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News for 31 August 2018

All the news for Friday 31 August 2018

2018 Asian Games - Day 12
Jakarta (INA)

Men's Results 30 August

9/10 place INA - THA     1 - 2
7/8 place SRI - OMA     2 - 5
SF1 IND - MAS     2 - 2 (6 - 7 SO)
SF2 PAK - JPN     0 - 1

Final Placings

1/2 Malaysia/Japan
3/4 India/Pakistan
5/6 Korea/Bangladesh
7. Oman
8. Sri Lanka
9. Thailand
10. Indonesia
11/12 Hong Kong China/Kazakhstan

Asian Hockey Federation

Former giants flounder in the semis
By Shahid Khan

Odds on favourites to contest the men’s Gold medal hockey match both India and Pakistan were ousted in the semi-finals at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta.

The former sub continental hockey giants in rampant form had sailed into the semi-finals registering five straight victories each in their pool matches.

Defending champions India who had scored a whopping record number of 76 goals in their 5 pool matches went down 6-7 against Malaysia, after a penalty-shoot out as the game ended 2-2 after 60 minutes.

5th world ranked India had taken 2-0 lead through Harmanpreet Singh and Varun Kumar in the third quarter which also saw Malaysia’s Faisal Sari reducing the deficit. The first half had produced less clear-cut chances. A timely video referral by India saw a Malaysian goal decision overturned.

With India seemly heading into the final the nemesis of conceding late goals came to haunt them once again as Muhammad Azuan slammed in a penalty corner with two minutes of regulation time remaining taking the teams into penalty-shoot out.
In the second semi-final Pakistan, the most successful team in the history of the event came into the match brimming with confidence having conceded only a single goal in their 5 pool games while their opponents Japan had lost 8-0 in a pool match earlier against India.

However it was the unfancied Japanese team who took the lead through Shota Yamada penalty conversion in the 18th minute which proved to be the sole goal of the game.

Greenshirts free flowing trademark moves were thwarted by the Japanese defence and the match was bereft of much goal mouth action despite some penetrative runs from the Pakistan right attack. Pakistan failed to capitalise the few penalty corners which they forced and even penalty stroke awarded to them was overturned by an umpire’s referral.

With their respective defeats India and Pakistan will contest the bronze medal match with the knowledge that they will have to qualify later for the Tokyo Olympics (2020) via a tough qualification process.


Malaysia shock mighty India to reach hockey final

Malaysia's players celebrate after their victory against India. AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia turned giant slayers today by stunning mighty India in a penalty shootout to qualify for the Asian Games men’s hockey final.

The match ended 2-2 at regulation time, and in the heart-stopping shootout, goalkeeper S. Kumar brought out the last save in sudden death to take Malaysia to the final.

World No 12 Malaysia will meet either Pakistan or Japan for the Asian Games gold and a direct entry to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Harmanpreet Singh gave the World No 5 India a 33rd minute lead off a penalty corner attempt, but Fazial Shaari equalised for Malaysia with a 39th minute field goal.

India's players react after losing to Malaysia during the men's field hockey semi-final match between India and Malaysia at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. AFP

Varun Kumar again snatched the lead for India via a 40th minute penalty corner, but with two minutes remaining, Razie Rahim finally got his penalty corner act together and took Malaysia into a shootout.

In the shootout sudden-death, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin made it 7-6 for Malaysia while the attempt of India’s S. V. Sunil was thwarted by veteran goalkeeper Kumar for a famous victory.

Malaysia's players celebrate after their victory against India during the men's field hockey semi-final match between India and Malaysia at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. AFP

The stats were not impressive, however, as Malaysia and India got only two shots at goal, and also seven penalty corners each.

However, after missing six, Razie Rahim and his penalty corner battery got number seven right.

New Straits Times

Malaysia shocks India to book place in men's hockey final


JAKARTA: Malaysia's men’s hockey team stunned defending champions India in the 18th Asian Games semi-finals to inch closer to an early ticket for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Goalkeeper S. Kumar was the hero for Malaysia when the team won 7-6 in a nail-biting sudden death penalty shootout, after the match ended 2-2 at Gelora Bung Karno Hockey Stadium on Thursday (Aug 30) night .

The first shootout ended 2-2 forcing the sudden death which saw Malaysia triumph 5-4.

Malaysia will take on the winner of the other semi-final between Japan and Pakistan. The champions get automatic entry to the Tokyo Games.

The Tampin-born player, who made four saves in the shootout, credited the win to teamwork as they advanced to the final.

In a topsy-turvy match, India’s Harmanpreet Singh scored a penalty corner in the 32nd minute but the lead only lasted five minutes as forward Faisal Saari scored a field goal in the 39th minute to equalise.

India got back in front almost immediately after Varun Kumar scored through a penalty corner.

Malaysia were trailing until near the end when Razie Rahim got the crucial tying goal to take the match into a shootout.

The Star of Malaysia

Kumar: I am not the only hero

By Azidan Nahar, Azlan Muhammad Zain

S. Kumar does not want to take credit for Malaysia’s win over India in the men’s hockey semi-finals. Bernama Photo

JAKARTA: Goalkeeper S. Kumar does not want to take credit for Malaysia’s win over India in the men’s hockey semi-finals on Thursday.

Malaysia edged defending champions India 7-6 in a sudden-death penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw in regulation time to qualify for Saturday’s final against Japan.

Kumar saved India’s Sunil Sowmarpet’s final shootout attempt to seal the win.

“I actually slipped when Sunil tried to score, but I used my instinct by raising my hand to parry the ball. I describe it as being lucky,” said the Tampin-born Kumar.

Malaysia's Mohd Fitri Saari (L) celebrates with teammates after score a goal against India during the men's field hockey semi-final match between India and Malaysia at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 30, 2018. AFP Photo

“We won it as a team. We were down during the match, but we fought back to force a shootout.

“I may have saved several penalty shootout attempts, but my teammates were also instrumental by scoring the goals.

“We are very happy to have upset World No 5 India. However, we need to focus on the final.”

The men’s hockey event in the Asian Games will see a new champion on Saturday.

Malaysia’s best show was silver at the 2010 Guangzhou edition, while it will be Japan’s first appearance in the final.

New Straits Times

Kumar the hero as Malaysia stun India to reach final

You’re the man: Malaysian players rushing to hug goalkeeper S. Kumar after the latter made a crucial save in the shootout against India in the semi-finals yesterday. — AFP

MALAYSIA’S men’s hockey team stunned defending champions India in the semi-finals to inch closer to an early ticket for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Goalkeeper S. Kumar was the hero for Malaysia when the team won 7-6 in a nail-biting sudden death penalty shootout, after the match ended 2-2 at Gelora Bung Karno Hockey Stadium last night.

The first shootout ended 2-2 forcing the sudden death which saw Malaysia triumph 5-4.

Malaysia will take on Japan in the final tomorrow. The champions qualify automatically for the Tokyo Olympics.

The Tampin-born player, who made four saves in the shootout, credited the win to teamwork as they advanced to the final.

“I fell in the last shootout from India but I instinctively put my hand up and the ball hit it. I can say we got lucky. I told the players to focus on scoring the goals and I’ll do my part to stop India from scoring,” said Kumar.

“This is a team effort, we were down in regulation time but managed to get back into the game in the end. I may have made the saves in the shootout but my teammates did their part to score as well.

“We are proud of this performance but this is not the end yet, we need to regroup for the final match. We can’t get carried away now.”

Both teams were equally matched in the first half which saw the game stuck in a deadlock due to excellent defending from both sides.

The stalemate was finally broken in the second half after India’s Harmanpreet Singh scored off a penalty corner in the 32nd minute but the lead only lasted five minutes as forward Faisal Saari scored a field goal in the 39th minute to equalise.

India got back in front almost immediately after Varun Kumar slammed the goal in through a penalty corner in the 39th minute.

With the match slipping off, Malaysia coach Stephen van Huizen resorted to power play by taking out goalkeeper Kumar and bringing in Faiz Helmi Jali to pressure the Indian defence in the final three minutes.

And the move paid dividends as they earned a penalty corner and Razie converted to draw level in the 59th minute and hold on to force the match into a penalty shootout.

The Star of Malaysia

Jaded India lacked rhythm as enterprising Malaysia inflict heartbreaking semi-final loss in men's hockey

Sundeep Misra

Malaysian players celebrate their victory over India in the men's hockey semi-final clash. AP

With exactly two minutes left on the clock, Hassan Azri made the move that would define the tense, taut, error-ridden thriller that India dished out against Malaysia in the Asian Games men’s semi-final. India led 2-1. When the clock winds down, seconds ticking away with one team leading by the slender margin of a goal and a final beckoning touching distance away, certain areas start shutting down in an athlete. Gone is the focus as mentally without looking at the clock, you start believing that time is on your side. It wasn’t on Malaysia’s side either. The only difference was Malaysia were aware of the surroundings; their players understood in those last seconds that they had only one card left to play — somehow control the ball and create mayhem in the Indian striking circle. Through a majority of the four quarters, Malaysia had realised that the weakest link in the Indian line-up, on that day, was the defence.

Luck is a key ingredient. However, in games that usually go down to the wire, you create your own luck, and Malaysia did. Azri softly brought down the aerial from the right flank, a brilliant move as India had grouped together in the circle; a more outstretched Indian defence could have caught on faster to what the Malaysians were thinking. By the time, a panicky Indian defence with blood pounding in their heads realised and closed rank, they were in fact creating a perfect melee for a penalty corner. One minute and 47 seconds remained when the umpire blew for a penalty corner; Malaysia’s sixth. Muhammad Rahim Razie’s flick was low, slow on pace but it did the trick. Sreejesh went the right way but the ball snapped the pad and slid in. In 2010 at the Guangzhou Asian Games, Razie was the man who scored in extra-time. Eight years later, he did it again. Harendra, now the chief coach, was the assistant to Jose Brasa then. Bharat Chettri, now India’s goalkeeping coach was the team goalkeeper at the 2010 Asian Games.

Yet India could have pulled it off in the shoot-out. Manpreet Singh being penalised for obstructing the Malaysian goalkeeper on the first stroke was perplexing as a player usually has his back to the goalkeeper to shield the ball. Yet the referral went Malaysia’s way. That kind of set the tone. Despite Indian captain Sreejesh’s heroics in saving three strokes, SV Sunil missing twice was a gap too much.

Post-mortems would be the order now. And rightfully they should be done. After the Champions Trophy, India were the favourite to win the Asian Games gold and in the run-up to the semi-final, they showed that. Except Japan, they didn’t play big teams and even Japan, a finalist now, was thrashed by India 8-0, in what was their best all-round display in the tournament.

After scoring 76 goals in five matches, India should have played naturally and more freely. However, with no fluidity and to an extent, flexibility in their thinking, India played shoddy hockey. There was unusual hurry in their ranks as if the team had only a quarter to win the match. It was only in the end of the second quarter that India showed their quality in ball rotation, patiently waiting for openings. At times, they sparkled but largely, they appeared flat-footed and played with such heaviness that movements seemed robotic. India’s play lacked freedom and they appeared shackled, weighed down by the pressure of the semi-final. It’s surprising because it’s the same team that played the Champions Trophy final and displayed sustained aggression, especially going all-out in the fourth quarter. To blame an individual or a group would be simple. It has happened in the past and will happen again.

In a match of such proportions, small things count; a flick here, a tap there. Patience matters a lot too. Malaysia knew very well they were against a superior team. Before the match, Malaysian coach Stephen Van Huizen had made it clear that India were the favourites. “But we will try and keep the scores down so that we can come back into the match.” Malaysia realised that giving India space means getting killed. “We have seen what happened in the Japan game,” reminded Stephen. Van Huizen’s boys played a tight defence, replying only on the counters. And that paid dividends.

India came into the match thinking another win was routine. The first PC for India was in the very first minute but Malaysian goalkeeper, the veteran Kumar Subramiam, playing his 303rd international match, blocked perfectly what seemed a well-executed flick by Rupinder Pal Singh. The initial attacks raised expectations that India had come in to finish the job. But as seen in the past, play became predictive, the defence sloppy while the forwards failed to create positions in the striking circle.

Seen as a whole, it was a team meltdown. They failed to address the issues, control the game and paid the price. Discipline was an issue with Sardar and Surender taking yellow cards with the team down to nine in the fourth quarter. Good teams raise their level or hunker down and play resilient hockey, eking out wins, even if it’s ugly. For teams like India, who play on speed and skills, every match cannot be won displaying flamboyance. Determination is just one aspect of a team. Against Malaysia, it became the key factor.

When the first quarter ended, alarm bells should have rung for India. The opening quarter was full of drama, missed chances and some wonderful goalkeeping from Malaysia’s Kumar. India had blown four PCs away while Malaysia 3.

Finally when Harmanpreet got the opening goal in the 32nd minute, third Quarter, India should have retreated, not into defence, but possession hockey with extreme zonal markings. It was a day when fluency was difficult so rotation gets easier with defenders not always up but safely holding the zone between the midfield and the Indian striking circle. That didn’t happen.

In the 38th minute, Malaysia counter-attacked after an unsuccessful Indian PC. Caught with no defenders at the back, the hit was perfect, ball bouncing off Sreejesh’s pads as Faizal Saari standing next to him lowered his stick to deflect it in. Even if the goal was fortuitous, the move was brilliant, fully deserving of a goal.

But a minute later, off a counter, India had their eighth PC. Harmanpreet sold the perfect dummy, Varun Kumar slotting it in. India led 2-1. Yet they didn’t bring in the required control. Turn-overs happened, pressure increased. Sardar ran into a Malaysian and promptly got the yellow card. Later Surender got one too and India were down to nine men for five minutes. Momentum swung back to Malaysia. They smashed a penalty corner against the cross bar.

In the last two minutes, flanks should have been covered. It’s always easier to counter a move down the middle than try to stop a speeding player coming in from the flank, inside the circle. Malaysia took off the goalkeeper, last ditch effort for one last big push. India looked at the clock but not the play as Razie utilised the final PC for the equaliser that set into motion one of India’s worst defeats in the Asian Games. This will probably hurt more than Guangzhou.

Indian coach Harendra Singh was at a loss for words. He was critical of the play but didn’t really castigate any individual player. “It will take some time to get over this,” he said. “We failed to keep things simple.”

It’s a setback no doubt. More than just qualifying for 2020 Tokyo, a win here would have been a massive confidence booster for the year-end World Cup. There is a medal still at stake for the men’s and the faster they heal the wound inflicted by Malaysia, the better it would be. In the end, its sport and it needs to be carried forward. India have come back from worse situations. Punishments don’t need to be meted out to address fan wounds. In high-pressure matches, India usually battles two opponents – one the rival team and the other, themselves. That needs to change. Maybe, the team needs to hear Andy Dufresne tell Red in The Shawshank Redemption: “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”


A sudden death to end India’s dreams

Defending champion collapses to a 9-8 defeat to Malaysia

Uthra Ganesan

Double blow: The loss ended India’s golden hopes and took away an Olympic ticket. Photo Credit: PTI

JAKARTA: A brief glimpse into the Indian men’s hockey team’s changing room revealed 18 stony statues staring into nowhere. They had managed to trudge back after a long walk from the turf where, 60 minutes and 19 shots later, the defending champion had collapsed to a 9-8 defeat to Malaysia in the semifinals and ended their golden and Olympic hopes on Thursday.

Tied 2-2 at the end of regulation time, it was sudden death to end India’s dreams. Malaysia managed to convert seven of its 10 attempts while India could only manage six, Manpreet Singh’s first shot ruled invalid for obstruction.

In terms of India’s campaign at the 18th Asian Games, the loss would be at par with the disappointments in kabaddi. In terms of its repercussions, it would be a bigger disaster — the loss took away an Olympic ticket with the road ahead now a bumpy, uncertain one.

Having started favourite for the title and swept through the league stage barring a scare against Korea, India began with the right momentum. There was pace, structure, clear shots at the goal and a penalty corner. It soon petered out and along with it, sharing more than 1000 games between them, the Indians lost their minds too. Coach Harendra Singh kept screaming from the sidelines to hold and control; the players had gone deaf.

He kept telling them to not get holed into pockets, they ended up doing exactly that. He kept screaming not to tackle inside the Indian circle, they couldn’t care less. He begged them to slow the game and stay patient, they kept flinging the ball away. The hurry led to turnovers, frustration and more mistakes. The ones with most experience struggled the maximum.

India would end up with seven more penalty corners, converting two. But Malaysia always stayed in the game, threatening equalisers. The one barrier was P.R. Sreejesh, who bought off half a dozen saves.

At the other end, Malaysia had veteran Kumar Subramanium to thank for giving it a chance. The two goalkeepers stepped up to the challenge in shoot-outs as well but Malaysia managed its shooters better.

“We made a lot of basic errors in trapping and passing and got punished for them. You cannot do them at this level and Malaysia is never easy. And yes I have to admit today that penalty corners are an area of concern, otherwise we should have ended the game through them only. I thought we had it sorted but now we will have to look at it again,” a downcast Harendra said.

Both Malaysia’s goals came against the run of play. The first was soon after India’s seventh penalty corner was saved and a counter saw the Indian defence missing. The second 1.30 minutes away from time, a penalty corner that raced below Sreejesh’s leg. In the end, it took a leap of faith from Kumar to deny Sunil, and India.

Bronze match against Pakistan

India will now play Pakistan for bronze, which lost 1-0 to Japan in the other semifinal, a consolation prize for all its dominance but a medal match nevertheless. Whether the Indians manage to get over this defeat in time for the next game is anybody’s guess, though.

The Hindu

Malaysia stuns depending Champions India

s2h Team

Malaysia first and then Japan dished out a kind of fare not seen so far in the history of Asian Games. These two nations have entered the final, defeating their higher ranked rivals when counted most, in the semi-finals.

Despite Trailing 1-2 till last minute, Malaysia bounced back into the reckoning against India in the first semis. Earning a penalty corner inside last minute, Malaysia equalized the score to 2-2 before coming out of colours in the ensued sudden death 7-6. The shoot out went on for about 30 minutes, as each side kept on missing alternatively.

Incidentally, Malaysia stopped India at the 2010 Asiad semi-final too

Indian men will now play for bronze against the loser of Pakistan-Japan encounter.

Later in the other semis, under pressure Pakistan caved in like India. Japan took a early lead and could defend it successfully rest of the match to play their maiden Men's Asian Games final.

Wasting numerous chances including six penalty corners in the first quarter, India ended the half time without moving the scoreboard.

Harmanpreet Singh struck for the lead in the 33 minutes, which survived barely six minutes. Faizal Saari scored a field goal to level. Within three minutes Mandeep Singh earned a penalty corner of which Varun Kumar dragged for the 2-1 lead India was cruishing along for a victory.

Three minutes before the end time, the Malaysian coach Stephen van Huizen removed goalie and put an additional player to pep up attack, a ploy that worked. Harmanpreet Singh in a hurry made a hasty clearance inside the circle, of which Malaysia earned a penalty corner with barely less than sixty seconds remained for the hooter. Rahim Razie struck (2-2) out of the god send opportunity.

In the five-set shoot out, the score stood 3-3. In the cruelling sudden death Malaysia overcame the defending champions 7-6.


Whiff of fresh air in Asian hockey

K. Arumugam

It happened recently. Two unexpected teams clashed in the FIFA World Cup. And in our own sport, Rio Olympics saw two new nations fighting out for the honours. Now its the turn of Asian hockey. Surpassing every predictions, and surprising all those assembled at the Gelora stands, Malaysia and Japan made it to the top. The two 'West' Asian nations will deservedly play for gold tomorrow.

Its first occasion in the 60-year history of the continental hockey, neither will Pakistan or Japan be there in the final. This is epochal development for Japan and Malaysia.

Malaysia and Japan earned the honours hard way. They faced the high-scoring and all-win record holders, and the way they knocked both India and Pakistan will be remembered for long. Malaysia played a disciplined hockey depending on good defence and counter attacks. India kept their worst for the day, fumbled with passes, messed up penalty corners, and panicked easily in the dying moments of the game.

Japan, host of the coming Olympics has done exactly what South Korea had done on the eve of them hosting the 1988 Olympics. At Seoul Asian Games, Korea defeated Pakistan in the final.

China men too surprised India in the Asian Games in the pool stage two years before they hosted their own Olympics.

Hosting events like Olympics perhas help these teams get enough funds, which gather best coaching talent to train their team, support their players and make earnest preparations.

Japan's rise is not surprising considering the kind of tours they have undertaken, and the kind of result they produced. New coach Siegfriedn Aikman and his team showed vast improvement not year after year, but month after month. Have not they defeated same Pakistan at the final of the Muscat 3-Nation? Or, the defet they handed out to New Zealand a couple of months ago is storm in the tea cup? Not at all. Japanese boys have shown enough gumption in showing the former giant Pakistan that they are former giants only.

Japan scored an early goal within five minutes of the game, and protected it to the end.

For India, like in the case of Pakistan, the first quarter game had done them in Their strength is penalty corner executions. But it did not work in the first quarter. Six penalty corner were wasted in this session too. This added to the pressure from which they could not recover.

India played a error-prone game. Repeat views can vouchsafe number of times how A Rupinder Pal or midfielders' passes were misdirected, giving away to Malaysian interceptions.

Indians seem to have misplaced mind set of being champions even before they became one. This complex, most unwanted in sports fields, let to their grave.

From the holistic point of view, emergence of Japan as the leading force, is a welcome development for the Asian hockey in particular, world hockey in general.

That Japan will be playing, like Koreas of 90s, both men's and women's final is icing on the cake.

Its first Korea that broke the monopoly of India-Pak in the Asian Games hockey. Short of funds, Korea suffers nowadays. With flush of funds, Japan makes every effort to its rightful claim to top.

Its a sort of nugget that the team that loses to India in the pool goes on to win the top honours. Argentina lost to India at Rio before climbing top. On this logic, is it Japan's day of destiny?


Malaysia stun India in sudden death

Vinayak Padmadeo

India coach Harendra Singh and the players react after the loss to Malaysia. AFP

The Indian heads dropped as SV Sunil missed his attempt deep into the sudden death of a thrilling shootout. On the other hand, the Malaysians, both on the field and in the stands, burst with joy. Malaysia outran India, while their supporters out-screamed the majority Indian crowd in the stadium.

Malaysia had done what many didn’t expect, though all feared — they stunned defending champions India in the semifinals, thereby denying the world No. 5 and Asia No. 1 side a chance to seal a direct entry into the 2020 Olympics.

After a thrilling 2-2 draw in regular time, Malaysia won 7-6 in sudden death. The world No. 12 side will take on Japan, who beat Pakistan 1-0 in the other semifinal, in the summit clash. It means that India will fight for the bronze medal with archrivals Pakistan.

India were sloppy in the first quarter, and if not for a successful referral, would have been down a goal inside the first six minutes.  India, who had pumped in 81 goals in the tournament so far, failed to score in the first two quarters. Malaysia’s experienced goalkeeper S Kumar, 38, kept India at bay. India wasted five penalty corners in the first half. But Harmanpreet Singh gave India the lead in the 32nd minute with a low drag-flick. However, the Malaysians equalised in the 39th minute, Faizal Saari scoring from a fast counter-attack started after a failed Indian penalty corner attempt. A minute later, India restored their advantage after Varun Kumar scored from a penalty corner variation. But India failed to shake off the Malaysians. Any plan they had of increasing the lead in the last quarter were thwarted by two yellow cards.

Sardar Singh was shown yellow near the end of the third quarter, while Surender Kumar was penalised at the start of the last quarter. It meant that India played the first part of the last quarter with nine men. Ironically, India conceded when they were back to full strength. With just over a minute left for the final hooter, Razie Rahim converted a penalty corner to force the game into a shootout.

“I would like to give credit to the Malaysian team with the way they fought back. We paid the price for committing too many unforced errors,” chief coach Harendra Singh said. “When we were leading 2-1, we should have held the ball more but we gave them possession and India lost.”

Incidentally, Harendra was the coach in the 2010 Asian Games when Malaysia beat the fancied Indians 4-3 in another come-from-behind semifinal win.

“It is a bumpy road now. Because we had to get the boarding pass (for the Olympics) here and we were determined to do that. But I think we paid the price of committing silly mistakes. We have to take it on the chin,” Harendra said.

The Tribune

Hockey dream suffers 'sudden death' as champions lose to Malaysia

Indian Men's Hockey Team Indian players look on after being defeated by Malaysian team in sudden death by 7-6, in the semifinal match at the 18th Asian Games 2018. , PTI

India's hope of securing another gold medal in men's hockey suffered a 'sudden death' on Thursday. The defending champions went down to Malaysia in a penalty shootout the semifinals at Asian Games 2018.

It was a heartbreaking end to Indian men's hockey campaign which saw them score 76 goals during the group stage.

Experienced SV Sunil missed the 10th attempt in the shootout after both teams were locked 2-2 in regulation time. Sunil failed to find a clear path to take a shot and then hit his shot wide from the rebound.

There were tears of joy as Malaysian camp celebrated the huge win.

Indian were guilty (again) of letting the opposition score in the dying minutes. They lacked positive approach and were punished as as Malaysia came back twice to equalise during the alloted time. Malaysia's second goal came with just over a minute left on the clock.

India took the lead through penalty corner specialist Harmanpreet Singh in the 33rd minute but the Malaysians equalised six minutes later through Faizal Sari.

India needed just a minute to regain the lead with Varun Kumar converting an indirect penalty corner.

It looked like India would hang on to the lead but the Muhammad Razie scored off a penalty corner to force a shootout.

The goalkeepers, India's PR Sreejesh and Malaysia’s Kumar Subramiam, managed to save three of the five attempts in the shootout.

Both teams then converted next four shots in the sudden death.

Tajuddin Tengku Ahmad converting the next one for Malaysia before Sunil missed his chance.

The loss may cost double as India also lost their best chance of earning a direct berth for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Daily News & Analysis

Defending champions India out of gold medal contention in men’s hockey, lose to Malaysia

India's team wait during the penalty shootout at their men's hockey semi-final match against Malaysia at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday. Photo Credit: AP

The Indian defenders looked completely out of sorts as they committed silly errors to allow Malaysia come back into the match after taking the lead twice.

Defending champions India crashed out of the Asian Games men’s hockey competition after a heartbreaking 6-7 loss to Malaysia via penalty shoot-off in the semifinals here on Thursday.

The match went into shoot-off and then sudden death after both teams were locked 2-2 after regulation 60 minutes. It was a lacklustre performance from title favourites India, who scored a record 76 goals in the pool stages against unfancied opponents.

The Indian defenders looked completely out of sorts as they committed silly errors to allow Malaysia come back into the match after taking the lead twice. India converted two out of their six penalty corners through Harmanpreet Singh (18th minute) and Varun Kumar (40th minute). Malaysia’s goals came from the sticks of Faizal Saari (24th) and Muhammad Razie Rahim (59th minute).

In the shoot-off, India were wasteful as only Akashdeep Singh and Harmanpreet scored while India captain P.R. Sreejesh inflicted three good saves to deny the Malaysians and take the match into sudden death.

In the sudden death, the Indians played catch-up and the Malaysians were clinical with their efforts. Finally, S.V. Sunil faltered in the fifth attempt, handing Malaysia a famous win and dashing India’s title hopes and a direct entry into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Hindu

Japan take the wind out of Pakistan sails with 1-0 victory

Malaysia stun defending champions India in penalty shoot-out

Muhammad Ali

JAKARTA: Japan took the wind out of Pakistan sails when they defeated the former champions 1-0 in Asian Games 2018 hockey tournament at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium here Thursday, disqualifying the country from reaching the finals. With this humiliating defeat against the minnows, all the tall claims made by the incompetent Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) officials bit the dust. Pakistan had entered the semi-finals as the top team of Group B after beating Thailand, Oman, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh and Malaysia. But Pakistan were shocked as Japan came like a bolt from the blue. In the first semi-final, Malaysia managed to defeat India after a penalty shootout. Pakistan and India will be competing for the bronze medal. Japan twice reached the victory stand, bronze in 1966 and 1970. In the previous Asian Games, they might be considered unlucky as on no less than seven times, Japan finished fourth. They attained fifth spot twice and ended sixth on four occasions. Pakistan are of course the most successful team with eight gold, three silver and three bronze medals. Pakistan’s performance in the Asian Games 2018 has been swept a way of disappointment over the country as it finished in the last four with only three medals, amongst the 37 participating countries, just above Afghanistan, Myanmar and Syria.

Pakistan had the first opportunity but Ali Shan’s attempt went out in the seventh minute. Then onward, Japan had more of the play in the first half. They had two open play chances as well as two penalty corners. Off the second penalty corner, Shota Yamada’s strong flat push went through goalkeeper Imran Butt’s pads. Pakistan appeared a completely transformed side in the third period. Employing their traditional short passing game, they repeatedly entered the opponent’s circle from both the sides but lacked the finishing. The two penalty corners coming their way were also wasted. Japan hardly entered Pakistan’s circle during these 15 minutes. The green shirts had the third penalty corner in the first minute of the fourth period but again failed to make it count. However, Japanese managed to weather the storm and regained composure. The last quarter was evenly played. Chances came to both the sides but there wasn’t any dangerous attempt. The hooter sounded for the final time and the Japanese erupted into joyous celebration.

India lose to Malaysia on penalties: Earlier, it was heartbreak for India as they went down to Malaysia 6-7 in the penalty shoot-out in the first semi-final. Defending champions India were knocked out of the gold medal contention and denied a direct entry into the 2020 Olympics, with Malaysia again proving to be their Achilles heel. Malaysia, who had beaten India in the last-four stage eight years ago at Guangzhou, made their wasteful opponents pay for their mistakes, both in regulation time and shoot-off. Both teams were tied at 2-2 after 60 minutes. India conceded a late goal to push the match into shoot-off after Harmanpreet Singh and Varun Kumar had scored from penalty corners in the 33rd and 40th minute. Malaysia struck through Faizal Saari (39th min) and Muhammad Razie, who found the all-important equaliser less than two minutes before the end of regulation time. In the shoot-off, it was anyone’s game and Malaysia handled the nerves better to make their second Asiad final. India, who had come into the encounter as runaway favourites, had scored a record 76 goals in the group stage.

The Daily Times

India and Japan to battle for gold in women's Asian Games hockey competition

India will aim to beat Japan in the Asian Games final to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Photo: Asian Hockey Federation

As the women's hockey competition at the 18th Asian Games reaches its exciting conclusion, we recap on what has happened so far at a event that has seen some fantastic matches, some drama and upset and, ultimately, has two of the most exciting teams playing for the gold medal.

While the competition has thrown up some big score-lines there have also been some fascinating and closely-fought encounters that have provided not just a showcase for women's team sport but also evidence of how far hockey is developing across Asia.

The 2-1 victory of lowest-ranked team Indonesia (WR:64) over Kazakhstan (WR:34) saw the Indonesian players kneeling on the ground exhausted but elated; and in the following match Hong Kong China (WR:44) and Chinese Taipei (WR: 53) were involved in a dramatic game with the lower ranked side emerging 3-2 winners.

But after all the pool matches, it was the top four highest ranked sides who progressed to the medal matches. India (FIH Hero World Ranking:9) and Japan (WR:14) were two teams who showed just what they were capable of achieving with some fantastic performances at the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup London 2018, and both teams have carried the form and confidence forward to Jakarta for the Asian Games.

On the opening day of competition, both Japan and India recorded decisive victories over their rivals, Chinese Taipei (11-0) and Indonesia (8-0). Japan then beat Hong Kong China 6-0, before India showed their goal scoring muscle with a 21-0 victory over Kazakhstan.

Both teams then faced stiff tests against two of the pre-tournament favourites. Japan saw out a brilliant 4-2 victory over the higher ranked China (WR:11) team, while India beat Korea (WR:10) 4-1. Both India and Japan then finished their pool matches with wins over Thailand (WR:28) and Malaysia (WR:22) respectively.

The results left Japan top of Pool A with maximum points and India top of Pool B, also with no losses.

In the semi-finals, Japan faced the runners-up in Pool B, Korea, who had won all bar one of their pool games. Korea are renowned for their ability to soak up large amounts of pressure before unleashing speedy attacks, but on this occasion, the Cherry Blossoms held firm against some spirited Korean attacking play and scored two goals in the final quarter of the game. Akiko Ota scored the first goal from a penalty corner and she was joined on the scoresheet with just 15 seconds left on the clock by Minami Shimzu, who scored from open play.

If that match was a closely fought affair, then the game between China, who were runners-up in Pool A, and India was even more tense. China had demonstrated great ability in front of goal in their previous matches, clocking up 15 goals against Hong Kong and nine against Chinese Taipei, but there had also been some weaknesses exposed as Malaysia had held China to a 2-2 draw and they had lost to Japan, effectively ceding the pool leadership to the Cherry Blossoms.

While China had struggled, India had bloomed and their confidence was evident as the Eves peppered the China defence with shots – including a string of three penalty corners that were all well saved by the China defence.

In the end, India's persistence was rewarded as Gurjit Kaur scored the penalty corner that took India to the final and a chance to secure the first qualification place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

In the event classification matches, Indonesia will be delighted to have taken seventh place after a 2-0 victory over Chinese Taipei, while Malaysia finished fifth after beating Thailand 2-0.

On the final day of women's hockey action on Friday 31 August, Hong Kong China face Kazakhstan in the battle for ninth place and then the next two matches will decide the medals.

Korea will take on China in the bronze medal match at 17:30 local time and at 20:00 Japan face India for the gold medal.

To follow all the hockey action at the 2018 Asian Games, Jakarta, click here. You can also follow the action on Twitter: @asia_hockey Facebook: Asian Hockey Federation.

NOTE: If Japan win, as hosts they have already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. As a result, another Olympic Games Qualification Event match will take place at the end of 2019 as described in the Hockey Series Q&A here.

FIH site

Womens Hockey: India and Japan are arch rivals

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

Captain Rani Rampal(221 caps,104 goals) has to score today.

Indian women have the challenge to win the Asian Games gold medal after 36 years to enter the Tokyo Olympic (2020). India has played the most matches in women's hockey against Japan (63). Both teams will meet the fourth time in the title match today.

In the Asian Ladies Hockey Association Cup (Kyoto - 1981), Indian women won the title by defeating Japan 2-1. India also defeated Japan 1-0 in the finals of the New Delhi (2004) Asia Cup.

However Japan defeated India by winning 1-0 in the Asian Champions Trophy in Kakamigahara (Japan) in 2013.

As a hosts Cherry blossom will be in Tokyo Olympics (2020).

By winning Gold medal today Indian women can achieved double distinction of gold medal and Olympic ticket.

Head to head of India- Japan in women’s hockey are:

India- Japan:  Head to head

By B.G.Joshi















In Asian Games







In Final Match







Last played in Donghae(Korea) Asian Champions Trophy, May 2018, won 4-1.


Pakistan lose to Japan in Asia Games hockey semifinal

JAKARTA: Pakistan failed to secure a place in the final of the Asia Games hockey, losing to Japan 1-0.

Earlier, India lost to Malaysia in the first semifinal after a penalty shootout. India and Pakistan will now play each other in the bronze medal match.

Prior to this loss, Pakistan were undefeated in the group stages.

Geo TV

Hockey Series Open - Gniezno 2018 (Men) - Day 3
Gniezno (POL)

Results 30 August

CYP v UKR (RR)     0 - 21
ITA v LTU (RR)     10 - 0
CZE v POL (RR)     0 - 2

Pool standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Poland 3 3 0 0 30 0 30 9
2 Ukraine 3 2 1 0 33 2 31 7
3 Italy 3 2 1 0 15 4 11 7
4 Czech Republic 3 1 0 2 13 6 7 3
5 Lithuania 3 0 0 3 1 32 -31 0
6 Cyprus 3 0 0 3 0 48 -48 0

FIH Match Centre

Venues announced for FIH Pro League matches

The venues for all FIH Pro League matches were announced today

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced the proposed venues that will host the FIH Pro League during the 2019 season.

Over 20 venues across 11 nations will host matches next year, providing a global spread of world-class hockey, across multiple time-zones, from January to June in this new ‘game-changing’ competition.

The power of home will be key to success in this event, with packed stadiums throughout the season providing a huge boost to teams playing in front of their nation’s fans. Thousands of spectators will shortly be able to buy tickets for matches whilst millions more will be able to tune in via a global network of broadcast partners.

To find out which venues will host which matches in 2019, view the official FIH Pro League schedule here.

Argentina has proposed to play their men’s and women’s home matches in three locations - the CENARD in Buenos Aires, Cordoba’s Estadio Municipal and the Estadio Mundialista de Hockey Luciana Aymar in Rosario.

Australia’s men’s and women’s Pro League games will be played at Sydney’s Olympic Park Hockey Centre, the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne, the Tasmanian Hockey Centre in Hobart and at the Perth Hockey Stadium.

Belgium are planning to play their men’s and women’s matches at the Wilrijkse Plein  in Antwerp and at Royal Uccle Sport in Brussels.

China women will play at the venue of this year’s Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy – the Wujin Hockey Stadium in Changzhou, a city located 185km east of Shanghai.

Germany have so far proposed Hockeypark in Moenchengladbach and a venue in Krefeld as hosts for their men’s and women’s teams for FIH Pro League matches.

Great Britain will build on the success of recent events at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Their men’s and women’s matches will be played in the venue that provided the stage for the hugely successful Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 which concluded earlier this month.

The reigning women’s World Cup and men’s European champions, Netherlands, will play matches in Amsterdam, with several other locations also being considered.

New Zealand men and women will welcome opponents to North Harbour Hockey Stadium in Auckland, Nga Puna Wai Hockey Stadium in Christchurch and Hawkes Bay Sport Park in Hastings.

Pakistan men have chosen Scotland as their home for the FIH Pro League. Their matches will be played at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre which hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Spain have proposed two venues for their men’s matches - Club de Campo Villa in Madrid and Estadio Beteró in Valencia – the latter also host of one of next year’s Women’s Hockey Series Finals.

USA women will play their home matches at their national team’s base at Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Lancaster near Philadelphia, with one match also being played at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

These venues have been proposed based on comprehensive requirements outlined by the FIH, which include criteria specific to location, pitch performance, seating capacity and lighting levels for TV coverage.

These were established by the FIH to ensure the quality of the venues and provision of a unique fan experience, with a key focus on the safety and wellbeing of athletes and the performance aspects of the facilities. With such high standards required, some of the mentioned venues could be subject to change.

For further information about the FIH Pro League, visit the Q&A section on the FIH website by clicking here.

Note that the schedule provided is subject to change depending on changes requested by broadcasters and participating teams.

FIH site

USWNT to Travel to Japan for Four Nations Womens Ibaraki International Tournament in September

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After a few weeks of regeneration, the U.S. Women’s National Team will get back to international competition when they travel to Osaka, Japan for the Four Nations Women’s Ibaraki International Tournament from September 12-16. This event will feature FIH Hero World Ranked No. 3 Australia, No. 10 Korea, No. 12 USA and No. 14 Japan.

“Playing games is very important for us as we can implement our learnings from trainings in a competitive environment that counts,” said Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach. “We look forward to start our journey with this great opportunity to play in Japan against Japan, Korea and Australia.”

The USWNT will leave on September 7 and train for two days before the tournament begins. This 5-day round robin event will come after a disappointing finish for the USWNT at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup. It features teams that all competed in London, where Australia finished the highest by narrowly missing the bronze medal to Spain.

On the opening day, the USWNT will take on Korea. The second day will see USA face host nation No. 14 Japan before taking on No. 3 Australia following a rest day.

Four Nations Women’s Ibaraki International Tournament Schedule:

Wednesday, September 12, USA vs. Korea, 3:30 a.m. ET
Thursday, September 13, USA vs. Japan, 5:30 a.m. ET
Saturday, September 15, USA vs. Australia, 1:00 a.m. ET
Sunday, September 16, TBD, TBD

Japan Hockey Association will live stream each game online for free. A link to view will be provided before the game on the official event page.

Four Nations Women’s Ibaraki International Tournament Roster:

Mary Beth Barnham (Fairfax, Va.), Catherine Caro (Martinsville, N.J.), Anna Dessoye (Mountaintop, Pa.), Ali Froede (Burke, Va.), Jill Funk (Lancaster, Pa.), Laura Hurff (Newark, Del.), Jess Jecko (Sauquoit, N.Y.), Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.), Alyssa Manley (Lititz, Pa.), Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.), Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.), Kealsie Robles (Seaford, Va.), Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.), Carissa Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md.), Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.), Julia Young (Yorktown, Va.)

The roster features goalkeepers Jecko and Robles, who will both be making their international debuts in Osaka. Jecko, who joined the USWNT in 2016, was selected to the U.S. U-21 Women's National Team in 2014. In 2015, she helped lead Syracuse to victory the NCAA Division I National Championship. Robles, who is currently a senior at Old Dominion University, led the team in saves in 2017. She was named to the U.S. Women's National Development Squad earlier this year.

USFHA media release

SA Hockey announce players to join greater SA Hockey Men’s squad

Tevin Kok of South Africa runs with the ball during the Mens Pool A Hockey match between South Africa and Scotland on day one of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast Hockey Centre on April 5, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (April 4, 2018 - Source: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images AsiaPac)

The South African Hockey Association is pleased to announce a further twelve players that will join the South African Men’s Hockey team. Although they will not form part of the World Cup Squad, they will take part in the training camps and form part of the structure in the period following the FIH Hockey World Cup in India later this year.

With South Africa due to take part in the Open Series Finals, which replaced the World League, in 2019 in a bid to qualify for the Olympic Games, having the group of players together is important for Mark Hopkins and his coaching team to start building the processes towards Tokyo 2020. The twelve will join the already announced 29 players in being part of the larger squad.

From the FIH World League Semi-Final played in Johannesburg last year, Tevin Kok is selected. The Northern Blues striker has shown some blistering pace and ability when given the opportunity. Siya Nolutshungu, who is unavailable for the World Cup due to personal reasons, is named. Nolutshungu was the goalkeeper of the tournament at the CTM Premier Hockey League which completed this weekend. Both men were part of the South African team at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

There are a handful of players with 5 or less caps including Melrick Maddocks, who went to the African Cup in Egypt last year, Indoor Hockey national Rusten Abrahams, Alex Stewart, Andrew Hobson and Matt de Sousa, who was victorious at both IPT and PHL this year.

Michael Abrahams from Eastern Province earns his first call up and will be joined by Thabang Modise, Mark Chong, Sam Mvimbi and Chris Makaba.

With less than 100 days to go to the 2018 FIH Hockey World Cup the excitement around South African Men’s Hockey will be reaching fever pitch.

Additional Squad Players

No., Name, Province, Caps**

1, Tevin Kok, Northern Gauteng, 20
2, Michael Abrahams, Eastern Province, 0
3, Melrick Maddocks, Free State, 5
4, Alex Stewart, Western Province, 2
5, Mark Chong, South Africa U21, 0
6, Siya Nolutshungu (GK), Eastern Province, 6
7, Sam Mvimbi, South Africa U21, 0
8, Andrew Hobson, South Africa U21, 3
9, Thabang Modise, Southern Gauteng, 0
10, Matt de Sousa, Kwazulu Natal, 1
11, Rusten Abrahams, Southern Gauteng, 3
12, Chris Makaba, South Africa U21, 0

* caps as per FIH TMS as at 30 August 2018

SA Hockey Association media release

The Anniversary International in partnership with Toshiba TVs

Tickets for the Anniversary International in partnership with Toshiba TVs are on sale now as we mark 30 years since Great Britain men's Olympic gold medal win at Seoul 1988.

The historic moment has been an iconic moment in British sporting history for many years. Barry Davies’ legendary commentary line – “Where were the Germans? But, frankly who cares!”  – also went down in history and players such as Sean Kerly became household names.

This October it’s the 30th Anniversary of that gold medal and to mark the occasion we’re hosting a Anniversary International match on the 3 October in partnership with Toshiba TVs which sees Great Britain’s men take on Belgium, ranked third in the world.

Where are the Germans? Frankly who cares. The match will take place at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Tickets are on sale now for a night of world-class hockey and a large dose of Olympic nostalgia, with 1988 legends making guest appearances. The match is also new Head Coach Danny Kerry’s first match in charge of the team.

So join in the celebration – after the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup, hockey is the hottest ticket in town – and don’t miss out on another brilliant night on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

You can buy your tickets for this game HERE.

Wear your retro '80s sportswear

Everyone loves bringing out the retro sportswear – if you have kit which is actually from your 1980s playing days, even better!

So clubs, come down in your teams or groups for a cracking night out and dress up for the occasion – there will be FIH Pro League tickets on offer for the best fancy dress on the night.

England Hockey Board Media release

Under-23 Australian Development Team Named For China Tour

Ben Somerford

Hockey Australia today announces an 18-member Under-23 Australian Development team for the upcoming China Tour from 3-12 November in Changzhou.

The side will compete in a tournament with the hosts China, Great Britain, Germany  and Chinese national champions Jiangsu across six matches.

The tour is another opportunity to help develop the talent pathway in Australia with a view to building a competitive squad towards Olympic qualification, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the next Olympic cycle.

The team consists of Under-23 athletes from the 2018 National Development Squad, 2018 National Squad Junior Squad and top age 2017 National Junior Squad athletes.

National Junior Women’s Coach Tim White said: “This tour represents a great opportunity for athletes to experience foreign conditions, life on tour and matches against quality international opposition from Asia and Europe.

“The tour will also provide an excellent opportunity to assess emerging talent, as the athletes look to push into National Development and National Senior squads, with the aim of representing the Hockeyroos at benchmark events in the coming years.”

The team is due to fly out for China on Tuesday 30 October.

Under-23 Australian Development team for China Tour:
Athlete (Home State)
Casey Dolkens (QLD)
Morgan Gallagher (QLD)
Annie Gibbs (WA)
Rebecca Greiner (QLD)
Nicola Hammond (VIC)
Rene Hunter (NSW)
Euleena MacLachlan (SA)
Pippa Morgan (WA)
Mikaela Patterson (NSW)
Candyce Peacock (WA)
Aleisha Power (WA)
Renee Rockliff (WA)
Michaela Spano (SA)
Tina Taseska (ACT)
Sophie Taylor (VIC)
Shanea Tonkin (WA)
Aisling Utri (VIC)
Abigail Wilson (NSW)

Match Schedule:
Saturday 3 November – Australia v China
Sunday 4 November – Australia v Jiangsu
Tuesday 6 November – Australia v Great Britain
Wednesday 7 November – Australia v Germany
Friday 9 November – Australia v Great Britain
Saturday 10 November – Australia v Germany

Hockey Australia media release

Arminen excited to represent Austria against in EHL

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

SV Arminen coach Dariusz Rachwalski says his side are “rather excited” about the opportunity to represent Austria once again in EHL ROUND1 as national champions.

They face a tough line-up with an opening tie against Grange on Friday, October 5 (1.30pm) before meeting Dutch giants HC Oranje-Rood on Sunday, October 7 (11.45am).

He admits that they did not have any “special expectations” or hopes from the first round draw but he does view the first tie against the Scottish champions as a big opportunity.

“Grange played in the EuroHockey Club Trophy in Vienna in May earlier this year and we've heard only positive comments about their game. We expect the Scottish side to be on similar level as us therefore it should be a good, close match.”

As for Oranje-Rood, Rachwalski is aware of the challenges they pose. Nonetheless, Arminen did put it up to them in 2015’s KO16 (when the Eindhoven club were Oranje-Zwart), keeping just a single goal in the difference until the last minute when Mink van der Weerden scored for 2-0.

That season, the Austrian club had stunned Atletic Terrassa at the Pau Negre Stadium to top their ROUND1 group, beating Scottish club Kelburne along the way.

Looking back on that run, Rachwalski says plenty of water has gone under the bridge since then: “When it comes to Oranje-Rood, I wouldn't go so far to say we have a history,” he told the EHL website.

“We have played against each other once and, through a consistent and devoted defensive performance, we managed to hold the result close till the end. It was a great game but these are two different teams now.

“Oranje-Rood is surely a top team with fantastic individual skills, including Benni Stanzl from Austria among them. They are playing every weekend on the highest level of hockey you can get but of course we will do everything to compete with them.”

Arminen begin their league campaign in Austria with a home game against HG Mödling and will play six league games prior to their EHL campaign.

Euro Hockey League media release

Hockey Union clears Short of racism

by Helge Schütz

Maryke Short (left) in action for DTS against Unam during her playing days a few years ago.

THE Namibia Hockey Union (NHU) has cleared Maryke Short of racism or discrimination following an internal investigation into the affair.

It added that the affair had been extremely damaging to hockey in Namibia and that future tours to Zimbabwe would be reconsidered due to serious threats that had been made against Namibian hockey teams due to tour there.

In a press statement issued on Thursday, the NHU said it had launched an immediate investigation into the affair after Ruth Herunga had issued a grievance report with the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC) following the exclusion of her daughter, Liya, from a Namibian u16 team due to tour Zimbabwe.

“The news of the allegations that Liya was dropped or excluded from the Zimbabwe tour came as a surprise to the NHU since Liya was promoted with two other u16 girls to the u18 girls team. The u18 girls team was short of players as a result of withdrawals due to exams and other school responsibilities. According to the coach, Liya was promoted into a specific playing position because Short felt that Liya was mature enough to play for the u18 team. Her inclusion into the u18 team was also discussed with the player by the coach,” the NHU stated.

It said that only one u16 team had been signed off by the NHU, which did not include Liya's name, since she was already in the u18 team. The u18 tour was, however, postponed to November, after a request by the Zimbabwe Hockey Association, and it was decided to re-introduce the three u16 girls into the u16 team.

“On 17 August, Liya was invited to practise with the u16 team and a new team list was compiled for signing off by the NHU,” it said, adding that further allegations by the Namibia School Sport Union (NSSU) into unfair treatment by Short were investigated, but that no substantial evidence of unfair treatment or racism could be established.

“The allegations included that Liya did not have enough game time on the Bloemfontein tour, which seems to have led to the racism allegations. These allegations seem to be unfounded since the time sheets received from the tournament indicated that Liya played a total of 70% of the time out of a total of 16 players. Analysis of the time sheets revealed that Liya had the seventh most game time out of the 16 players,” the NHU said.

It added that it had asked the NSSU for a full investigation but that no response from them had been received. It also quoted the u16 team manager, Ester Shafashike as saying, “In conclusion, I would like to say this was a good trip and we had fun during our stay in Bloemfontein.”

The NHU added that further investigations by the NHU athletes representative, Magreth Mengo, had 'failed to establish any acts of racism, discrimination or ill-treatment of any players coached by Ms Short.'

The NHU said that Short was asked to step down as the u16 team coach following a request by the NSC and that Mengo had been temporarily appointed as the u16 coach pending the outcome of the investigation.

It added that the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe had 'reluctantly and with expression of disappointment' agreed to postpone the entire u16 and u18 boys and girls tour to the end of November or early next year.

“Comments made by Ms Herunga over social media were extremely damaging to the sport and brought the name of the game into disrepute, which is seen in a very serious light and the matter will be further pursued,” the NHU stated.

“Future hockey tours to Zimbabwe will be reconsidered, since serious threats were received from Zimbabwe against hockey teams taking part in Zimbabwe, which are the result of irresponsible, emotional and unfounded allegations and outcries over social media,” it added.

The chief administrator of the NSC, Fred Mwiya meanwhile said their investigation into the matter was ongoing and that they would make a statement in about two weeks' time.

The Namibian

Weekend College Games

Each week, USA Field Hockey highlights some of the top college games in Division I, II and III.


DI: Maryland vs Boston College | 7 p.m. ET

Maryland will host Boston College this Friday for a game under the lights at 7 p.m. During opening weekend, Maryland came away with two wins after defeating Pacific and California. This past Monday they went on to earn their third victory against UC Davis. Over the three wins, the Terrapins have posted three shutouts and have scored 14 goals. Boston College opened the 2018 season with a 7-0 win over Quinnipiac University last Friday. The Eagles have won their last 11 season-opening match-ups. Both teams have proven that they can score a lot of goals so expect this game to be an exciting one!


Mercy will host Kutztown for their 2018 season opener this Friday at 3 p.m. In the 2017 season, Mercy went 2-8 in conference play and 7-11 overall. The Mavericks welcomed seven new freshmen to the team which they hope will build upon their successful season last year. Kutztown went 5-5 in conference play and 11-7 overall last season. In 2017, Kutztown upset No.1 ranked Shippensburg, but just barely missed the playoffs for the second straight year. This year, KU hopes to finally knock down the playoff door rather than just knocking on it. Last time these two teams played was in 2015 when Kutztown defeated Mercy 3-0.


Worcester State will host Babson for both teams 2018 season opener this Friday at 12 p.m. Worcester State was selected as the favorite in the Little East Preseason Poll. In 2017, Worcester went 10-1 in conference play and 15-4 overall. The Lancers won the Little East Conference regular season title but fell in the semifinals of the LEC Tournament. Last season, Babson went 8-0 in conference play and 17-5 overall. Babson also won the NEWMAC regular season title but fell in the finals of the NEWMAC tournament. The last time these two teams met, Babson defeated Worcester State 7-0. Both of these teams had similar 2017 stories, so expect them to be looking to make a statement in their opening weekends.


DI: UC DAVIS vs MIAMI  |12 p.m. ET

UC Davis will take on Miami at noon this Saturday at Aggie Field Hockey Facility in Davis, Calif. UC Davis started off the 2018 season with a pair of wins against Temple and Providence. This past Monday, Davis was handed their first loss of the season against Maryland 1-6. Although the Aggies lost, they scored with 8 seconds remaining in regulation showing that they will never give up. The RedHawks split their opening weekend with one win and one loss. Miami defeated Saint Francis 5-0 last Saturday and fell to No.9 Delaware 1-4 on Sunday. Both of these teams have shown that they will continue to fight the entire game, so expect this to be a good back and forth battle.

DII: Limestone vs Shippensburg | 11 a.m. ET

This game will be the game to watch in Division II field hockey this weekend. Limestone will take on Shippensburg this Saturday at a neutral-site match at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va. Shippensburg was voted first in the PSAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Shippensburg finished last season 9-1 in conference play and 17-4 overall, topping off 2017 with another National Championship. This season, Shippensburg will be looking to win its third consecutive NCCA championship. Limestone meanwhile was voted as the Preseason Favorite in the South Atlantic Conference Carolinas Field Hockey Poll. Limestone finished the 2017 season with a 9-1 conference record and a 15-4 overall record.Limestone is aiming to win its first SACC Championship in program history.


TCNJ opens its 2018 campaign when they host Catholic this Saturday, which will be the first of a three game homestand for the Lions. TCNJ was picked as the NJAC favorites in the coaches’ poll and are the four-time defending NJAC Champions. Last year, the Lions went 5-1 in conference play and 17-4 overall. TCNJ made the final four last seasons but were knocked out by Messiah College. The Lions will be looking for the programs 12 national title.Catholic finished the 2017 season with a 7-0 conference record and 15-3 overall record. The Cardinals start the 2018 season excited coming off a successful 2017 season in which they won the Landmark Conference regular season championship. Catholic has a tough schedule in which they will play some of the best teams in the country. They hope this schedule will help prepare them for post season conference play.



DI: INDIANA vs DREXEL | 12 p.m. ET
Drexel will host Indiana this Sunday at 12 p.m. Drexel went 1-1 opening weekend losing to No.7 Virginia 1-8 on Friday and then defeated Rider 8-2 on Sunday. Drexel had an offensive surge scoring 4 goals in 10 minutes to help power them past Rider. Indiana also went 1-1 opening weekend losing to No. 8 Louisville 1-2 on Friday and defeating Ball State 2-0 on Sunday. On Friday, Indiana took top-ranked Louisville to the bitter end, when the Cards scored the game-winner on a corner with no time left on the clock. Both of these teams started off their seasons with a loss but have bounced back. Tune into see who keeps up their winning momentum.


Newberry will host Mercy Hurst this Sunday at 1 p.m. Newberry was voted to finish third in the South Atlantic Conference Carolina Preseason Poll. Last season, Newberry tied its program record for wins with a 3-7 conference record and a 6-14 overall record. Newberry returns a strong offense that will be looking to generate a lot of threatening attack. Mercyhurst was ranked No. 10 in the 2018 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference preseason poll. The Lakers finished 2-8 in conference play and 7-11 overall. Mercyhurst will look to its seven seniors this season for leadership and confidence. The last time these two teams met was all the way back in 2014 when Mercyhurst defeated Newbery 6-3. Tune into see how these two teams match up four years later.


Mary Washington will host John Hopkins this Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Mary Washington was picked fourth in the 2018 Capital Athletic Conference Field Hockey Preseason Poll. Mary Washington finished the 2017 record 3-3 in conference play and 11-8 overall. Mary Washington is a mix of experience with solid upperclassman and eight newcomers. John Hopkins was picked to finish second in the Centennial Conference Field Hockey Preseason Poll. Last season, John Hopkins went 9-1 in conference play and 14-5 overall. John Hopkins 9-1 conference record earned them the top seed in the Centennial Conference Tournament but fell in the championship game. Tune into see which team starts their 2018 season off on the right foot. 

USFHA media release

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