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News for 09 June 2019

All the news for Sunday 9 June 2019

FIH Men's Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019 - Day 4
Bhubaneswar (IND)

Results 8 June

USA v MEX (Pool B)     9 - 0
JPN v RSA (Pool B)     2 - 0

Fixtures (GMT +5:30)

9 Jun 2019 17:00     RUS v POL (Pool A)

10 Jun 2019 08:45     USA v JPN (Pool B)
10 Jun 2019 17:00     RSA v MEX (Pool B)
10 Jun 2019 19:00     IND v UZB (Pool A)

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Pool Standings

Pool A

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 India 2 2 0 0 13 1 12 6
2 Poland 2 1 0 1 5 3 2 3
3 Russia 2 1 0 1 12 11 1 3
4 Uzbekistan 2 0 0 2 1 16 -15 0

Pool B

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 United States 2 2 0 0 11 0 11 6
2 Japan 2 2 0 0 5 1 4 6
3 South Africa 2 0 0 2 0 4 -4 0
4 Mexico 2 0 0 2 1 12 -11 0

FIH Match Centre

USMNT Dominates with Nine-Goal Win Over Mexico in FIH Series Finals

Image Courtesy of Hockey India

BHUBANESWAR, India - The No. 25 U.S. Men’s National Team met a familiar foe in their second game of the FIH Series Finals as they faced No. 39 Mexico at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India. After tying in the FIH Hockey Series Open one year ago, USA came out well prepared against their Pan American region rival in an offensive-dominant performance as seven different players tallied goals in a 9-0 victory.

“Last time we played them it was a very, very close result,” said Sean Cicchi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), after the match. “We just wanted to come out and give a really good effort and show them what we can really do.”

Mexico took first possession and swiftly moved inside USA’s 25-yard line, but a well anticipated USA defense took the ball away to help set the tempo of the match. USA quickly got to work on offense, with multiple threats by Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas) and Sean Harris (Moorpark, Calif.) before setting up for the team's first penalty corner of the match at the 4 minute mark. Mexico goalkeeper Jose Hernandez successfully defended the attempt before Michael Barminski (Ventura, Calif.) followed up on USA’s next possession finishing on the reverse from a cross by Montilla for the game’s first goal. Mexico responded with their first circle penetration but was well defended by Tom Barratt (Greensboro, N.C.). USA continued to consistently apply pressure on Mexico’s defensive unit as the opening quarter unfolded. Their patience paid off in the 14th minute when they extended the lead after Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.) sent a backhand shot toward goal that was redirected by Julian Croonenberghs (Tervuren, Belgium) past Hernandez.

USA kept up momentum as the second quarter got underway with scoring chances by Patrick Harris (Moorpark, Calif.) and Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.) before USA lined up for another penalty corner in the 20th minute. Back-to-back strikes by Aki Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) were saved by Hernandez but clears by Mexico were inconsistent as USA was able to chase down and intercept. With time running low in the half USA set up a flurry of shots in the final moments, including shots by Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands) and P. Harris. The attempts would pay off when Huisman chased down the ball and passed to Tyler Sundeen (Simi Valley, Calif.) in the goalmouth, beating the halftime buzzer and goalkeeper Hernandez to give the red, white and blue a 3-0 lead.

Picking up where they left off as the third quarter began, USA continued to find opportunities inside the circle. They were at a disadvantage when P. Harris was given a green card in the 35th minute, but still found chances in those two minutes. As the card expired, USA set up for a penalty corner, which was inserted by P. Harris, and finished on a drag by Cicchi to extend USA’s score line. Montilla then register his first goal for USA two minutes later on a redirected cross by Mohan Gandhi (Ventura, Calif.). Christian DeAngelis (Doylestown, Pa.) was next on the scoring sheet after hitting one inside the pads of Hernandez for his second goal of the FIH Series Finals in the 42nd minute. Mexico found a path near the circle just as the quarter concluded but was stopped by Barratt.

Still in a half-field press, Mexico was kept on their back foot as USA patiently weaved passes around the perimeter, but nearly got on the scoreboard on a fast-developing 3-on-3 play. Jorge Gomez passed over to Erik Hernandez for a quick strike but the play was broken up by P. Harris. Back the other way, a drag flick by Cicchi on a penalty corner found the bottom left corner of the goal in the 52nd minute, which was followed up one minute later by Barminski to make it 8-0. Still challenging Mexico’s defense Huisman had a pair of chances inside the circle before being taken down on a pass attempt to Sundeen. The ensuing penalty stroke was taken by Will Holt (Camarillo, Calif.) who buried it into the roof of the goal for USA’s ninth goal of the evening.

"We are happy that we scored nine goals and kept a clean sheet today," said Rutger Wiese, USMNT Head Coach. "We will review the video and make improvements where needed for the next game.”

Following the game, Cicchi was named Man of the Match. Tonight’s match also marked the 100th international cap for Sundeen.

"We’re happy for him and great he was able to celebrate this special cap with a goal," added Wiese.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will have a break in the schedule before returning to the pitch for their third pool play game on Monday, June 10, local time against No. 18 Japan to determine the top seed in Pool B. Game time is set for Sunday, June 9 at 11:15 p.m. ET and can be viewed on Bleacher Report Live.

USFHA media release

Polished Japan perform professionally to defeat South Africa

Image - Hockey India

The South African Hockey Men were looking to dust off the bruises and shake off the opening games performance at the FIH Hockey Series Final in Bhubaneswar. Having seen a dominant performance against USA produce a 2-0 defeat, the South Africans would have been keen to put in a better performance against Japan.

The two nations had met at the FIH World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg in 2017, where the South Africans won 4-2, but since that South Africa have played just 22 test matches, while the Japanese were playing their 61st since that Johannesburg encounter. The African champions were also featuring the second new coach since that tournament as Garreth Ewing has only recently been appointed with this his 5th test to his counterpart Siegfried Aikman in charge of his 66th.

South Africa also had to be aware that the Japanese ranking is only as low as it is due to historic non-competing in certain tournaments with heavy ranking points. Their victory at the 2018 Asian Cup underlined their commitment to developing their game ahead of the home-based Tokyo Olympics next year.

They started like they were the favourites and produced a professional display in holding the South Africans at bay and creating good chances with regularity. They were unlucky to find Rassie Pieterse in form as they took certain shots, but eventually broke the deadlock just before half time when Kentaro Fukuda expertly deflected past a helpless Siya Nolutshungu in the SA goals.

Although SA created a few chances, they were limited to much less dangerous possession than against USA and only three penalty corners in the game. Japan also had double the amount of circle penetrations as the South Africans in the 60 minutes. As South Africa sought to get back into the game they left gaps at the back and Kazuma Maruta finished off a counter attack after being left unmarked. There was nothing Pieterse could do in the goals for South Africa.

South Africa did pull a late goal back but unfortunately the strike from Tevin Kok, who had flown in to replace Dayaan Cassiem, was ruled to have crossed the line only after the siren. The decision means that South Africa are still without a goal after their first two group games.

For South Africa its is a simple equation for them regarding this competition. On Monday they will play Mexico for the rights to finish third in the group and earn a spot in the Quarter Final cross overs. Should they lose that game their tournament will be over.

With each game Ewing will learn more about his team, his combinations and his processes, but also the pressure that comes with being the coach of the South African Hockey Men!

South Africa 0-2 Japan (Fukuda 26’ & Murata 45’)

SA Hockey Association media release

Japan and USA set up a winner takes all encounter

The USA thrashed Mexico 9-0 whereas Japan defeated South Africa 2-0. After the win, USA's hockey player Paul Singh said that he is pretty happy with the team's result and also expressed his happiness on playing hockey in India.

Japan and USA both registered victories in their respective matches against South Africa and Mexico on Saturday and as a result, these two teams will clash with each other to grab the top spot in Pool B of the FIH Men's Series finals.Meanwhile, South Africa and Mexico will play to reach the cross-overs.

The USA thrashed Mexico 9-0 whereas Japan defeated South Africa 2-0. After the win, USA's hockey player Paul Singh said that he is pretty happy with the team's result and also expressed his happiness on playing hockey in India.

"We just wanted to score scores in general. We are very confident as we trained pretty well going into this match. We wanted to press Mexico as we knew they would turn it over pretty early. It's a good result and zero goals against us show that our defence is pretty solid," Paul Singh told ANI.

"My mom and dad are from Punjab. My dad is from Ludhiana and My mom is from Jalandhar. I wish they would have come here to see my match. I love it in India and there was a big crowd here to watch us play. It's cool and I enjoy it a lot. I have never played hockey in India so it's pretty cool," he added.

The match between the USA and Mexico started on the right foot for the USA team. They scored just three minutes after the initial centre pass through Michael Barminski Jr from short distance after a fine cross from his teammate Alberto Montilla. One minute before the end of the first quarter, Julian Croonenberghs deflected a powerful shot from Paul Singh into the goal, giving them a 2-0 lead.

The game continued to follow the same pattern in the second half. Mexico struggled to create meaningful attacking opportunities while Rutger Wiese's players' offensive efficiency continued. Sean Cicchi, twice with drag-flicks from penalty corners, Alberto Montilla, after a beautiful cross from Kei Kaeppeler, Christian de Angelis, from short distance, Michael Barminski Jr, after a nice team combination in a short space within the circle and finally William Holt, from a penalty stroke, consolidated the convincing USA performance.

"It was actually a tough game for us because last year we played Mexico and the score was 5-5, so we weren't quite expecting tonight's result but we knew we had a lot of potentials and that we could play well against them. We're very pleased with the result," USA's Tyler Sundeen said after the win against Mexico.

On the other hand, Japan registered a 2-0 victory over South Africa as their first goal was scored by Kentaro Fukuda. One goal down, South Africa had to show a more offensive face in the second half. They did so, but Japan was in determined mood and, despite Rassie Pieterse's outstanding performance, Japan doubled their lead with Kazuma Murata concluding a magnificent team movement with a delightful deflection goal.

"We had a good game today. All the players worked hard together and showed a good mentality. We had some really nice phases in that match. Against the USA, we will need to improve further our performance," Japan's captain Manabu Yamashita said after the win against South Africa.

The USA will take on Japan on June 10 whereas South Africa and Mexico will clash with each other on the same date.

Daily News & Analysis

USA thrashes Mexico 9-0, Japan beats South Africa 2-0

USA and Japan will face off against each other on June 10 to decide the pool toppers, while South Africa takes on Mexico, with the winner of the game progressing to the cross-overs.

The USA players celebrate their victory in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.   -  PTI

The United States continued its fine form and spanked Mexico 9-0 to register its second consecutive win at the FIH Series Finals hockey tournament here on Saturday.

In the Pool B match between world no. 25 USA and its neighbour, ranked 39th, Michael Jr Barminski (3rd, 53rd minutes) and Sean Cicchi (37th, 52nd) scored two goals each for the winner.

Julian Croonenberghs (14th), Tyler Sundeen (30th), who replaced regular skipper Ajai Dhadwal, Alberto Montilla (39th), Christian de Angelis (42nd) and William Holt (60th) were the other goal getters for the Americans.

USA had earlier stunned South Africa 2-0 in the tournament opener on Thursday, while Mexico had slumped to 1-3 defeat against Asian Games champion Japan.

Later in the day, Tokyo Olympic host Japan scored two field goals through Kentaro Fukuda (26th) and Kazuma Murata (45th) to secure its second win in Pool B.

USA and Japan will face off against each other on June 10 to decide the pool toppers, while South Africa takes on Mexico, with the winner of the game progressing to the cross-overs.


Reid and his ‘culture’ challenge

Says the need of the hour is of team first mentality

Uthra Ganesan

Graham Reid. 

Having come in with loads of experience and a fair amount of understanding about Indian hockey Graham Reid is still coming to terms with the ‘culture’ here. That is a word he goes back to when trying to explain the Indian team and the challenges he faces as coach.

“I still need to come to terms with the Indian culture. We need to build a culture of being comfortable enough to perform when it matters but also understand that your performance affects others in the team. We will work that out in the next few months, what we stand for. The team first mentality is what you need,” he said in an interaction with The Hindu here on Saturday.

The cultural challenges are also one of the reasons he is trying to sort out the switching on-switching off issues in the side. “Back-to-back games are the hardest because the result of the previous game lingers on. Against Poland, one of the difficult things I had to get them over was the previous 10-0 result between the two.

“A lot of players were still in that mindset. Switching off happens when you either take it too easy or are distracted from what you need to be doing at that time,” he tried to explain.

Reid, though, isn’t sure about engaging a full-time psychologist just yet. “Sports psychology is more about getting the guys to understand they can count on each other. I need to work out who we can get and how we can work with them but we have to ensure they fit,” he said.

Asked about India suffering due to lack of top-level matches by not playing the Pro League, Reid went back to his Australian experience. “As coaches, our job is to create a training environment that is equal to the top level of competition. Before the 2014 World Cup we were training by ourselves in Perth and our training matches were 40 % above what we actually ended up playing,” he said.

Reid felt any of the teams from the ongoing Pro League and India can win the Olympics but cautioned there were no guarantees. “It could be a top-four target but it’s such a difficult thing. Only around 60 percent of world champions win an Olympic gold. I want it to be achievable but it is important to get people to believe that we can get there,” he signed off.

The Hindu

Hockey coach Reid may rope in sports shrink

A “stable mind” is the need of the hour in modern hockey, says new chief coach Graham Reid, hinting that a full-time psychologist may soon join the Indian team in its quest for Olympic qualification.

Very well aware of India’s perennial habit of succumbing under pressure in crunch situations, Reid wants to rope in a psychologist to work on the mental side of the players.
“In modern day sport, every player needs to be mentally stable and tough to deal with different sort of pressures,” he said.

“I am still trying to work out how best to do that because the last thing you want to do is bring someone (psychologist) in who doesn’t really get on with the team. Over the next month or so we will work on the best way forward on the mental side,” Reid said.
“To me it’s a really important part but I also understand we have cultural differences. So those things have to be balanced,” he added.

Reid replaced Harendra Singh in April this year and the Australian said his passion to give Indian hockey its glorious days back brought him to the country.

“I do have a passion to get India back up at the top and that is what I will be focusing on,” the 56-year-old former Australia coach said.

“When I was coming through I always played against India and Pakistan. They were always the teams that we heard about. There is an Anglo-Indian connection between India and Australia. There is a deep history there and may be that’s where my passion comes from.”

The Tribune

Brittle Indian hockey team seeks mental toughness

The main reason for the questions regarding mental toughness is that India beat Poland 10-0 in the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia three months back, but struggled to quell them on Friday.

B Shrikant

Players of Indian hockey team celebrating after scoring a goal.(Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

“It’s all in the mind. The players tend to relax at times and that’s why they commit mistakes.” This comment was by Paul van Ass, Indian hockey team’s former chief coach, after a late goal was conceded in the Azlan Shah Cup in 2015.

“One of the things we keep talking about is that the guys get distracted from their task and we have to find a way to stay focused on doing our job.” This statement was made on Friday by new chief coach Graham Reid after India’s scratchy performance in the 3-1 win against Poland in the FIH Men’s Hockey Series here.

It has again brought to the fore concerns of a fragile mind and poor concentration of players that result in mistakes and late goals, raising questions whether the team needs a sports psychologist before tougher competitions like the Olympic Qualifiers in October-November.

The main reason for the questions regarding mental toughness is that India beat Poland 10-0 in the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia three months back, but struggled to quell them on Friday.

Both teams had made three changes from the Azlan Shah Cup encounter and hence there was no justification for India’s inability to re-impose its superiority over Poland. India clearly lost focus many times, allowed their opponents many chances, and showed a lack of coordination and missed many chances.

That was why Reid felt they were distracted from their main job of scoring goals. The Australian said he was not averse to using a sports psychologist to help the team maintain focus, be it a match or an entire tournament.

His predecessors too have sought the help of psychologists to tackle the problem.

Last year, the team had some sessions with an expert from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) following the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and before the Champions Trophy. Michael Nobbs had used the services of Bangalore-based psychologist Dr Chaitanya Sridhar during a camp. In 2017, the Indian junior men’s team had used the services of sports psychologist Mrinal Chakravorty ahead of the World Cup.

While foreign experts are in favour of using experts to infuse mental in the team, Indian coaches do not approve of such intervention.

Last year after the Asian Games, where India had to be content with bronze, coach Harendra Singh had rejected the idea of using a psychologist to help the team deal with pressure situations. He said the coach can be the best motivator as he spends a lot of time with the players and knows them inside out.

“Apart from the coach, the player himself should be able to lift himself as playing for the country is the biggest motivation,” he had said.

Harendra does have a point as an international player should be able to tackle such situations himself. The players have had such sessions in the past—many in this team have graduated from the junior side and have gained from a psychologist’s help.

Whether Reid goes ahead and ropes in a sports psychologist or not, one this is clear—he needs to tackle the inconsistent performances and a lack of mental toughness promptly.

Hindustan Times

FIH Women's Series Finals Banbridge 2019 - Day 2
Banbridge (IRL)

Resullts 8 June

8 Jun 2019    KOR v UKR (Pool B)     5 - 0
8 Jun 2019    SCO v FRA (Pool B)     1 - 2
8 Jun 2019    IRL v MAS (Pool A)         2 - 1
8 Jun 2019     CZE v SGP (Pool A)     5 - 0

FIxtures 9 JUne (GMT +1)

9 Jun 2019 11:00     UKR v FRA (Pool B)
9 Jun 2019 13:00     SCO v KOR (Pool B
9 Jun 2019 15:00     CZE v IRL (Pool A)
9 Jun 2019 17:00     MAS v SGP (Pool A)

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Pool Standings

Pool A

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Czech Republic 1 1 0 0 5 0 5 3
2 Ireland 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
3 Malaysia 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
4 Singapore 1 0 0 1 0 5 -5 0

Pool B

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Korea 1 1 0 0 5 0 5 3
2 France 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
3 Scotland 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
4 Ukraine 1 0 0 1 0 5 -5 0

FIH Match Centre

Ireland start FIH Series Finals with 2-1 win over Malaysia

Irish Women get their FIH Series Final off to Strong Start with 2 – 1 win over Malaysia.

Bethany Barr put Ireland on the scoreboard early on with a goal in the forth minute, deflected from the penalty corner, on her major tournament debut. The Green Army showed good speed and intensity in the opening quarter, although Malaysia weren’t without opportunity. Strong defence from Zoe Wilson and Shirley McCay kept the score 1-0 to finish the quarter, with Lena Tice, Bethany Barr, and Roisin Upton also playing a noticeable role in Ireland’s strong defence.

A penalty corner early in the second quarter had the crowd silent in anticipation but was shot just wide by Zoe Wilson. Malaysia seemed to come into themselves as the second quarter progressed, putting Ireland under more pressure than the first quarter. A great play from Katie Mullan kept Malaysia out of the Irish circle. Followed shortly after by a nice series of play which saw O’Flanagan and Mullan moving the play back up the pitch between them, although a tough tackle to O’Flanagan prevented any further opportunity here.

Ireland upped the intensity coming into the third quarter. Hannah Matthews and Ali Meeke held a strong presence on the right-hand side of the pitch controlling much of the Irish possession for a period early in the quarter. A chance for Ireland from Mullan to Duke was well saved by Malaysian Goalkeeper Farah Yahya. Although it wasn’t long before Katie Mullan was back threatening shortly after. A nice side-line ball saw Colvin slip pass to Mullan who reversed in to bring the score to 2-0 at 40 minutes. The Irish women were back attacking the Malaysian circle again shortly afterwards, but the next chance for Ireland by O’Flanagan was kept out of the goal by solid Malaysian defence.

The final quarter saw Sarah Hawkshaw as a noticeable influence up near the Malaysian circle. The sun came out at last and the home-crowd support was stronger than ever. A goal for Malaysia at 55 minutes saw a shot deflected to Siti Husain who managed to get it passed Ireland’s McFerran. Ireland missed out on third goal with a chance for O’Flanagan going wide.

Speaking on the match, Interim Head Coach Gareth Grundie said “We’re please to get the first win of the tournament under our belt.

Conditions in the first half meant the pitch was slow so we didn’t have the tempo in the game that we wanted. We had good improvement in the third quarter and were then comfortable until we let them back six minutes to go. The win has put us in a strong position in the group and we hope to build on this performance tomorrow against the Czechs.”

A positive outing for the host nation in their opening match of their FIH Series Finals. The road to Tokyo is long, but it’s underway at last!

Ireland 2 (B Barr, K Mullan) Malaysia 1 (S Husain)

Ireland: A McFerran, K Mullan, S McCay, M Frazer, E Tice, B Barr, C Watkins, L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan

Subs: E Buckley, R Upton, G Pinder, S Hawkshaw, Z Wilson, D Duke, A Meeke.

Malaysia: F Yahya, N Rashid, N Shabuddin, S Ruhani, J Din, N Sumantri, H Onn, S Awang, N Saiuti, N Zulkifli, K Gurdip

Subs: N H Ali, H Aziz, S Mat Isa, F Sylvester, F Sukri, S Husain, N Syafi.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Barr and Mullan set Ireland on course for opening win over Malaysia

Bethany Barr celebrates her first international goal. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Bethany Barr and Katie Mullan strikes were enough to get Ireland up and running at the FIH Series Finals in Banbridge as they got the better of Malaysia.

Coach Gareth Grundie admitted it “wasn’t necessarily the prettiest” as the teeming rain made things difficult to make their higher tempo count in front of a couple of thousand fans, witnessing Ireland’s first home game since the World Cup.

But they always had the edge in quality against the world number 22 side, continuing their perfect run of results against the Asian side.

Barr got a crucial touch to redirect Shirley McCay’s penalty corner slap past Farah Yahya in the third minute. It was a special moment for the Lurgan woman in her first match in a world ranking tournament – along with Sarah Hawkshaw – and gave an exuberant celebration to match.

Zoe Wilson flashed a corner hit wide from their next best moment but it was something of a struggle otherwise as the conditions held up the ball.

“The pitch was very wet and the ball didn’t travel which slowed us down so we couldn’t play the game we wanted,” Grundie said. “They started to pick off a few balls that would maybe have got through otherwise and get a few counter-attacks.

“As the sun came out, the third quarter was probably our best, a bit more tempo and got two up, more chances and more corners,” he added of how the level improved in the second half, pinning Malaysia back in their 23-metre zone for long spells.

And they got their second when Hawkshaw took on a sideline free quickly, laying off to Lizzie Colvin who slipped a pass under her arm to Mullan to smash in – albeit with a hit of backstick – on her reverse.

And that should have been that but Malaysia ensured a slightly uncomfortable when Norazlin Sumantri’s shot deflected to Siti Husain who popped in a simple chance with six minutes to go.

But they got over the line 2-1 to start the campaign on the front foot ahead of Sunday’s game against the Czech Republic – comfortable 5-0 winners over Singapore – at 3pm.

For Barr, her early opener was the perfect way to shake off heavy pre-match nerves at a venue just 15 minutes from where she grew up in Lurgan.

“We do a lot of jump tests but I don’t think I have jumped as high as that before. It did settle the nerves; going in, I know I was very nervous,” she said.
“I get nervous before every game but doing that so early gave me the confidence and moments like that just remind you you are playing the sport you love and it was a nice way to start the game.”

Barr took the field with “AO1” written in pen on her arm, denoting “audience of one” and her Christianity.

Ireland team talk. Pic: Adrian Boehm

“When I play, my main focus is to use the gifts I have been given by God. I thank God for this opportunity to be here. By Him placing me here, I couldn’t be here otherwise. Even though there is a crowd and a lot of people there, I solely focus on playing for him and that audience of one.”

Along with Lena Tice and Emma Buckley, she shared a pre-match moment that helped her take in the occasion.

“It’s so nice to have those girls both on the team together. We took time before lunch to get together and pray for each other, the team, the game and the tournament.

“That helped me and the girls to remember that we have a bigger purpose, that we are not just playing for results. We are here trying to use the gifts we have been given for His glory and not our own. It is very helpful to have those girls, to challenge each other, to remind each other of why we are playing.”

Ireland face the Czech Republic on Sunday at 3pm in their pursuit of top spot in the group which would lead to an automatic passage to the semi-finals.

Women’s FIH Series Finals
Ireland 2 (B Barr, K Mullan) Malaysia 1 (S Husain)

Ireland: A McFerran, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, M Frazer, B Barr, C Watkins, L Colvin, N Daly, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan
Subs: R Upton, G Pinder, S Hawkshaw, Z Wilson, D Duke, A Meeke, E Buckley

Malaysia: F Yahya, N Rashid, N Shabuddin, S Ruhani, J Din, N Sumantri, H Onn, S Awang, N Saiuti, N Zulkifli, K Gurdip
Subs: N H Ali, S Mat Isa, F Sukri, S Husain, N Syafi, F Sylvester, H Aziz

Umpires: M Reydo (ARG), L Sacre (CAN)

The Hook

Dharmaraj's side go down fighting in Series Finals

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia gave Ireland a fright before going down 2-1 to the World Cup finalists in the curtain raiser of the women's FIH Series Finals in Banbridge on Saturday.

World No 8 Ireland scored in the fourth minute when Beth Barr's penalty corner attempt bounced awkwardly off goalkeeper Farah Ayuni Yahaya's pads into goal.

Surprisingly, World No 22 Malaysia were the better team and only allowed Ireland to increase the lead off a field attempt from Kathryn Mullan in the 39th minute.

Siti Zulaikha Husain scored the famous 55th minute goal against the hosts, but a gallant fightback failed to find an equaliser in this Group A encounter.

K. Dharmaraj's charges play Singapore today, and while a win is almost assured, only the number of goals remain to be known.

Since 2012, Malaysia have made a clean sweep of the eight matches played against Singapore, with the lowest score being 5-0 in three matches.


Group A: Malaysia 1 Ireland 2.

Group B: South Korea 5 Ukraine 0, Scotland 1 France 2.

New Straits Times

Malaysia's women squad go down to world No. 8 Ireland

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia gave a good fight against world No. 8 Ireland before going down 2-1 in the opening Group A match of the women's FIH Series Finals hockey tournament at the Banbridge Hockey Club in Ireland on Saturday (June 8).

Beth Barr gave Ireland Irish team the lead in the fourth minute of a penalty corner.

They double the score in the 39th minute through Kathryn Mullan of a field goal.

But coach K. Dharmaraj's team fought back to narrow the deficit with a field goal by Siti Zulaikha Husain in the 55th minute.

World No. 22 Malaysia's next match is against world No. 35 Singapore on Sunday (June 9) and they need a win to stay in contention for a top two finish in the tournament.

Malaysia will wrap up the fixtures against world No. 19 Czech Republic on June 11.

The Star of Malaysia

Irish beat Malaysia in Banbridge opener

Celebration time for Ireland after Bethany Barr nets against Malaysia

Ireland made a winning start to the FIH Hockey Series finals with the hosts clinching a 2-1 victory over Malaysia.

Beth Barr gave Ireland the perfect start in Banbridge by deflecting Shirley McCay's drilled shot into the net.

Katie Mullan made it 2-0 in the third period with the captain controlling a Lizzie Colvin pass before firing home.

Malaysia scored what proved to be a consolation goal through Siti Husain late in the fourth quarter.

The eight-nation tournament offers a path to qualification for the Olympic Games, with the two teams making the final also advancing to the play-offs for places at Tokyo 2020.

Playing in their first tournament match since last year's World Cup Final, Ireland took a fourth-minute lead from a penalty corner as Barr got the crucial touch to deflect McCay's strike from the edge of the D into the net.

Zoe Wilson then went close from another penalty corner opportunity late in the second period but her powerful shot went wide of the post and Ireland headed into the half-time break one up.

Deirdre Duke's close range-effort was well saved by Farah Yahya in the Malaysian goal early in the third period before Mullan netted to doubled Ireland's advantage.

Husain's late goal set up a tense finale but the Irish held on for a deserved win and three points in Group A.

Earlier, Korea despatched Ukraine 5-0 in a display which suggests they are likely to dominate Group B, while Scotland were surprisingly beaten 2-1 by France, the lowest ranked team in the competition.

Ireland's next game is against the Czech Republic at 15:00 BST on Sunday and will be streamed live on the BBC Sport website.

BBC Sport

Scotland women defeated by France in Hockey Series Finals opening match

Charlotte Watson ready to get the game underway

Scotland were defeated 2-1 by France in their opening match of the FIH Series Finals 2019 in Banbridge. Scotland had completely dominated the game but were undone by two good French finishes, while the Scots couldn’t find the final touch in attack.

France took an early lead over Scotland in Banbridge. Perinne Seillier scored to make it Scotland 0-1 France in the third minute. The ball was played into the D and it bobbled its way to Seillier with an open goal ahead of her, and the French player made no mistake with the finish.

Scotland began to find their rhythm in the second quarter and looked dangerous especially on the left. It was an attack from the left that led to Scotland’s equaliser.

After a pass from the left flank some good work by Charlotte Watson allowed her to turn and shoot, the effort was well saved before Fiona Burnet was denied again by the goalkeeper on the ground. Kate Holmes, however, was on hand and followed up to score and give her side a well-deserved equaliser.

Scotland looked the more threatening side but nearly went behind again through a French counter attack, but a tremendous challenge by Beck Ward denied France a close-range shot, and cleared the danger.

In the second half Scotland continued to control the game and showed good patience as they broke down the French defence.

Then, out of nowhere, France retook the lead in the final quarter. A penalty corner was awarded to the French and Victorine Vankemmel’s drag flick found its way into the bottom left corner to make it Scotland 1-2 France.

Almost instantly Scotland had the ball in the back of the net through Sarah Jamieson but it was ruled out for an infringement in the build-up.

Three penalty corners in a row went the way of Scotland and Emily Dark set about blasting them goal ward, but they were blocked every time

Then some good play by Bex Condie and Watson won another penalty corner, and a lovely routine sent the ball back to the injector, Nikki Alexander-Lloyd, but the French goalkeeper saved well.

The clock was ticking and the Scots were completely dominant but couldn’t find the final touch for an equaliser.

Amy Gibson came off for the final five minutes as Scotland played with eleven outfield players. They pummelled the French goal but some top goalkeeping kept them out as France held on to get their tournament off to a winning start.

The Scots play Pool B table-toppers Korea tomorrow at 1pm in their second match of the tournament.

Scotland Head Coach Jen Wilson said, “We’re disappointed with the start we made but we did really well to get back into the game. We created lots of good opportunities but not enough to convert them into goals in the end.

“It’s really good experience for some of the players and we need to make sure it’s a stepping stone to where we’re aiming to get to. We need to keep creating chances and we will get better at converting them.

“Next we play Korea, a very good team who are quick, skilful and will be a very different challenge for us. They’re much further ahead than us in the rankings so it’s another good learning opportunity as we move forward.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Indian hockey team eye Olympic berth as they leave for Hiroshima

Indian women's hockey team , Hockey India Twitter handle

The Indian women's hockey team left for Hiroshima in the wee hours of Saturday to take part in the FIH Women's Series Finals, which is part of the Olympic Qualifying pathway.

"We go into this tournament with a lot of confidence we carry from our recent tours in Spain, Malaysia, and the Republic of Korea. Our performance has been on the rise over the past year and the fact that many of us have been playing together for quite a few years gives us an edge," said skipper Rani on the eve of their departure.

It was a historic moment for the Indian women's team when it qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

"It was the first time that India had ever qualified for the Olympics in Women's Hockey. We did create history but we certainly don't want it to be a one-off qualification. Our team is capable of repeating it again and we will aim to finish on the top in this tournament," asserted Rani.

India are grouped with Poland, Uruguay and Fiji in Pool A while 18th Asian Games Champions Japan, Chile, Russia, and Mexico are grouped in Pool B.

India start their campaign against Uruguay on 15 June 2019. India will need to finish within the two positions by making it to the final in order to qualify for the Olympic Qualification event later this year.

Daily News & Analysis

2019 FIH Pro League (Men) - 9 June

6 Jun 2019    GBR v GER (RR)     3 - 4     Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London
8 Jun 2019     BEL v NED (RR)     0 - 4     Wilrijkse Plein Antwerp, Antwerp
9 Jun 2019 14:00 (GMT +1)     GBR v AUS (RR)     Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London
9 Jun 2019 14:30 (GMT +2)     GER v NZL (RR)     Crefelder Hockey und Tennis Club, Krefeld
9 Jun 2019 16:00 (GMT +2)     NED v BEL (RR)     HC 's-Hertogenbosch, 's-Hertogenbosch
10 Jun 2019 19:30 (GMT +2)   GER v ESP (RR)     Crefelder Hockey Club, Krefeld

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Unofficial Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Win Draws Loss Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Percent
1 Australia 9 7 0 1 1 28 19 9 22 81.5
2 Belgium 9 5 1 2 1 33 22 11 19 70.4
3 Netherlands 10 4 2 1 3 28 21 7 17 56.7
4 Argentina* 11 5 0 1 4 25 28 -3 17 51.5
5 Great Britain 11 5 0 1 5 29 27 2 16 48.5
6 Germany* 10 3 2 1 3 23 24 -1 15 50.0
7 Spain 10 0 5 0 5 24 35 -11 10 33.3
8 New Zealand 10 0 0 3 7 21 35 -14 3 10.0

* A cancelled match contributes 1 point to each team's results that is not shown in the tables as a cancelled match
The FIH inexplicably and confusingly use a system not used in any other sports League in the World, of making the Percentage more important than Points until the end of the League when they will revert to Points only. Fieldhockey.com prefers to use the conventional Points and so the Unofficial Pool Standings on this site are reflected in this manner.

FIH Match Centre

2019 FIH Pro League (Women) - 9 June

7 Jun 2019     GBR v GER (RR)     3 - 4    Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London
8 Jun 2019     BEL v NED (RR)     1 - 2     Wilrijkse Plein Antwerp, Antwerp
9 Jun 2019 12:00 (GMT +2)     GER v NZL (RR)     Crefelder Hockey Club, Krefeld
9 Jun 2019 13:30 (GMT +2)     NED v BEL (RR)     HC 's-Hertogenbosch, 's-Hertogenbosch
9 Jun 2019 16:00 (GMT +2)     GBR v AUS (RR)     Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Unofficial Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Win Draws Loss Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points Percent
1 Argentina 14 9 4 0 1 28 12 16 35 83.3
2 Netherlands 11 10 0 0 1 30 6 24 30 90.9
3 Australia 12 7 1 1 3 27 16 11 24 66.7
4 Germany 12 6 0 2 4 26 17 9 20 55.6
5 Belgium 11 5 1 1 4 18 18 0 18 54.5
6 New Zealand 12 5 0 0 7 22 24 -2 15 41.7
7 Great Britain 13 2 2 1 8 17 31 -14 11 28.2
8 China 15 3 0 2 10 23 40 -17 11 24.4
9 United States 14 1 1 2 10 13 40 -27 7 16.7

The FIH inexplicably and confusingly use a system not used in any other sports League in the World, of making the Percentage more important than Points until the end of the League when they will revert to Points only. Fieldhockey.com prefers to use the conventional Points and so the Unofficial Pool Standings on this site are reflected in this manner.

FIH Match Centre

Netherlands men stun world champions Belgium on day of double Dutch joy in Antwerp

The Netherlands men and women both recorded FIH Pro League victories over Belgium on Saturday (8 June) as part one of the Low Countries double header took place at the Wilrijkse Plein Stadium in Antwerp.

In a rematch of last year's final at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, reigning men’s world champions Belgium fell to a crushing 4-0 home defeat against European champions the Netherlands. All of the goals came after half time, with Bjorn Kellerman (2), Bob de Voogd and Jeroen Hertzberger on target while Dutch goalkeeper San van der Ven was named Player of the Match thanks to some breathtaking saves. The result sees the Netherlands climb up to third in the FIH Pro League standings, just one place behind a Belgium side that will be looking for swift revenge when the two sides meet tomorrow on Dutch soil at HC Den Bosch (’s-Hertogenbosch).

The Netherlands women made it ten wins from eleven matches with a narrow 2-1 success over Belgium’s Red Panthers, moving to within one victory of guaranteeing their places in this month's FIH Pro League Grand Final and the FIH Olympic qualifiers, which take place later this year. Goals from Yibbi Jansen and Ginella Zerbo ensured that Alyson Annan’s team continued their remarkable run of form, with the Dutch knowing that they can seal a top four finish in tomorrow’s rematch with Belgium at HC Den Bosch. Belgium have dropped down to fifth in the standings, but they still have everything to play for.

After an fairly balanced first period, home favourites Belgium (WR:1) completely dominated the second quarter of the men’s match but could not find a way past Netherlands (WR:3) goalkeeper Sam van der Ven, who produced some quite remarkable blocks to keep the world champions off the score-board. The Netherlands’ shot-stopper was magnificent, showing stunning reactions to deny Tom Boon, Thomas Briels, Tanguy Cosyns, Alexander Hendrickx and Maxime Plennevaux and keep his team very much in the contest.

Van der Ven’s brilliance before half time laid the foundations for the Netherlands to produce an superb display after the break. The visitors stunned the hosts by taking a 1-0 lead midway through the third quarter thanks to Bjorn Kellerman's superb finish into the roof of the Belgian goal, a strike that gave deserved reward to some fine approach play from Jeroen Hertzberger and Diede van Puffelen. Kellerman doubled the Dutch advantage three minutes into the fourth quarter, with Bob d’Voogd and Hertzberger both passing into an empty net after the Red Lions had replaced goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch with an outfield player in an effort to salvage something from the match.

“I’m happy that we didn’t get any goals against, but we both did that”, said Player of the Match Sam van der Ven, giving credit to fellow Netherlands goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak who also took to the field for two quarters of the contest. “I was happy with the performance from the whole team. To play well, score four goals and no goals against, that is a big plus for us.”

Belgium defender Arthur Van Doren said: “They are good side and they showed that today. We just weren’t ready to compete with them, and all of the 50-50 balls went their way. You just cannot have that in these types of games and it has shown on the [score]board. We are pretty unhappy and we will be ready to fight tomorrow again."

Despite featuring the lowest and highest ranked teams competing the FIH Pro League, the Belgium (WR:13) versus Netherlands (WR:1) was evenly-contested throughout the opening quarter. The rematch of the EuroHockey Championship 2017 gold medal game, won by the Netherlands, saw the Dutch edge ahead thanks to a low penalty corner drag-flick from Yibbi Jansen. Marijn Veen had a gilt-edged chance to double the Netherlands’ lead, hitting the post with a close-range volley before Belgium goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghe was brought into action to deny a backhand strike from 2015 FIH Player of the Year Lidewij Welten.

Belgium were forced to soak up some relentless Dutch pressure for much of the third quarter before eventually conceding a second through Ginella Zerbo, who cracked a fierce backhand strike between goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghe and her post to put the Netherlands into a commanding lead. The Red Panthers made life interesting when Emilie dived in to make the score 2-1, but it did not stop the Netherlands from claiming yet another victory.

“Our basics were not good enough today”, said Netherlands star Margot van Geffen, the Player of the Match, before looking ahead to Sunday’s rematch. “We need to do the basic things like trap the ball and pass. If we do that well then we can go step by step.”

Commenting both on today’s match and looking ahead to Sunday’s reverse fixture at HC Den Bosch, Belgium’s Ambre Ballenghien said: “I think we had a really great performance today. We learned a lot. We know that they are better than us but if we take all of our chances and opportunities, tomorrow is another opportunity to get a better result. We have no pressure, it is just fun and we are enjoying it.”

In addition to the rematches between Netherlands and Belgium, there are four other FIH Pro League matches being played on Sunday 8th June. Germany’s men and women welcome the national teams of New Zealand to Krefeld, while Great Britain’s teams take on Australia at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre in London.

FIH Pro League
8 June - Antwerp, Belgium

Result: Men’s Match 40

Belgium 0, Netherlands 4

Player of the Match: Sam van der Ven (NED)
Umpires: Martin Madden (SCO), Francisco Vazquez (ESP) and Ayanna McClean (TTO - video)

Result: Women’s Match 57

Belgium 1, Netherlands 2

Player of the Match: Margot van Geffen (NED)
Umpires: Sarah Wilson (SCO), Ayanna McClean (TTO) and Martin Madden (SCO - video)


Official FIH Pro League Site

Rotweiss Wettingen and Cardiff & Met in pole position

©: Alexander Wagner

Hosts Rotweiss Wettingen and Cardiff & Met are in pole position to land a place in the men’s EuroHockey Club Trophy final following back-to-back wins in Switzerland.

Rotweiss did it the hard way on Friday to beat Portugal’s Casa Pia Atletico Clube 4-3, fighting back from 3-1 down with 20 minutes to go with Manuel Keller scoring twice.

They backed that up with a 3-1 win over Ireland’s Glenanne with Michel Morard starting and finishing the scoring for the Swiss club.

His first goal was cancelled out by Shannon Boucher’s 22nd minute goal but Rotweiss restored the advantage via Robin Aebi before half-time and Morard’s second corner completed the win.

They now face Belarus’s SC Stroitel Brest with the winner going through to Monday’s final while a draw would favour Rotweiss. Brest drew 4-4 with Glenanne before hammering Casa Pia 8-1 with two goals each from Aliaksandr Radzivinovich and Artur Kadran.

In the other pool, Cardiff & Met have two wins from two. They started off with a narrow 2-1 win over Austra’s WAC with all the goals coming in the first half, Jack Pritchard’s 27th minute stroke proving the winner.

On Saturday, they won another close one against OKS SHVSM Vinnitsa 3-2. Alf Dinnie scored twice for a 2-0 lead before the Ukrainian side bounced back via Maksym Onofriiuk early in the second half.

Luke Hawker replied almost instantly for 3-1 and while Onofriiuk got another back, Cardiff held on for the victory and they now need just a draw against current bottom side Bohemians to reach the final.

Vinnitsa must hope for a win over WAC and a favour from Bohemians to have any chance of nicking a final place.

Euro Hockey League media release

Glenanne fall to EuroHockey Trophy defeat to hosts

Glenanne in action against Rotweiss

Glenanne’s chances of reaching the EuroHockey Club Trophy final came to an end at the hands of hosts Rotweiss Wettingen in Switzerland.

Despite going down to 10 men from the first of five yellow cards handed out in the tie in the 12th minute, Wettingen went in front soon after via a Michel Morard corner.

In similar fashion, the Glens were short-handed when they equalised as they won a corner despite both Stephen Brownlow and Joe Brennan being in the bin in the 22nd minute.

Robin Aebi, however, restored Wettingen’s lead by half-time and they moved further clear in the 45th minute from a corner.

The Glens’ attempts to close the gap were stymied by a series of cards with Richard Couse, Shannon Boucher and Gary Shaw getting yellows in the second half, adding to three green cards.

The results leaves the Glens in third place in the group with top spot out of range but a win over Portugal’s Casa Pia Atletico Clube and a favour from Rotweiss could lift them into a bronze medal tie. Should the Glens lose, it would Lisnagarvey would play in the third tier of European club hockey next season.

Men’s EuroHockey Club Trophy
Glenanne 1 (S Boucher) Rotweiss Wettingen 3 (M Morard 2, R Aebi)

Pool A, day two results: SC Stroitel Brest 8 Casa Pia Atletico Clube 1; Glenanne 1 (S Boucher) Rotweiss Wettingen 3 (M Morard 2, R Aebi)

Standings: 1. HC Rotweiss Wettingen 10pts (+3) 2. SC Stroitel Brest 7pts (+7) 3. Glenanne 3pts (-2) 4. Casa Pia Atletico Clube 1pt (-8)

The Hook

Western Jaguars end Wazalendo's unbeaten run


Telkom's Elinah Chebet (left) vies for the ball with Pauline Ayieko USIU-A during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match at City Park Stadium in Nairobi on June 8, 2019. Telkom won 2-1. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Western Jaguars beat Wazalendo 2-0 in a Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match at Musingu Secondary School in Kakamega on Saturday.

Jaguar’s Conrad Wafula and Robinson Omutekete each scored in the second half to end Wazalendo’s unbeaten run in the top flight league.

Wazalendo, under coach Fidhelis Kimanzi, had won all their first four league matches to ascend to the top of the league standing table with 12 points.

The Nairobi-based outfit have thus far beaten Strathmore, Nairobi Sikh, Green Sharks and Chase Sailors.

Jaguars’ victory saw them increase their points tally to 13.

Jaguars lethal forward Gilbert Okanga missed a golden scoring opportunity in 12th minute when he blasted wide a rightwing cross from Kelvin Machinji.

After a barren first half, Jaguars’ Wafula rounded defender John Riob before beating goalkeeper Bright Keengwa to grab a deserved lead on 42 minutes.

Roving forward Omutekete sealed Wazalendo’s fate through a field goal in the 58th minute.

“There was team work among the players and they also played with determination which earned us the victory,” said Jaguars coach Malungu.

“My players kept falling down due to the slippery ground as a result of the heavy rain that is pounding the area” lamented Wazalendo coach Kimanzi.

Elsewhere, former champions Kenya Police conceded late on to draw 2-2 with USIU in a thrilling men's Premier League match at City Park Stadium. In the women's top flight, champions Telkom were made to sweat before overcoming USIU 2-1 at the same venue.


USIU 1-2 Telkom (Premier League -women)

Kenya Police 2-2 USIU (Premier League - men)

Parkroad Tigers 3-1 MKU (National League - men)

MSC 0-0 Nakuru (Super League - women)

Western Jaguars 2-0 Wazalendo (Premier League - men)

Daily Nation


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