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News for 28 January 2018

All the news for Sunday 28 January 2018

2018 4 Nations Invitational Tournament (M) - Finals Day
Hamilton (NZL)

3rd/4th Place     NZL v JPN     1 - 1 (1 - 4 SO)
Final     IND v BEL     4 - 4 (0 - 3 SO)

FIH Match Centre

Dazzling India die-out in the shoot out 0-3

s2h team

Indian forwards dazzled and broke the well-oiled Belgium defence four times, but their famed rival would not panic, but will come out with equally entertaining replies to drag them to the shoot out. In the shoot out, despite missing out the first, Belgium converted ext three while the first three Indians faltered. World number 3 outfit Belgium thus won the Hamilton 4-Nation's final 7-4 after full time score stood 4-4.

Indian bravehearts Harmanpreet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Rupinder Pal Singh failed in their shoot out quota thus gifting the title to Belgium.

The finals rose to the expected level, each team putting up their best form. If the first quarter was belonged to precise Belgium, India came up with vengeance in the second to score the match's first goal and thus moving for lemon time with the advantage.

Third quarter saw goal reigning in. There was a goal in each 41st, 42nd and 43rd minutes, enthralling fairly large crowd. Both teams utilized whatever chaces that came their way.

Last quarter was improvisation of the preceding one, four goals coming, each in just two minutes gap. If the Indians showed great nicety in striking goals with both Mandeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh coming out with their hitherto best, Belgium worked tirelessly to flummox the Indian defence. The goal that Sreejesh conceded to Amaury Keusters which saw Belgium drawing India 3-3 is a rare mistake from him.

Sreejesh hurried to clear a ball, and came upfront on the right side of the edge only to see a forward dodging him to send a pass past him which Amaury sent into the empty goal. Its an easy goal conceded. Varun Kumar tried in vain to intercept at this juncture.

When in the 52nd minute, Ramandee Singh struck his second goal, which gave India the lead fourth time in the match, it appeared India will close down the match. It was not to be.

Due to an infringement off a goalie rebound, Belgium got their seventh and last penalty corner. Jphn-John Dohmen pushed the ball perfectly, for Felix Danayer to effect a high ball which after hitting the left post bounced into the top net (4-4). This goal helped Belgium to take the Indians to shoot out.

Belgium here took revenge for their shoot-out loss in the Bhubneswar Hockey World League Final's quarterfinal, where Akash, Indian goalie, thrice blocked their shooters.

For the Indians who struck some breathtaking goals in the last sixty minutes, its an anticlimax and also indicator as to the miles India need to go before anchoring success.

The goal Mandeep Singh struck off a firm hit in from Surender Singh in the 42nd minute (3-2) is a beauty while the slap shot of Ramandeep Singh in a crowded defence (4-3) and then his first goal off Mandeep Singh's minus, a forehand, are things to relish, and should not be lost sight of in the melancholic mood that followed the failed shoot-out.

Played full time till then, Mandeep Singh for once tapped a long ball and surged into the circle deep on the right and then sent a strong minus near top edge of circle on the left where Ramandeep Singh trapped the ball perfectly and struck a reverse firmly to give India lead one minute and 25 seconds before the lemon time. With this wonderful and clinical goal, India went into the half time enjoying a goal lead.

It was Belgium all over India in the first quarter. Their methodical distribution of ball and possession got its dividends when they got a penalty corner midway through the quarter. Indian goalie PR Sreejesh bent fully upwards to block the firmly struck shot. It was followed by twin strikes, but the Indian defence managed to ward off.

Two minutes before the end of Q1, Dockier and Sreejesh locked themselves near right of the cage, agile Surender rescued India from any damage.

Belgium got another penalty corner in the early 14th minute, Sree again cleared but unable to concede another penalty.

All these moves fade into oblivion against what transpired in the third and fourth quarters: 3 goals in the 3rd and four goals in the last quarter!

India 29th min Ramandeep Singh 1 - 0
Belgium 41st min Tanguy Cosyns 1 - 1
India 42nd min Nilakanta Sharma 2 - 1
Belgium 43rd min Cédric Charlier 2 - 2
India 49th min Mandeep Singh 3 - 2
Belgium 51st min Amaury Keusters 3 - 3
India 53rd min Ramandeep Sigh 4 - 3
Belgium 56th min Felix Denayer 4 - 4


Stats   Speak: India fails in shootout in centurions gold medal match in annals of international hockey

By B.G.Joshi  (Sehore-Bhopal,India)

India lost to Belgium in shoot out 0-3 in gold medal match of 4-nations tourney in Hamilton.

India took lead on four times but Red Lions answered equally. Full time score remain 4-4.Indian custodian PR Sreejesh fails on this occasion. It was India’s 26th tie breaker ordeals, lost 9. India beat Belgium in Bhubaneswar (Dec 2017) Hockey World League quarter finals in shoot out. Till date India have played 216 international tournaments, played 100 gold medal matches, won 52 and lost 48.

PR Sreejesh has the record of 4 wins and 4 losses in shoot out as below:






FT Score














Champions T.








World League








Test Series







South Korea

Azlan Shah Cup








Asian Games








World League








Asian Champ. T






Vantage Black Sticks beaten on finals day

Photo: www.photosport.nz

The Vantage Black Sticks Men have been defeated 4-1 by Japan in a shoot-out after the third place playoff went into fulltime level 1-1 at the University of Waikato Four Nations in Hamilton.

Both sides played out a high energy contest despite searing hot temperatures above 30 degrees out on the turf.

Japan struck early through Shota Yamada before the Kiwis forced an equaliser in the 37th minute from a rocketing Kane Russell penalty corner flick.

Japan’s goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa proved the hero in the deciding shoot-out, making two key saves while his attackers converted all their chances to seal the result.

Head coach Darren Smith said despite the final result, the series had been valuable for the New Zealand squad’s build-up ahead of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.

“I thought the end result was pretty fair, Japan started well and played some good hockey and we played a solid second half but weren’t as efficient on the ball as we would have liked,” he said.

“We would have liked to finish off with a win, but the series both here and in Tauranga has been the perfect scenario to go up against three other world class teams who all play different styles.

“Over the past two weeks we’ve had the opportunity to get more high quality experience and that all helps us hone our skills as a team leading into the Commonwealth Games.”

In the gold medal match, Belgium secured their second series win following a 3-0 shoot-out result over India with the score locked up 4-4 at the end of regulation time.

It was a thrilling final with India leading 1-0 at halftime before a flood of attack at both ends saw seven goals scored in the final 20 minutes.

Belgium cruised to a win in the shoot-out with goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch shutting out all three Indian attempts.


JAPAN: 1 (Shota Yamada)
Halftime: Japan 1-0
Japan won shoot-out 4-1

BELGIUM: 4 (Tanguy Cosyns, Cedric Charlier, Amaury Keusters, Felix Denayer)
INDIA: 4 (Ramandeep Singh 2, Nilakanta Sharma, Mandeep Singh)
Halftime: India 1-0
Belgium won shoot-out 3-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks lose to Japan in shootout to finish bottom in Four Nations

By: Christopher Reive

Black Sticks' Daniel Harris is challenged by a Japanese defender. Photo / Photosport.

Japan went into their match on Sunday without a win in the two Four Nations tournaments played in Tauranga and Waikato over the past two weeks.

The Black Sticks had beat them for the bronze in the first one, and were looking to do so again in the Hamilton competition.

It wasn't to be for the Kiwis, as a clinical penalty shootout display saw the world No16 Japanese side topple the world No9 Black Sticks 4-1 in the shootout.

Japan came out firing in the match with their last chance to get on the board ahead of them.

The side went up 1-0 in the first quarter through a penalty corner, and maintained the lead into the half-time break.

The Black Sticks drew level soon after half time through Kane Russell, who scored from a penalty corner and it was game on.

Both sides launched promising attacks through the final period, but neither was able to put the final touches to a play and score a decisive goal.

With a penalty shootout needed to decide things, in which players hd eight seconds to put the ball in the goal, Japan thrived. They looked in their element in the one on one situations, and scored four in a row.

The Black Sticks didn't show the same steel in their attempts, with both Hugo Inglis and Marcus Child missing their attempts which saw Japan claim their first win of their campaign.

Head coach Darren Smith said despite the final result, the series had been valuable for the New Zealand squad's build-up ahead of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.

"I thought the end result was pretty fair, Japan started well and played some good hockey and we played a solid second half but weren't as efficient on the ball as we would have liked," he said.

"We would have liked to finish off with a win, but the series both here and in Tauranga has been the perfect scenario to go up against three other world class teams who all play different styles.

"Over the past two weeks we've had the opportunity to get more high quality experience and that all helps us hone our skills as a team leading into the Commonwealth Games."

A penalty shootout was needed to decided the gold medal match between Belgium and India after thes sides were looked at 4-4 after regulation time.

Belgium held their nerve to take a 3-0 shootout win and claim their second of two Four Nations titles.

The New Zealand Herald

Black Stick lose bronze medal in shootout against Japan at Four Nations in Hamilton

Olivia Caldwell

Hugo Inglis in control for New Zealand during their bronze medal match against Japan in Hamilton. JOHN COWPLAND/PHOTOSPORT

The Black Sticks men have work to do ahead of the Commonwealth Games and Hockey World Cup after being beaten by world No 16 Japan in a penalty shootout.

Japan snared the bronze medal in the Four Nations tournament in Hamilton on Sunday, a stunning reversal after the Black Sticks had beaten the same side 6-2 on Thursday.

A vital miss form stalwart Hugo Inglis first up meant the home side were up against it in the shootout and never recovered as the Japanese were too clinical for the Kiwis and goalkeeper Devon Manchester, winning 4-1.

New Zealand 's Marcus Child on the run in the alternate white strip in Hamilton's heat on Sunday. JOHN COWPLAND/PHOTOSPORT

While Stephen Jenness nailed his shot on goal, a miss from Black Sticks striker Marcus Child sealed the match for Japan and left the Kiwis disappointed for not securing the match when they could have in regular time in Hamilton.

It meant Japan, who hadn't won in their last seven matches, got their revenge for the previous result after scores were tied 1-1 at fulltime.

New Zealand's Shea McAleese proved a calming influence at the back for the home side. JOHN COWPLAND/PHOTOSPORT

After losing to Belgium to miss out on a spot in the finals, there was little riding on this match, and the urgency seemed to be lacking amongst the Black Sticks camp.

Looking for pockets in behind the Japan defence with the high ball like they did in their win on Thursday, the Black Sticks struggled for a plan B and failed to connect or find any momentum through the first half.

Japan came out firing and dominated the majority of the possession and territory early on. The visitors took the ball up the flanks outside the New Zealand defence, and it paid off when they received a penalty corner early on off a Shea McAleese foot ending with a goal to Japan.

Hugo Inglis jostles with his opposite number in the Black Sticks' last match in the Four Nations tournament. JOHN COWPLAND/PHOTOSPORT

Playing in the white strip would have helped the Black Sticks in the stifling Hamilton heat. However the players looked tired from the schedule of the past two weeks and missed opportunities in the circle from Jenness and his strikers cost them the win.

Black Sticks goalie George Enerson saved a clever reserve stick shot from one of the Japanese strikers in the second quarter and continued to put his body on the line for the first half. The Black Sticks were struggling to get a clean touch on the ball throughout the match and circle penetrations, a frustration for coach Darren Smith through the series.

Japanese goalkeeper Yuka Yoshikawa was in stellar form for his side saving two penalty corner shots on goal directly before the halftime whistle.

Positives for the home side were backs Arun Panchia and McAleese picking up a lot of loose ball and taking control at the back for the home side. The pair showed patience and were a calming influence for New Zealand as the Japan side came in hot and looked desperate to score.

The Black Sicks managed to give away too many penalties and put their defenders under unnecessary pressure. After Enerson went of, replacement goalkeeper Manchester also made helpful saves for New Zealand under pressure.

Halfway through the third quarter Hugo Inglis was able to snatch a penalty corner form Japan and this time it was executed by drag flicker Kane Russell in the top left corner perfectly, finally showing success from a penalty corner move to equal the score 1-1.

Captain Blair Tarrant was taken off in the first half with injury and remained on the sidelines for the match, leaving a noticeable absence for team leadership.

Belgium and India were pitted together for the gold medal match.


Wayward India survive scare against Japan to walk away with 4-2 win

Sundeep Misra

It was in the 47th minute in the fourth quarter that Japan lined up for what could have been a big kill for them. Shota Yamada, the man who had fired in Japan’s second penalty corner in the third quarter to equalise scores at 2-2, now had the opportunity to flick in a stroke and give Japan the lead. But in just a fraction of a second, the opportunity had come and gone, with the flick zipping past the left post.

India, already, in the final of the Four-Nation Invitational Hockey Tournament in Hamilton, New Zealand, gathered together their stuttering game and punished Japan with two late goals and run out 4-2 winners. India now faces Belgium in the final on Sunday. For the bronze, hosts New Zealand will play Japan.

It’s a match India would do well to analyse and forget. For the first time, in the tournament, across both legs of this Four-Nation tournament, India probably forgot the ‘structure’ in their hotel rooms. They were wayward, reckless, self-indulgent and at times fickle and frivolous. The amount of turn-overs that India gave to Japan, especially in the third and fourth quarters, any other team with a better co-ordinated effort upfront would have punished India.

It took one back to the Azlan Shah Cup in 2017 when India had to draw out from the depths of their talent to beat Japan 4-3 — a match in which Japan led 3-2 before Mandeep Singh got into the scoring act to get his hat-trick. On Saturday at Hamilton, Mandeep got the last touch on a Harjeet Singh shot to give India a 3-2 lead. But it’s also a match in which, Mandeep could have done more. In fact, it wouldn’t be fair to say that it was only Mandeep who played below-par, despite the goal.

The team as a whole was disappointing. One could argue that, having already achieved a place in the final, a less than energetic approach could be justified. But this is modern sport and a national team plays for pride rather than individual and personal pursuits.

Missing out on goals is a part of the game. But when structures collapse and players start losing first touch — playing to their own instincts, and not as a team — and completely overlook the opponent’s strength, then it’s a disservice.

Japan, without a win in this double-legged tournament, would rue their misses when they had the Indian defence carved out. They broke with speed and beat Rupinder Pal, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh and Birendra Lakra with ease. It was the Indian goal-keeper Krishan Pathak who came up with a couple of brilliant interceptions that kept India in the match. The conditions were trying for both the teams — hot and humid — but the end-to-end stuff began from the very first minute.

Surprisingly, if India wanted to take it easy and make their chances count, rotating and slowing down the pace would have suited them; but they pressed on. After initial bouts of entering each other’s striking circle, India drew first blood in the 12th minute. Harjeet Singh and Arman Qureshi flashing the ball between themselves while Vivek Sagar, a gem of a player himself, positioned himself perfectly to take the ball and slip it between the Japanese goal-keeper’s pads.

Japan’s equaliser came within two minutes. And it was a Lakra error, an easy turnover given to the Japanese who sprinted on to the left flank, and the push from Tanaka Seren hit the post and then Surender Kumar’s stick to go in. India were losing too many balls in the midfield. The team was just not coming together.

In the second quarter, India’s penchant for individual play continued. There was a distinct lack of discipline to hold the ball. Time and again, India lost the ball either on the flanks or gave a wrong pass. Japan, seeing India’s ragged play, positioned a forward upfront and a few aerial balls were dangerous. Kazumo Murata had a lovely chance with only Krishan in the front, but in his hurry, dragged the ball onto his own foot. And when India scored off their second penalty corner, it seemed the collective strength might be too much for Japan. It was a low Varun Kumar flick that deflected off the goal-keeper’s pads that gave India a 2-1 lead going into the break.

Yoshikawa Takashi, the Japanese goal-keeper, brought off a good save at the start of the third quarter. Immediately after that, Japan had their first penalty corner of the match but couldn’t control the flick. On the counter, India could have gone ahead when Mandeep and Arman moved up and gave the ball to Vivek, who shot well but was brilliantly blocked by Takashi.

Japan, meanwhile had earned a second penalty corner. And just like in the last match against Belgium, the Indian defenders erred by running first and Rupinder had to leave his runners position with India down to three defenders for the penalty corner. Japan seized the opportunity. Hirotaka Zendana made a 90-degree turn to give the ball to Shota Yamada who flicked into the empty left corner of the Indian goal. Already a defender short, India couldn’t keep the flick out. For Japan, it was a brilliant dummy that gave them the equaliser 2-2.

Japan pressed hard knowing that India were faltering, their defence coming apart like a pack of cards. Murata had another chance, yet another one-to-one with Indian goal-keeper Krishan, but in the time taken to take the ball to his left and hit a reverse shot, the Indian goal-keeper narrowed the angle as the ball deflected off him. The counter had come after India had given away the ball cheaply in the midfield.

The fourth quarter sizzled with some good moves and instances of atrocious defending. It was a turn-over off a Harmanpreet move deep into the Japanese half that saw a fast counter with Koji Yamasaki following up a rebound of Krishan’s pads. The resultant goal-bound shot hit Indian captain Manpreet Singh on the body. After consultation between the umpires, Japan was awarded a stroke and Shota Yamada blew it without even challenging the Indian goal-keeper. Still, Japan played well and Kentaro Fukuda came close to scoring, but Krishan yet again brought off a good save, coming off his line to pressurise Fukuda.

India also saved Japan’s third penalty corner when Hirotaka Zendana’s flick was deflected off the goal-keeper’s pads. India regained some semblance of control in the last five minutes of the match. Manpreet, on the edge of the Japanese striking circle, gave it to Harjeet, whose shot towards goal was edged in by the former. India breathed easy, and within a minute found the fourth goal when Ramandeep Singh, again on the top of the circle, took the ball to the right and found acres of space as his hard hit slammed into the Japanese circle.

In the last minute, India had two more penalty corners, but couldn’t score as the sixth-ranked side finally put it across the 16th-ranked Japanese. India now plays Belgium in the final on Sunday and the Olympic silver medallists would be thirsting for revenge after their 4-5 loss to India in the Pool match.


Entertainment & Experiments go hand in hand in NZ

s2h team

The double leg 4-Nations Cup is about to be over. Like the first leg in Tauranga City, top-ranked Belgium and India will again clash in the final in Hamilton on Sunday. The hosts and another Asian outfit there apart from India, the talented Japanese will fight it out for bronze again. Double leg and double final seems to be a good idea.

Last ten days have witnessed some breathtaking hockey. No team seemed to a light weight. Japan, ranked less than others did not go down meekly though started losing to India on a heavy score. They almost sprung a surprise against all their rivals, which is a good augury for Asia.

Japan made the hosts sweat a lot in front of their home crowd when it struck twice in ten minutes to equalize 3-3, and then 4-4, only to lose the bronze by an odd goal (5-4).

Japan also pushed other two teams Belgium and India to the wall in the second half though it was on backfoot in the first. In Hamilton, Japan breathed life into the game against Belgium after conceding three goals in the first half. But it did not allow further leeway for the World No.3 team instead struck a brace.

The same spirit was there against India. Japan has forgotten the first leg rout (0-6) and fought valiantly to draw India 2-2 and then when was presented with a bright chance to force an upset, it missed out on a stroke. That India struck twice in a minute, 58th to the be specific, and maintained their clean slate in Hamilton is not the kind of story the Asian superpower would like to unleash in every contest. Japan were distinctly unlucky in the dying moments. However, Japan proved they are not push overs, team to watch out in the crucial 2018.

New Zealand started their campaign surprising Belgium (5-4), but could not maintain the tempo after that. When it conceded four goals a week later to the same rival, its an anticlimax of sort.

14 matches held till Saturday produced 80 goals. This kind of per-match goal average is encouraging. And also entertaining. Field goals dominated the first leg, while teams shifted the gear to penalty corners in the next. It seems. Off the 37 goals that the second leg pool matches produced 19 penalty corner goals, one more than field goal tally. This kind of PC more than FG is a rare phenomenon.

Its obvious every team in the tournament came all the way to New Zealand not just to win the tournament, but essentially to experiment. Its commonplace in a World Cup year.

Thankfully, the experiment part did not hamper entertainment part. With so many goals, each match stood out distinctly. Most matches were equally fought which is also amply reflected in the scorelines. The teams that dominated in the first leg were almost stretched to limit in the other leg.

As for India, which gave senior colours to four juniors, things fell the way it was designed. The way India struck last minute goals, inspire. It seems the Indian team showed glimpses of being at top, extricating themselves in tight matches: against Belgium and Japan in Hamilton. India is traditionally seen to be conceding goals at dying moments and the role reversal in Hamilton should not be lost sight of.

Two veterans, Rupinder Pal Singh and Goalie PR Sreejesh, returned to the side after a fairly long hiatus. Both proved their worth.

Chief coach Sjoerd Marinje took some bold steps in using his wards. And, provided godsend chance to new comers and strugglers. They needed this, and got from Marinje. India defeated Belgium 5-4 when Manpreet Singh was rested. With six more midfielders at his disposal, the coach saw to it the absence of Manpreet did not affect the team against fancied Belgium. Manpreet was not played in three out of seven matches. Harjeet Singh got amble chances to match Manpreet.

Except Simranjeet Singh, who seemed to be injured, every other player got enough time on the field, sometimes at the cost of experienced seniors. Still the team did fare successfully. India has just lost two matches, both in first leg, both to Belgium. After the 5-4 victory, Indian tails is up.

Its clever move to see Rupinder Pal not playing against Belgium in the first leg, Manpreet in the second leg. Chenglensana Singh led Indian team must have learnt a lot to handle the situation without one leading player not in the ranks.

The good news is that, come what may on Sunday, Indian experiments did not affect its match results. The story is same for other teams too.

This way this kind of competitive format is welcome against test series and other kinds.


2018 Test Matches: ARG v BEL (W) - 2nd Test
Buenos Aires (ARG)

ARG v BEL     3 - 3

FIH Match Centre

2018 Test Matches FRA v WAL (M)
Antibes (FRA)

FRA v WAL     4 - 0
FRA v WAL     1 - 0

FIH Match Centre

Hayward Levels Late As Kookaburras Draw Opener

Ben Somerford

Jeremy Hayward scored a last-minute drag flick equaliser as the Kookaburras opened their four-game Test Series against the Netherlands with a 3-3 draw at Narrogin Hockey Stadium on Saturday.

Hayward fired in a trademark drag flick from Australia’s 60th minute penalty corner after they had trailed 3-2 at the main break against the world number four Dutch.

The Kookaburras had led 2-1 late in the second quarter after goals from Hayward and Aaron Kleinschmidt but the visitors netted twice in the final minute of the half to grab the lead.

Dutch skipper Billy Bakker had opened the scoring in the 10th minute, before Hayward levelled from a 14th minute drag flick.

Kleinschmidt put Australia ahead after brilliant lead-up play from Dylan Wotherspoon only for the Netherlands to respond via goals from Mirco Pruijser and Valentine Verga.

The Netherlands didn’t relinquish that lead until the last 30 seconds, when Australia won a penalty corner with Hayward doing the rest to set off a roar from the strong Narrogin crowd.

The two sides will do battle again on Sunday from 4.30pm WST at the same venue.

Debutant Matthew Bird said: “We went down 3-2 so to get it level we were pretty happy with that.”

Both sides traded early chances, with Jake Whetton testing Dutch keeper Sam van der Ven, before Bakker firing a powerful low shot past Tristan Clemons, in the Australian goal.

Australia levelled four minutes later when Hayward powered a shot home, despite Robert Kemperman’s best efforts on the line.

Clemons denied Verga in the second after good play by Bakker before Australia claimed the lead in the 28th minute when Kleinschmidt deflected home Wotherspoon’s effort.

Australia appeared set to hold their advantage into the main break, but the visitors responded Pruijser firing home on the turn in the 30th minute.

Moments later Verga’s angled shot eluded everyone inside the shooting circle and went in to make it 3-2 at the main interval.

Kookas keeper Andrew Charter did well to deny Jorrit Croon’s powerful effort in the third while Australia were dangerous but unable to create any clear-cut chances.

Aran Zalewski and Trent Mitton combined well early in the last, but Kleinschmidt couldn’t convert the former’s pass. Kleinschmidt also shot wide after Eddie Ockenden’s creativity set up a chance.

The goal would come for Australia, with Hayward scoring a signature drag flick in the dying moments.

Bird was handed the number 15 shirt pre-game by Narrogin local Bevan George, who coincidentally also wore the number during his long Australia career.

Speaking about his debut, Bird added: “I was pretty nervy at the start. But I worked my way into the game and settled, it was great.

“I didn’t go too bad to be fair. I’ve got some areas to improve but I’ll work on that over this series.”

Australia 3 (Hayward 14’, 60’, Kleinschmidt 28’)
Netherlands 3 (Bakker 10’, Pruijser 30’, Verga 30’)

Hockey Australia media release

Late Surge by USWNT Not Enough as Solid Performance by The Netherlands Gives Them Second Win of the Series

Kat Sharkey (24) celebrates scoring for USA

PALO ALTO, Calif. – In front of a sold-out crowd that consisted of more than 600 fans, the U.S. Women’s National Team met No. 1 FIH Hero World Ranked The Netherlands for the second match of the series at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. A solid scoring performance by the Oranje, including a hat trick, gave them a comfortable cushion to withstand USA’s late pressure as The Netherlands earned a 7-2 victory.

"Going into these games, from the first to the last, we are having a growth mentality," said Katelyn Ginolfi (Lewes, Del.) when asked about the focus of this series. "Obviously we want to do well but it is about the growth we make on the field going forward for the next few months. We want to continue focusing on what we are doing well and learning from the mistakes that Holland is capitalizing on."

The Netherlands started the game quick on the front foot, testing USA’s goalkeeper Lauren Blazing (Durham, N.C.) early. This was matched by passing from USA through the midfield as they looked to gain a positive circle entry. The Oranje’s prowess was hard to match for a period as they earned their first penalty corner in the 7th minute. A well-executed drag by Yibbi Jansen found the back of the goal to make it USA 0, The Netherlands 1. This lead was almost extended a minute later off a backhand attempt by Marloes Keetels that went wide. USA withstood three penalty corners in the remaining minutes to finish out the quarter.

As USA looked to try and find a clear entry into the circle, The Netherlands were just a step ahead as it only took two minutes into the quarter for Xan de Waard to record another goal to make it 0-2. USA started to apply a high press and as it was on the rise, Frederique Matla stripped a defender in the middle of the field. This forced a 1v1 with Blazing, and although she made the initial save, Matla tallied the rebound to make it 0-3. USA continued to apply high pressure, but The Netherlands’ skillful passing made its way into the circle where Lidewij Welten’s one-time shot found the back of the net to make it USA 0, The Netherlands 4.

Coming into the third quarter, USA knew they had to dig deep on defense and make the most of their given chances to put themselves back within reach. Play was static for a ten-minute period before The Netherlands gathered possession deep and used quick passing that led to Welten notching her second of the match to make it 0-5. USA did not quit and instantly shifted momentum to the other end of the field where they earned their first penalty corner of the game in the 42nd minute. As the crowd waited in anticipation, the textbook stop led to Kathleen Sharkey’s (Moosic, Pa.) straight strike hitting the board to add one back for USA. This goal finished out the quarter at USA 1, The Netherlands 5.

The fourth quarter started to show promise for USA as they strived coming off the goal scored. At the 50-minute mark, what looked to be a foot inside the USA attacking circle was deemed inclusive on the video review. The Netherlands quickly took that possession and countered the other way to earn a penalty corner. Blazing made the initial save but the rebound fell right to Laurien Leurink who made it 1-6. USA continued to show grit and a ‘never give up’ attitude and in the 59th minute a goalmouth scramble landed with Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) who made it 2-6. The celebration was short lived as Welten added her name to the scorer's sheet one final time with just 30 seconds remaining to make the final score USA 2, The Netherlands 7.

"We aren't letting the score dictate how we continue to play," commented Ginolfi. "No matter what we are going to give it 100% and have the grit and determination to always keep our heads up high. Things won't always go our way but eventually they will fall."

"Playing the No. 1 team in the world helps us exploit weaknesses when the other team can capitalize on a mistaken given," remarked Ginolfi on using the series for a growth stepping stone. "Against some other teams, we wouldn't learn as much as those opportunities would get brushed under the rug. It is very important that we do play a high quality opponent because in the end it will only help us get better."

A special congratulations goes to USWNT athlete Catherine Caro (Martinsville, N.J.) who recorded her first international cap for Team USA during tonight's match.

Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach, & Catherine Caro on debut

The U.S. Women’s National Team is back in action tomorrow against The Netherlands at 6:30 p.m. PT for match three of the series. A limited number of tickets are still available for this game.

USFHA media release

GRA stun lacklustre Telkom to seal maiden title


Telkom players applaud after their 1-0 loss to GRA in the final of the Africa Cup for Club Championship on January 27, 2018 at the at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra, Ghana. PHOTO | BRIAN OTWAL |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Telkom’s reign as Africa Cup for Club women’s’ Hockey Champions came to an end Saturday after they went down 1-0 to hosts Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the final.

Roberta Sarfoa Owusu tapped home the only goal of the match three minutes to the end to settle the tight contest at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium and the hosts held on to claim their maiden title.

It was the first time Telkom, who were gunning for a record 10th title, have lost a match in any competition since a 1-0 defeat to Strathmore University Scorpions in a Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League match on April 5, 2014 at the City Park Stadium, Nairobi.

GRA players celebrate after their 1-0 win over Telkom in the final of the Africa Cup for Club Championship on January 27, 2018 at the at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra, Ghana. PHOTO | BRIAN OTWAL |NATION MEDIA GROUP

A devastated Telkom coach Jos Openda blamed the loss on a lapse in defence and declared that he would make changes on his striking department.

"It was a mistake in the defence, our keeper Cynthia punched the ball from going in but there was no one to clear the ball and their striker scored. Nonetheless, our motto of adopt and thrive is what we now do," expressed Openda.

“We will make an overhaul on our striking department and midfield”.

His GRA counterpart, Osei Boakye-Yihdom could not contain his joy, noting that his charges pushed Telkom all the way.

“We needed this so bad and playing at home also worked in our favour because our fans pushed us to go for the win and we got the late goal,” the coach said.

It was sweet revenge for GRA, who had lost their past six meetings against Telkom, including a 1-0 loss at this year’s tourney during the preliminary stage. Telkom also beat GRA in the 2012 and 2016 finals.

Telkom's Barbara Simiyu (blue) in action against GRA in the final of the Africa Cup for Club Championship on January 27, 2018 at the at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra, Ghana. PHOTO | BRIAN OTWAL |NATION MEDIA GROUP

Buoyed by the home fans, GRA were quick off the blocks piling early pressure on Telkom. They have could not take advantage of five short corners as Akinyi in the Telkom goal kept them at bay.

Audrey Omaido and Lilian Aura missed scoring chances for Telkom after a lapse in the GRA defence.

In the second quarter, a fumble by Terry Juma nearly let in GRA forward Elizabeth Opoku, but Juma recovered to clear the danger and the teams went into halftime still goalless.

GRA continued to probe for the opener in the fourth quarter and were unable to make use of three short corners as Telkom survived. Telkom top scorer Jackline Mwangi was well marshalled by the GRA defence and the veteran striker had to drop deep to get the ball.

With the game seemingly headed for extra time, Opoku weaved her way past Telkom defenders before firing a shot which Akinyi saved with her right leg and Owusu reacted quickly to slot home the rebound.

Daily Nation

Telkom and the perfection of the art of winning


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

The reigning Kenya women’s hockey champions have stood in national and continental competitions like a colossus, flattening all and sundry in dominant fashion over the past decade.

In fact, the Kenyan hockey queens have been unbeaten since 2014, won the 2017 national title with a 100 per cent record, and have, lost just three times in the last 10 years, an achievement that is a candidate for the Guinness World Records.

If a book is to be written about hockey in Africa and Kenya as well, one name that is sure to dominate the pages would be that of Telkom women’s club.


The team’s achievements over the past two decades have been nothing short of historic, confirming the team as one of the best in the country and also in the continent.

Picture this: On January 14 this year, an all-conquering Telkom won a record 20th successive Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League title with two matches to spare. They beat Multimedia University 6-0 in the league to maintain its unbeaten run.

Victory in the team’s last two matches will see the squad again end the current season unbeaten.

In fact, prior to Sunday's shock 1-0 loss to Ghana Revenue Authority in the final of the Africa Club for Club Championship, Telkom had gone for almost four years they last tasted defeat in any competition.

Strathmore University Scorpions was the last team to defeat Telkom, a 1-0 win on April 5, 2014 at the City Park Stadium courtesy of Gilly Okumu’s strike in their league match.

Before that, Telkom’s only other defeat had been inflicted by the students on October 9, 2012 in another 1-0 loss. It was the first in the league since 2008 when the team went down to United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Spartans.

Their 1-1 draw with Ghana Police in Wednesday’s match at the continental showpiece was the first time Telkom had dropped points in any competition since they drew 2-2 with Strathmore University Scorpions in a KHU women’s Premier League match on July 24, 2016.

Telkom's quest for a sixth straight Africa Cup for Club Championship women’s title was halted on Sunday in Accra by GRA. But the club’s achievements have at times saved the national team the blushes as the national team’s fortunes continue to dwindle over the years.


But success did not just come overnight for Telkom.

The team was formed in 1989 and was back then known as Posta Kenya. Two years later (in 1991), the team won its first league title, dethroning Inter-Capital, Kenya’s first women’s hockey club.

At the time, the team was made up of the current assistant coach Josephine Ataro who was the goalkeeper, Rose Mbulo, current assistant coach Judy Apiyo, Jackline Atieno, the late Betty Tony and current team manager Jane Nyamogo.

The team made its debut at the Africa Cup for Club Championship in 1997, claiming bronze.

The following year, Telkom won its maiden continental title after beating hosts DTS 3-0 at the Union Ground in Windhoek, Namibia.

In its match against DTS, Florence Olal squandered a penalty flick in the 21st minute but Rose “Chipo” Mbulo opened the scoring in the 24th after Olal and Wendy Ekumba did the spade work.

In the 31st minute, Olal made amends for the earlier miss with a well-executed goal after a good run by Catherine Wekhomba.

Vicky Ogongo, who was a constant threat to the DTS defence, scored the third goal in the 35th minute latching on to a rebound after Mbulo had fired a cracker which was stopped by the Ramblers’ goalkeeper.

In the second half, Telkom slowed down the game and only Ogongo came nearest to scoring but failed to tap in a cross from Jackline Atieno.

According to Apiyo, the team’s success over the years is as a result of discipline and support from their sponsors.

“We don’t compromise on discipline and that is why we have achieved much success. The support system we get from Telkom is also impressive because hockey is an expensive sport and they have stood by us all these years,” says Apiyo. Just before heading to Ghana for the club championship, the team’s mother company, Telkom Kenya pumped Sh12 million in sponsorship.

Telkom’s success on the pitch is just an example of how good sponsorship and management can propel a sporting club to success.

Most of the local hockey sides are self-supporting while a number of them are institution-based clubs.

They can only dream of getting such sponsorship to run their clubs.

Apiyo points out that they do not take the monetary support for granted and that is why they push themselves to succeed once they get to the pitch.

“We have to show that we are worthy of their money and that it is a good investment. We have no choice but to keep winning and maintaining high standards,” said the former player, who is also part of coach Jos Openda’s backroom staff.

Telkom’s success raises questions about the level of competition in the women’s league with Sliders the last side to win the league title and before that the defunct Blue Eaglets and Inter-Capitale. Apiyo admits that the experience of Telkom will always give them an upper hand over the rest of the clubs.

“Clubs like Strathmore, USIU and now Amira are coming up and doing well but Telkom is still miles ahead of the pack,” she noted.

Coach Openda, who has been at the helm for the last 14 years, admits the hunger to win more medals is still there, and this has resulted in him setting more targets for the team.

He has been quoted by the media at the end of every successfully campaign declaring that the next term would be his last.

But he just cannot stop winning with Telkom.

This women hockey team is like no other in the country.

Daily Nation

Fitri urges Terengganu to grab big-margin victories

By Aftar Singh

Positive: Skipper Mohd Fitri Saari (right) believes Terengganu have a bright chance of lifting the MHL Premier Division title.

KUALA LUMPUR: Terengganu captain Mohd Fitri Saari has rallied his team to score runaway wins in their remaining three matches in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

Fitri believes they have a bright chance of lifting the Premier Division league title.

The East Coast team are leading the six-team standings with 15 points from four wins and three draws.

They play winless Maybank today at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.

Their other matches are against TNB-Thunderbolt on Wednesday and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) on Friday.

The 25-year-old Fitri, who marshals the midfield, said they would go for big-margin wins.

“We beat Maybank (5-1) in the first round. This time, we have the home advantage,” said Fitri.

“We also defeated Thunderbolt 6-2 and we’re looking to score another big win against them.

“Our main challengers are KLHC as we drew 2-2 with them in the opening match.”

“We’ve been playing well in every match and we need to maintain our good form to continue our winning ways,” he said.

Although confident of his team’s chances, Fitri, who has been the Terengganu’s skipper since 2015, said they would not take their opponents for granted.

“Maybank, for instance, have been playing well lately and they too have been scoring goals in matches. We need to mark their forwards closely,” he said.

“We also need to capitalise on our chances well to secure another big win.”

Terengganu will again rely on their scoring machine Gonzalo Peillat to deliver against the Tigers.

The Argentine has netted nine goals in seven matches to date.

The Star of Malaysia

Khairan to face disciplinary committee after red card

KUALA LUMPUR: Hothead Mohd Khairan Sahor is in trouble for losing his cool in a Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) match.

The RAMF Rajawali player has been referred to MHL’s disciplinary committee for picking up a red card in the Division One Group B match against Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) on Wednes­day.

Khairan was flashed the red card for hitting BJSS skipper Mohd Ramadan Ariffin on the head with a hockey stick in the 50th minute of the match at the Subang Hockey Stadium.

BJSS won the match 5-1.

MHL tournament director Jusvir Singh will chair the disciplinary committee meeting today at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

“Khairan is the first player in the MHL to be red carded. He has been referred to the MHL disciplinary committee for further action,” said Jusvir.

The Star of Malaysia

KLHC face steep hurdle after losing three national players

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) suffered a severe blow after losing three national players in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

Defender Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin is down with a knee injury while Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) have barred two of KLHC’s players – inspectors Muhd Razie Abdul Rahim and Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor from playing for any club in the ongoing MHL.

Defender Razie is the country’s top penalty corner drag flicker while Nabil is a midfielder.

It will be tough for KLHC to win the Premier Division league title without the trio.

KLHC are second with 14 points from seven matches and they have three more matches to play in the Premier Division.

They face Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.

KLHC’s remaining matches are against Tenaga Nasional on Wednesday and leaders Terengganu on Friday.

KLHC coach Lim Chiow Chuan said they hoped to resolve issues revolving Razie and Nabil.

“We hope to get the approvals for them to play in due time. Unfortunately, for Izad, he will be out this season due to a knee injury,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

‘Calypso Stickmen’ chase honours in Germany

The Solomon Eccles-led T&T hockey team leaves today to participate in a pre-tournament camp before heading off to the Indoor Hockey World Cup in Germany which runs from February 7-11.

The camp will be held in Holland from tomorrow until Saturday during which the final team of 12 players for the tournament will be named.

The “Calypso Stickmen” will then head off to Berlin, from February 4 for the World Cup

Today, Guardian Media Sports profiles the T&T team, players and the staff, who will be sporting the red, white and black in their quest for history as they seek top honours.

The Trinidad Guardian

PTV’s poor coverage of World XI hockey series

Ikram el Hak

Pakistan Television has served Pakistan sports in unprecedented manner. One can credit PTV with producing a whole slew of players for multiple sports through their bandbox broadcast of variety of sporting events. No one knew the ropes better than PTV when it came to popularising and glorifying sports and sportsmen. There are incalculable number of Pakistan players who would attribute their rise to the stardom to PTV’s telecast of certain games. For instance, Ghulam Abbas, who was declared Asian volleyball player of the year in 2004, said in interview that he watched SAF Games volleyball final match in 1989 between India and Pakistan on PTV which turned out to be a cliffhanger and Pakistan staged a phenomenal comeback to overpower India after going down 0-2 sets. That thrilling end to the game brought him such excitement that he decided to take to the volleyball court and ended up as ‘Pride of Pakistan.’

Any sportscast is combination of camera-production and commentary and PTV excelled in both the departments. But now we have only stories to tell as, seemingly, Pakistan Television is reduced to house of mess. This prized institution is running without a regular Managing Director for almost 2 years and Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera, Secretary Information, is assigned the additional charge of MD PTV. One wonders how could you expect some one to do two full-time jobs simultaneously? Any how, PTV Sports faces barrage of criticism from time to time for their below-par coverage. You may hear people jokingly saying “Entire world entered the 21st century except PTV Sports.” Most recently coined phrase is “PTV Sports trying to sell 88’ corolla in 2018.” A reference to their age-old equipments.

Expectations weren’t high when PTV were asked to cover World XI vs Pakistan hockey series but I never thought coverage would be that poor. First of all, if some international activity takes place in the country its gold dust as we are a sport-starved nation and are in desperate need of resumption of sporting activities. Its incumbent upon PTV, as a public institution, to televise all these events in order to send the signal to the world that Pakistan is safe enough for sports. PTV management couldn’t realize the fact that an international event got to be broadcasted internationally to send the positive message about prevalent security situation in the country. Now, PTV Sports is a scrambled channel and only available to limited audience even within Pakistan- despite being public service broadcaster. Its viewership is restricted to those who have access to cable TV network while those who reside in villages, almost 70 percent of the population, can’t have this ‘luxury’.

Still the management could have used the terrestrial network to make the broadcast available to virtually every individual in Pakistan but they didn’t and only Heaven knows why. That means they had no interest whether this telecast was reaching out to the most of Pakistani youth. An other massive faux pas spotted was that channels like PTV World and Global could have been used to project Pakistan’s positive image abroad that we have defeated the scourge of terrorism and are all-set to host international events again but ironically they were also not used. To make the matter worse, commentary was conducted only in Urdu meaning even if some international viewer wanted to watch the series through online streaming would lose interest quickly due to unintelligibility of the language.

PTV Sports organized pre and post game shows involving former overseas cricket stars, in the past, and they secured the highest viewer rating (though they could have been conducted in much better way). My question is that why such shows weren’t organized for the game of hockey when the national sport is in tatters and we desperately need to enhance hockey fan-base? Secondly, the production quality was simply nightmarish and ‘spectator-repellent’, if I can put it that way. You need certain number of cameras to cover the event scrupulously.

But the problem was that they neither have enough cameras nor have the expertise to know about camera placement as to where and at what angle cameras are installed to cover a hockey match. And then they had no idea which camera frame Pakistan Television traditionally used to televise a hockey game, which was neither too wide nor too tight. Production team was exposed showing short-corners as it seemed cameramen were struggling to find the perfect frame while producer(s) scrambling for the right combination of camera angle and frame. In Karachi game, it occurred to me, as if they haven’t installed behind-the-goal-post camera which provides the best angle for a short-corner replay. Shot composition was just woeful as the cameramen had very little idea, if at all, about what makes an eye-pleasing frame.

Thirdly the equipments PTV Sports use are largely obsolete in today’s world, particularly the cameras. Picture quality is so poor that people, in jest, offer their mobile cameras for the coverage instead. Finally would like to say few words about commentary panel which yet again failed to impress the spectators. People who expected PTV to introduce Zakir Syeds and S M Naqis of 21st century were bitterly disappointed and PTV Sports’ management isn’t alien to dressing-down on this issue. When I contacted Federal Secretary for Information and Broadcasting Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera for his stance on the issue he said lack of coverage of international hockey by PTV crew was the reason behind these anomalies. But who exactly held you guys back from covering domestic hockey on regular basis? Real solution to these discrepancies is to find horses for the courses, those who can do justice to their jobs.

The Daily Times

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