.

“The players will gain good confidence from the win. We’ve worked hard during the camp and we’ve done some fantastic work on the training ground. We’ll look at the video, make some changes, and look to improve in the next match on Tuesday.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Gritty Telkom edge out Strathmore in Accra


Telkom players celebrate a goal against Nigeria’s Yobe Desert Queens in Africa Cup for Club Champions hockey tournament in Accra, Ghana on January 20, 2018. PHOTO | BRIAN OTWAL |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Nine-time champions Telkom remained on track in their hunt for a 10th Africa Cup for Club Championship title with a gritty 1-0 win over compatriots Strathmore University Scorpions on Sunday in Accra, Ghana.

It took 52 minutes for the 20-time Kenyan champions to notch the winner through Audrey Omaido.

Telkom had their lead turned down in the second quarter after Lilian Aura's goal was disallowed for infringement on the Student's defence.

Telkom coach Jos Openda pushed his charges for more goals but his counterpart Meshack Senge urged his side on. Sandra Adera and Marioan Akinyi come close to equalising but their efforts were thwarted by defenders Terry Juma and Flavia Mutiva with Cynthia Akinyi alert in between the posts.

Coach Openda's side held on for the win that took their points tally to six.

"It's never easy against Strathmore. If you look at today, they came out fighting because they had lost one match already but as usual we came out on top. We are still going on with our target of winning without conceding a goal," noted the coach after the match.

Coach Senge's Strathmore on the other hand will have to go back to the drawing board as they seek their first victory of the tournament having lost to last edition's finalists Ghana Revenue Authority 4-0. They take on Ghana Police in their third match.

"We gave our best, almost all the fighting spirit we had, we conceded a goal that was rather too soft. I think generally, our match yesterday and today there is a very big difference and huge step up on the part of the girls," said Senge.

Kada Queens rose to second after seeing off Yobe Desert Queens 1-0 in an all-Nigerian affair. Ikiriko Bomiegha scored the lone goal of the match that helped Kada Queens recover from their first match loss to Ghana Police.

Telkom play Kada Queens in their next match while Strathmore face Ghana Police seeking their first victory on Monday afternoon.

Daily Nation

Irish Mens EY Hockey League Weekend Round Up

Glenanne produced an amazing final flurry of three goals in four minutes to snatch a crucial 5-2 victory in the title race against second placed Three Rock Rovers. It means they have won 10 points this season with goals in the closing five minutes of games, a key factor in their rise to the top.Glens player-coach Joe Brennan described it as “an amazing advert for the EY Hockey League” as his side prevailed in a “brilliant game between the two best counter-attacking teams in the country”

In a game played at an incredible tempo, Rovers went ahead through Mitch Darling but Glenanne rallied with Gary Shaw equalising and Richard Couse made it 2-1 at half-time. Luke Madeley levelled at 2-2 early in the second half but Shannon Boucher got the crucial next goal with four minutes left on the clock.Neil Byrne and Shane O’Donoghue then scored in the closing two minutes to add an extra gloss to the scoreline. More importantly, Glenanne now sit seven points clear of Rovers with seven games to go.Monkstown moved into third place – four points further back – as Stephen and Geoff Cole scored late in each half to record a 2-0 win over Railway Union.Banbridge, meanwhile, got their first win since mid-October when they beat Annadale 3-2. Fergus Gibson had Dale one up at half-time but they were rocked on their heels when the returning Eugene Magee inspired a comeback.Philip Brown’s drag-flick was added to by younger brother Peter’s close range goal for 2-1. Jamie Wright put them further clear and out of range despite Rhiley Carr’s corner effort.Lisnagarvey and Pembroke’s bid to close the gap at the top was stymied by the weather that froze out their game at Comber Road while Cookstown and Cork C of I also have to find a new date for their league meeting.

Men's EY Hockey League Day 11 results: Annadale 2 (R Carr, F Gibson) Banbridge 3 (Peter Brown, Philip Brown, J Wright); Glenanne 5 (G Shaw, R Couse, S Boucher, S O’Donoghue, N Byrne) Three Rock Rovers 2 (M Darling, L Madeley); Monkstown 2 (S Cole, G Cole) Railway Union 0

Postponed: Cookstown v Cork C of I; Lisnagarvey v Pembroke

Extended reports

Glenanne 5 (G Shaw, R Couse, S Boucher, S O’Donoghue, N Byrne) Three Rock Rovers 2 (M Darling, L Madeley)

Glenanne produced an amazing final flurry of three goals in four minutes to snatch a crucial 5-2 victory in the title race against second placed Three Rock Rovers. It means they have won 10 points this season with goals in the closing five minutes of games, a key factor in their rise to the top.Early on, Three Rock made much of the running with a series of early chances with Mitch Darling at the heart of a series of attacks. Mitch Darling put them ahead when he smashed one off the crossbar which bounced back to him and he banged in the rebound.Against the run of play, the Glens found an equaliser from a corner from a one-two move which fell to Gary Shaw to slap in. Into the second quarter, Glenanne had more of the play and won a couple of corners and they went ahead after a wave of counter-attacks. Richie Shaw slotted the ball to David Keogh who made up 50 yards; he drew the keeper and slipped to Richard Couse to slap home.Luke Madeley equalised early in the second half from a corner and Rovers looked the more likely for parts of the second half to score next as goalkeeper Iain Walker made some brilliant saves. While he kept out those chances, Glenanne summoned a big late push and they went ahead when Shannon Boucher spun 360 degrees and shot in with a dragged shot.Neil Byrne’s reverse made the game safe with two minutes left as Rovers went down to nine players. Shane O’Donoghue scored a stroke soon after for 5-2.

Monkstown 2 (S Cole, G Cole) Railway Union 0

Monkstown moved up two places in the table, taking advantage of Lisnagarvey and Pembroke’s cancelled match, to go into third place with Stephen and Geoff Cole scoring the goals. Town were also boosted by Gareth Watkins’ return for his first appearance of the season after injury.He showed his attacking intent in the first half before the sky blues went in front on the half hour with straight shot from Stephen Cole from a penalty corner. They made the vast majority of the play but cuold not kill the game off until five minutes from the end when Stephen Cole’s overhead found Andrew Ward down the left wing. He controlled and found Geoff Cole at the top of the D; he had plenty of time to lash home a great team goal.

Annadale 2 (R Carr, F Gibson) Banbridge 3 (Peter Brown, Philip Brown, J Wright)

Banbridge picked up their first win since mid-October as they came from a goal down to beat Ulster rivals Annadale, moving them up to seventh place in the process. It was their first game to beat the frost in several weeks but they were boosted by the availability of Eugene Magee and Jonny McKee in tandem for a rare occasion this term.Dale started the brighter but only had a Fergus Gibson goal to show for their efforts. But Magee turned the game after half time with some super work. Philip Brown’s drag-flick from a first Bann corner made it 1-1 before McKee’s cross was touched in by Peter Brown to swap the lead.Jamie Wright got the third from close range with 12 minutes to go before Rhiley Carr gave Dale a lifeline four minutes later from a corner but Bann held on in a frantic finish for a 3-2 win.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Stewart double crowns perfect weekend for Corinthian

Corinthian’s Ian Stewart. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Ian Stewart’s double put Corinthian on course for the perfect weekend in Leinster men’s Division One as they beat Kilkenny while their two main rivals dropped points.

The striker dragged home a corner five minutes into the second half at Whitechurch Park and he added a corner rebound midway through the half to make the game safe in a 2-0 result.

The win stretches their lead out another couple of points over UCD, putting three in the difference with a game in hand, meaning the title is very much in their own hands.

The students’ tricky start to 2018 continued with just one point out of six since the turn of the year. Against Avoca, they drew 2-2, falling behind in the first half following sustained pressure with Jonathan Elmes scoring in the seventh minute.

Andrew Meates equalised from a corner rebound in the 22nd minute but Elmes put Avoca back in front four minutes before the break from a counter-attack.

UCD pressed higher in the second half, forcing a string of corners that were thwarted by the Newpark hosts. Just as it looked like they had weathered the storm, Joran Schulte unpicked the Avoca defence and laid on a tap in for Calum Morrow with less than a minute left.

YMCA, meanwhile, have had their travails against Dublin University in recent seasons and they came a cropper 2-1 at Santry Avenue. Former YM player Eric Prehn and Cillian Hynes put them on course for the victory with Jamie Tobin the Y scorer.

They have a game in hand on Corinthian but now have nine points to make up in a busy second half of the campaign with back matches coming thick and fast.

Clontarf missed a chance to close in on the playoff places with a 1-1 draw against Rathgar who are now level with Dublin North who landed a 5-2 win over Weston.

On Sunday, Kilkenny won their third game of the season with a 9-1 win over Weston.

Leinster Division 1
Saturday: Clontarf 1 (T Cullen) Rathgar 1 (S Gould); UCD 2 (A Meates, C Morrow) Avoca 2 (J Elmes 2); Corinthian 2 (I Stewart 2) Kilkenny 0; Dublin North 5 (S Dempsey, J Dunne, L Metcalf, P Gahan, R Gannon) Weston 2 (D Shiel, K Bell); Dublin University 2 (E Prehn, C Hynes) YMCA 1 (J Tobin)
Sunday: Weston 1 (D Sherlock) Kilkenny 9 (B Wallace 3, B McEnery, A Atkinson, S Charles, E Healy, D Coffey, E Dore)

The Hook

Eight-man Terengganu hold UniKL to tense draw

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Terengganu overcame the disadvantage of being down to eight men in the last quarter to hold Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) to a 2-2 draw in a tense Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) match.

The East Coast side got off to a sluggish start but managed to take the lead off their first penalty corner through Faizal Saari at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Faizal’s low flick hit the pads of UniKL goalkeeper David Harte before the ball sounded the board.

UniKL then stepped up and shocked Terengganu by scoring twice within a minute.

Australian Glenn Turner’s hit from close range bounced off national goalkeeper Muhd Hafizud­din Othman’s pads before an unmarked Jeroen Hertzberger tucked the ball home in the 17th minute.

A minute later, UniKL earned their third penalty corner and Dutchman Hertzberger fired them into the lead with a low drag flick which sailed past Hafizuddin. It was Hertzberger’s eighth goal in five matches.

Terengganu fought back in the 43rd minute with Faizal scoring off a goal melee to take his goal tally to six in five matches.

UniKL players protested that a Terengganu player had committed a foul in the semi-circle before Faizal scored but the umpire stood by his decision. The match grew tense from there as Terengganu’s three foreign players – Lopez Barreiros (46th), Moritz Erhard (48th) and Gonzalo Peillat (49th) – were sent to the sin bin for rough play.

UniKL had a chance to capitalise on Terengganu’s disadvantage via a penalty corner in the 55th minute but Hertzberger’s low drag flick just went inches wide.

UniKL players even outdid Terengganu players in the rough play as they had five players sent out – Sander De Wijn (ninth), Muhd Najmi Farizal Jazlan (25th), Timothy Deavin (29th), Faridul Afiq Mohd (44th) and Kieran Govers (59th).

The umpires flashed a record total of eight yellow cards in a match – three to Terengganu and five to UniKL.

With yesterday’s draw, Terengganu ended the first round of matches with 11 points while UniKL have eight..

Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh said they were lucky to escape with a draw.

“It’s hard to play when my team were without three players in the last few minutes. We also did not play to our trueabilities,” he said.

UniKL coach A. Arulselvaraj admitted his players were rough.

“Both teams had their best players on the pitch. We were not smart in our tackles. My players made some wildchallenges.

“We came close to beating Terengganu for the first time in the league since making our debut in 2011. But we were unlucky,” said Arul.

The Star of Malaysia

Australian Indoor Hockey Festival 2018 - U15 Championships Review

Alexie Beovich

In what seems to be a recurring tale, NSW has once again taken out gold in both the boys and girls Under 15 Indoor Hockey National championships.

NSW have truly dominated this year’s U15’s competition at the Indoor Hockey Festival in Goulburn, replicating last year’s gold medal efforts.

The NSW Girls were superb throughout the tournament. The combination of talent and some fantastic coaching saw them comfortably defeat QLD 3-1 in the gold medal match.

Player of the Tournament and leading goal scorer Lara Watts led the way for NSW, scoring the first and last goals of the final match.

VIC defeated ACT 3-1 in the bronze medal match.

Final Standings:

Individual Goal Scoring:

NSW Boys were able to come away with the win at Saturday’s gold medal match, defeating team VIC 7-3.

Both NSW and VIC were the teams to beat throughout the tournament. The two sides identified themselves as physical and fast-paced early in the tournament, and these qualities were on show in the gold medal match.

Fans were treated to a tight competition between Player of the Tournament Nicholas O’Connor and Victorian Cooper Burns as they raced for the leading goal scorer title throughout the gold medal match. Both athletes finished with 15 goals to their name.

QLD defeated WA 5-2 in the bronze medal match.

Final Standings:

Individual Goal Scoring:

We’re keeping everyone up to date with the action on and off the pitch through Instagram stories @HockeyAustraliaOfficial and Snapchat @HockeyAus so make sure you’re following us!

#AusChampsHockey and #RightNowInGOulburn are the official hashtags of the tournament.

You can follow the games live at https://hockeyaustralia.altiusrt.com/or keep up to date with scores by following Hockey Australia on Twitter.

For more information including the interactive tournament event program head here.

Hockey Australia media release

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