All the news for Wednesday 7 August 2019
Pan Am Games 2019 (Women) - Semi-finals
6 Aug 2019 PER v URU (Cross-over) 0 - 14
6 Aug 2019 MEX v CUB (Cross-over) 1 - 0
6 Aug 2019 ARG v CHI (SF1) 3 - 1
6 Aug 2019 CAN v USA (SF2) 2 - 0
Wednesday 7 August is a rest day
FIH Match Centre
Argentina edge Chile to head to their ninth-straight Pan American final
ARG v CHI. Photo: Yan Huckendubler
Argentina will return to their ninth-straight Pan American Games final after beating Chile 3-1 in an intense South American semifinal battle. Julieta Jankunas’ 60th minute strike was the only point of relief through the entire match that saw Argentina go unsuccessful on all 11 penalty corners.
Denise Krimmerman was the lone goal scorer for Chile on a day that also marked the 250th international match for Chile midfielder Carolina Garcia.
Outside of an early goal for Argentina the opening half was played to a stalemate. Carla Rebecchi blasted home a loose ball after a quick free hit taken by Jankunas to lift Argentina 1-0 in the third minute. Argentina had three-straight penalty corner chances in the sixth minute but the Chileans were able to disrupt the play before the ball reached Claudia Schuler. A variation from Piti d’Elia to Rebecchi was denied by Constanza Palma and then Chile started to come in to their own.
In the second quarter Chile thought they earned a penalty corner in the 17th minute but a video referral requested by Argentina dictated otherwise. Today’s semifinal matches mark the first time the video referral has been used in a Pan American Hockey Federation event.
Chile was moving the ball well through the back but struggling to get through the crowd of blue that guarded the circle. Argentina had their share of chances but Schuler was in fine form. Agustina Albertarrio had been quiet for most of the opening two quarters but in the 27th minute she made a dangerous baseline run and then popped the ball back to the top of the circle. Micaela Retegui batted the ball out of the air towards goal and the reflexes of Schuler were put on display.
Both teams pushed for that elusive next goal as the crowds traded singing songs for their teams. Argentina had three penalty corners through the third quarter but they again could not capitalize. Rebecchi’s drag flick was turned away by the stick of Shchuler in the 39th minute. Argentina seemed antsy and Rosario Luchetti was sent off with a green card, followed by Eugenia Trinchinetti with a yellow. In that suspension time Camila Caram nearly delivered to Maria Maldonado at the far post of the Argentina goal but the ball whizzed off the end line.
The Leonas had yet another penalty corner chance, their ninth of the game but the flick from Noel Barrionuevo was dangerously high into Chile’s Sofia Walbaum. Argentina finally broke the Chilean defence down when Jankunas stole the ball off Caram and beat Schuler with a low back hand to make it 2-0 Argentina.
Unlike their pool-play game against USA when they crumbled after a goal was scored, Chile rose to the occasion in front of a packed stands. Krimmerman knocked in a bouncing ball from Manuela Urroz in the 45th minute to bring Chile back within one.
Chile left every last ounce of their energy and courage on the field but it was shattered in the 60th minute when Jankunas received a quick free hit and expertly finished under the cross bar from a tight angle. The Leonas piled on Jankunas to celebrate the relief that only came seconds before the final whistle.
Argentina’s 3-1 victory secures them a spot in their ninth-straight gold-medal game. The Leonas are still on the hunt for their first gold at these games since 2007.
Pan American Hockey Federation media release
Canada defeats USA in thrilling semifinal to book spot in finals
Canada plays complete 60-minute performance and outlasts USA 2-0 in the semifinals. First finals appearance since 1991 awaits.
Photo: Yan Huckendubler
The Canadian Wolfpack have been re-writing history since head coach Giles Bonnet stepped on board and the their happy ending has come a bit closer after a big 2-0 semifinal victory over the USA. In 2015 Canada stepped on the podium with a bronze medal, their first medal since 1999, while the USA and Argentina have met in the past six-straight Pan American Games finals.
The battle of North America was a game of stingy defence as the teams neutralized each other well through midfield. Kate Wright opened the scoring chances in the sixth minute when her back-hand shot went high over the USA goal, and Danielle Grega sent a slicing pass that went untouched through the Canadian circle in the other end.
The Canadians earned their first penalty corner in the 10th minute and Karli Johansen confidently flicked the ball low and it ricocheted through traffic and in to the goal to erupt the Canadian crowd with a 1-0 lead. Canada built off the momentum as a swift run from Natalie Sourisseau allowed her to find Steph Norlander in the USA circle. Norlander drew wide to beat keeper Kelsey Bing but the attempt at goal was saved by a sprawled Julia Young on the USA defence line.
The Americans started the second quarter on a rush that resulted in Margaux Paolino firing a back-hand shot but that was steered away by Canadian goalie Kaitlyn Williams. The USA followed up with a penalty corner but the give-and-go play between Kat Sharkey and Ali Froede was spoiled by Canadian defender Sara McManus. Williams was called to action again on a shot from Young in the 23rd minute and again from Mackenzie Allessie two minutes later but the Canadians looked calm as they brought the ball out of their backfield.
Canada had another penalty corner in the 26th minute after some hard work from Brienne Stairs. Johansen looked for Rachel Donohoe posted up at the stroke mark but the ball took a bounce and fell to McManus. The resulting shot went wide and Canada clung to their 1-0 lead at half time.
In the 35th minute Canada double their lead as Wright curled and fed a pass towards the feet of Bing. The ball skipped behind her and Maddie Secco tapped the ball in for a 2-0 Canada advantage.
The Americans had their share of attack in the Canadian circle but Williams looked sharp in goal for the Canadians. Canada had another penalty corner in the 40th minute and they executed a nifty play that allowed Stairs to weave through traffic but her shot rolled just wide of the goal.
USA earned their first penalty corner in the 44th minute but Danielle Hennig blocked the strike from Sharkey and Williams cleared the rebound attempt. On the break out Canada had a two-on-Bing but Secco’s pass was just out of reach for a sliding Holly Stewart at the far post.
Canada never stopped pushing forward through 60 minutes and when the final whistle went they raced to Williams and celebrated the fact that they were heading to the Pan American Games final for the first time since 1991.
Canada will meet Argentina, who conceded the last two Pan American Games titles to the USA but before that won six straight. The USA will regroup to play Chile for the bronze medal. The winner of the Argentina-Canada final will earn a continental champion berth to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Canada’s women have sat out the last six Olympics, last competing in 1992 when they finished seventh in Barcelona.
Photo: Yan Huckendubler
Field Hockey Canada media release
USWNT Falls to Canada in Pan American Games Semifinals
LIMA, PERU - It was the battle of the North American foes as the No. 13 U.S. Women’s National Team met No. 18 Canada to see which team would advance to the gold medal match of the 2019 Pan American Games. The winter weather in Lima, Peru left the air in the Villa Maria del Triunfo complex chilly as the evening match got underway but the teams brought the heat in what would be a closely matched game. After scoring a goal late in the first quarter and adding a second in the third, Canada prevented USA from producing a comeback, like they had managed earlier in the tournament. The score was left at USA 0, Canada 2 following 60 minutes of play.
From the first whistle, USA brought intensity and drove hard into their attacking end. Canada fumbled under the pressure and turned the ball over several times at the beginning of the quarter. As both teams settled into their game plans, Canada saw a few close chances to score. USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) prevented a goal as she slid out to meet a pass dumped into the circle in danger of being tapped in by Brienne Stairs. With five minutes to go in the quarter, Canada put one away off a penalty corner drag by Karli Johansen to take the lead. Canada used that momentum to continue to test USA but did not score again as the quarter concluded with USA trailing 0-1.
USA was on a mission to score as they entered the second quarter. Earning a penalty corner within the first minute, they came close to finding an equalizer but Canada's defense broke up the play. As the quarter went on, the game turned back-and-forth as both teams broke out toward their respective ends of the field. Canada was awarded their second penalty corner but found no result, allowing USA to counterattack the other way. After a sequence of passing found Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) she sent it ahead to Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) for a shot on goal that went high and wide. USA struggled to connect for the final touch into the goal to tie the match, and the halftime score mirrored that at the end of the first quarter.
Once the halftime break concluded, the teams again took turns on who made the attack. On a cross pass by Kate Wright, Bing stepped for the ball, but Madeline Secco stuck her stick in to get Canada’s second goal. Following USA regrouped and came out with a vengeance as they worked into the circle. Canada packed in the defense who made the stop and clear before USA could convert to cut the deficit. At the 40-minute mark, Canada saw another opportunity that went just wide when a tricky penalty corner play slipped past the left post. With a minute remaining in the quarter, USA earned a penalty corner of their own that was miss trapped. Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) adapted and still got a shot off that was turned away by Canada goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams. USA looked to make one more attempt at scoring before the time ran out as Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) received the ball just outside the circle, but she could not get the shot off. The red, white and blue continued to chase Canada who led by two goals.
USA did not let up and fought harder to find a positive result in the final quarter of the match. They pressed higher and attacked with more aggression to challenge the Canada defense. Elise Wong was issued a 5-minute yellow card late into the frame, but Canada continued to control possession. As frustration set in, Canada used it to their advantage. With each USA developing play, the ball was turned over and sent the other way. The neighbors to the North denied USA from getting on the scoreboard, and the match concluded with the score at USA 0, Canada 2.
The U.S. Women's National Team will take on No. 15 Chile on Friday, August 9 at 4:00 p.m. ET in the Pan American Games bronze medal match. Watch it live on ESPN3.
USFHA media release
Canada to play Argentina for Olympic berth in women's field hockey final
Canadians upset defending U.S. champs to advance to gold-medal game
Katherine Wright, centre, competes against Anna Dessoye, left, and Lauren Moyer of the United States for the ball, during Canada's 2-0 semifinal win in women's field hockey at the Pan Am Games on Tuesday. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press )
The Canadian women's field hockey team knocked the Americans off their perch as Pan Am Games champions on Tuesday night.
One more win and the national side will have what it really wants: Lima gold and a ticket to Tokyo.
Karli Johansen and Madeline Secco scored as Canada blanked the United States 2-0 in semifinal play at the Villa Maria Del Triunfo Sports Center.
"We wanted to change history today and we came out here and we did just that," said Canadian captain Katherine Wright.
Canada will play Argentina on Friday in the gold-medal game with the winner earning a berth in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Argentina beat Chile 3-1 earlier in the day.
The two-time defending champion Americans posted a 3-0-0 mark in the preliminary round after victories over Mexico, Chile and host Peru.
Canada had a 2-1-0 record in the preliminary round with comfortable wins over Cuba and Uruguay sandwiching a 3-0 loss to Argentina. Both teams posted 9-0 routs in the quarter-finals with Canada topping Mexico and the U.S. downing Cuba.
Dressed in all-black uniforms, the Canadians applied steady pressure against their North American rivals on the water-based artificial turf surface.
Wright had the game's first good scoring chance but her backhander sailed over the crossbar.
The Americans gave up a penalty corner in the 10th minute and Canada took advantage with Johansen firing a low flick past goalkeeper Kelsey Bing.
Stephanie Norlander nearly tacked on another goal a moment later but American defender Julia Young blocked it on the line.
Canada will play Argentina in the gold-medal game on Friday with the winner earning a berth in the 2020 summer Olympics. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press)
The United States came out stronger in the second quarter. Mackenzie Allessie had an opportunity down low but Canadian goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams made the save.
The Americans gave up another penalty corner in the 26th minute and were lucky to escape unscathed. The initial Canadian shot was blocked and Sara McManus's effort hit the side of the net.
The 1,000-seat venue was about two-thirds full with a few vocal pockets of Canadian fans and supporters on hand. Tuques and gloves were a common sight in the crowd during the chilly evening matchup.
Secco adds insurance
After halftime, Canada made it 2-0 in the 35th minute after Wright provided a strong effort deep in the American zone. Her shot squeaked through the defence and Secco dived towards the goal and just pushed the ball over the line.
The Canadians withstood some late American pressure and ran onto the field in celebration when the game ended. It will be Canada's first appearance in the Pan Am final since falling to Argentina at the 1991 Games in Havana.
"We've really gained some confidence from this game," Secco said. "I think we're just ready."
The Americans were gutted after the loss.
As her teammates got ready for a post-game jog, American midfielder Lauren Moyer stood on her own by the sideline. With hands on her hips and shinpads tossed aside, she shook her head and stared despondently out at the field.
Canada celebrates their semifinal victory over the United States. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press )
"We knew that Canada is dangerous on the counter-attack," said U.S. midfielder Kathleen Sharkey. "We just needed to always be turned on on defence.
Las Leonas await
"We had the ball down in their circle and then within 20 seconds, they were down scoring in ours."
The Americans entered the competition ranked 13th in the world, five positions ahead of Canada.
"We knew it was going to be a battle out there today," Wright said. "We prepared and prepared and prepared. We really focused on playing our game."
Argentina, the world No. 3, had its run of six straight Pan Am gold medals end at the 2011 Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Canada finished second at the FIH Hockey Series Final event last June in Valencia to earn a spot in another Olympic qualifier this fall. But the Canadians want to ride their momentum and lock up the berth here.
"We're lucky to have another crack at Argentina," Wright said. "We think we can really compete against them. They're also a very skilled, talented side.
"But we're going to bring that Canadian grit and that Canadian passion and really play well against them."
Canada beat Chile to win bronze at the 2015 Games in Toronto.
The Canadian men's field hockey team will play Chile on Thursday. Argentina will play the United States in the other semifinal.
The men's final is also set for Friday.
Butali dominate Tokyo Olympics qualifiers squad
By AYUMBA AYODI
Butali Sugar Warriors players celebrate a goal during their Kenya Hockey Union men's league match against USIU-A at City Park Stadium on May 11, 2019. Butali's Constant Wakhura was named men’s national team skipper on August 6, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Experienced Butali Sugar Warriors keeper Linus Sang and Amira striker Pauline Naise were the surprise exclusions in the final men and women’s national hockey teams for the Africa qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.
The week-long championships start on Monday next week at Stellenbosch University, Western Cape, South Africa.
Butali Sugar Warriors defender Constant Wakhura was named men’s team skipper and will be deputised by experienced Kenya Police midfielder Willis Okeyo.
Meshack Senge is the men team’s coach, Geoffrey Bila is the team manager while Vincent Muriuki the physiotherapist.
Strathmore University Scorpions' Gilly Okumu and Tracy Karanja will lead the women’s team that has Tom Olal as head coach and Jane Nyamogo as team manager.
The newcomers in the men's team are John Rioba (Wazalendo), who will be in defence, the Under-21 international Ivan Ludiali (Western Jaguars), who is deployed in the midfield and strikers Douglas Nyerere (Sailors) and Arnold Marango (KCA).
The women’s team is littered with newcomers with Lilian Aura (midfield), Caroline Guchu (midfield) and Flavia Mutiva (defence) all from Telkom, the notable experienced players.
The men’s team will be hoping to qualify for the Summer Olympics for the first time since 1988 Seoul games.
Kenya finished third during the Africa qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Olympics Games, beating Ghana 4-3 in the play-off. South Africa once again got to represent Africa in 2016 Rio Olympics, beating Egypt 4-2 in the final.
Kenyan women’s team also settled for third in the same qualifiers after beating Ghana 4-3 in the championships where South Africa claimed victory, hitting Egypt 4-2 in the final.
Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) fixture secretary Moses Majiwa Tuesday disclosed that they are not sure when the team will travel owing to lack of funding from the government.
KHU president Nahashon Randiek had on Monday expressed his fears that the team might not travel. Despite presenting a budget of Sh40 million to the Ministry of Sports in April this year, Randiek said nothing had been forthcoming.
Randiek said the budget was later slashed to Sh26 million but nothing has been forthcoming adding that what corked up everything was when the Kenya National Sports Council (KNSC) lumped together their budget with teams that are heading for the African Games in Casablanca, Morocco this month.
Goalkeepers: - Simon Odhiambo (Nairobi Simba), Prince Omollo (Parkroad Badgers),
Defenders: - Robert Masibo, Constant Wakhura (Butali Warriors), Paul Omariba (Strathmore), John Rioba (Wazalendo), Obare Otora (Greensharks), Clay Luvanda
Midfielders: - Franklin Wahongo (Strathmore), Ivan Ludiali (Western Jaguars), Moses Ademba (Butali Warriors), Francis Kariuki (Butali Warriors), Willis Okeyo (Kenya Police).
Forwards: - Festus Onyango (Strathmore), Douglas Nyerere (Sailors), Danston Baraza (Wazalendo), Arnold Marango (KCA), Amos Barkibir (Butali Warriors)
Goalkeepers: - Nouvelle Becca Ochia Awino (USIU), Cynthia Akinyi (Telkom).
Defenders: - Beatrice Mbugua (USIU), Anne Wanjiru (Strathmore), Flavia Mutiva (Telkom), Lucy Wangeci (Telkom)
Midfielders: - Grace Makokha Akumu (USIU), Harriette Omindi (USIU), Caroline Guchu (Telkom), Tracy Karanja (Telkom), Leah Omwadho (Amira), Lillian Aura (Telkom).
Forwards: - Rhoda Kuira (USIU), Gilly Okumu (Strathmore), Maureen Okumu (Telkom), Alice Aoko Owiti(Lakers), Ruth Adhiambo (Strathmore).
EuroHockey Championship II (Women) 2019 - Day 4
6 Aug 2019 UKR v AUT (Pool B) 1 - 2
6 Aug 2019 CZE v SCO (Pool B) 2 - 3
Fixtures (GMT +1)
7 Aug 2019 12:15 ITA v TUR (Pool A)
7 Aug 2019 14:30 WAL v POL (Pool A)
7 Aug 2019 16:45 UKR v CZE (Pool B)
7 Aug 2019 19:00 SCO v AUT (Pool B)
Live streaming via http://www.eurohockeytv.org
|Rank||Team||Played||Wins||Draws||Losses||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Difference||Points|
|Rank||Team||Played||Wins||Draws||Losses||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Difference||Points|
Scotland qualify for Euros semi-final after win over Czech Republic
Scotland defeated Czech Republic 3-2 to qualify for the Women’s EuroHockey Championship II semi-final at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre. Scotland’s goals were struck by Amy Costello; Kaz Cuthbert and Louise Campbell as the Scots clocked up a great victory on home turf.
It was a tentative opening to the match with neither side able to create any clear openings, until Sarah Jamieson had an effort on the turn towards the end of the first quarter, but her low shot zipped past the left post.
Fiona Burnet was next to come close, she found space in the D but couldn’t get her shot away before being hounded by Czech defenders.
Right at the start of the second quarter Scotland goalkeeper Nicola Cochrane made an outstanding save low at her right post to stop Czech Republic from taking the lead.
Scotland then took over and dominated the remainder of the half, creating a number of chances to score. A swift counter attack by Louise Campbell found Jamieson bursting into the D, but she was smothered out by the defence and goalkeeper.
Czech Republic v Scotland – photo by Duncan Gray
Then Charlotte Watson almost scored with an improvised overhead smash that bounced just wide of the post.
Campbell came so close as the half neared an end; her deflection from a fizzed pass from the right looped just over the bar.
Scotland took the lead right after half time and it came through a powerful Amy Costello penalty corner blasted against the back board. The Scotland and GB player sent an absolute rocket past the goalkeeper to make it 1-0.
Scotland captain Kareena Cuthbert celebrates her goal – photo by Duncan Gray
The Scots were piling on the pressure and came close with a series of penalty corners. One of the routines paid off when captain Kaz Cuthbert dove to deflect the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-0. It was her third goal of the tournament and a two-goal cushion for the Scots.
Cuthbert nearly struck another when her spin and shot was saved low at the start of the fourth quarter. Then the Czechs pulled one back through a lovely penalty corner routine with Adela Lehovcova applying the finish to pull it back to 2-1.
Scotland’s response was instant and it came through an exceptional deflected strike by Campbell that saw the ball fly into the roof of the net to restore Scotland’s two-goal lead.
Cochrane made a great save towards the end before a Czech counter attack saw Veronika Decsyova convert to make it 3-2.
Scotland, however, kept good possession as the minutes ticked away and saw the game out well to clock up their second win of the tournament.
Scotland Women’s Head Coach Jen Wilson said, “I’m delighted to get the win tonight, the players have shown great progression and are showing their excellent qualities at this tournament. The quality of the goals were really pleasing, and to score our third right after Czech Republic scored their first shows the great reaction of the players. The players will enjoy this tonight but we have a very tough game against Austria tomorrow. We’ll look to continue our good performances.”
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Scotland reach EuroHockey Championships II semi-finals with dramatic win over Czech Republic
Scotland Beat Czech Republic 2019 EuroHockey Championships II
Scotland have guaranteed themselves a semi-final place in the EuroHockey Championships II with a game to spare after overcoming Czech Republic in front of a boisterous home crowd.
All five goals were scored in the second half, with three coming in four minutes during a frenzied final quarter, as Jen Wilson’s side kept up their 100% record in Glasgow.
GB international Amy Costello and Louise Campbell were both on target, as was captain Kaz Cuthbert as she scored for the third time in the tournament to top the goalscoring charts.
The result means Scotland have reached the final four with a game to spare as they bid to gain promotion back to the top tier at the first time of asking.
Despite the goalless scoreline, the first half saw plenty of action as Fiona Burnet, Charlotte Watson and Campbell came close, while Nicki Cochrane – who played six times for GB in the FIH Pro League – also made a fine save.
Just moments into the second half though Costello fired her side into the lead, smashing the ball past the Czech ‘keeper.
A diving Cuthbert then doubled their advantage as she finished off a clever corner routine in the 39th minute before Czech Republic hit back from a corner of their own ten minutes later.
That sparked a scoring frenzy, with Campbell brilliantly deflecting a driven pass from Bex Condie into the roof of the net just 45 seconds later.
With just seven minutes left the visitors reduced the advantage once again but Scotland held on to secure the crucial victory.
After the match, Head Coach Wilson said: “I’m delighted to get the win tonight, the players have shown great progression and are showing their excellent qualities at this tournament.
“The quality of the goals were really pleasing, and to score our third right after Czech Republic scored their first shows the great reaction of the players. The players will enjoy this tonight but we have a very tough game against Austria tomorrow. We’ll look to continue our good performances.”
Scotland play their final group game at 19:00 tomorrow (7 August), knowing a draw against Austria will be enough to see them top the group.
Wales’ women will also be in action when they face Poland earlier in the day at 14:30 and will need to win to secure their place in the final four.
Both games will be available to watch on the BBC Sport website and eurohockeytv.org.
Czech Republic 2 (0)
Lehovcova (49’, PC), Decsyova (53’, FG)
Scotland 3 (0)
Costello (32’, PC), Cuthbert (39’, PC), Campbell (50’, FG)
Great Britain Hockey media release
EuroHockey Championship II: Scotland set up Austria group decider
Scotland have made it through to the semi-finals of the women's EuroHockey Championship II after a 3-2 victory over Czech Republic in Glasgow.
Goals from Amy Costello, Kaz Cuthbert and Louise Campbell were enough to seal the victory over the side that beat them in a penalty shoot-out in June.
The Scots lead Group B ahead of Austria, who also won their second game, 2-1 win against Ukraine.
Scotland face the Austrians on Wednesday in the group decider.
The top two in each group in Europe's second division progress to the semi-finals, with the group winner playing the side that come second in Group A.
EuroHockey Championship IV (Men) 2019 = Day 1
6 Aug 2019 HUN v NOR (Pool A) 2 - 1
6 Aug 2019 FIN v SLO (Pool A) 3 - 1
Fixtures (GMT +2)
7 Aug 2019 15:45 CYP v NOR (Pool A)
7 Aug 2019 18:00 HUN v SLO (Pool A)
|Rank||Team||Played||Wins||Draws||Losses||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Difference||Points|
2019 Test matches BEL v GER
4 Aug 2019 BEL v GER 2 - 2
6 Aug 2019 BEL v GER 2 - 1
FIH Match Centre
2019 Test matches NED v MAS - 1st Test
6 Aug 2019 NED v MAS 6 - 4
FIH Match Centre
Kookaburras to take on Japan in Osaka tonight
The Kookaburras will play an official international against Japan tonight as the squad continues its week long training camp and cultural tour of the host country for next year’s Olympic Games.
The full Kookaburras squad has been in the Japanese province of Ibaraki since Saturday for a training, acclimatisation and cultural tour in preparation for next month’s Oceania Cup (Olympic qualifiers) in Rockhampton and also with one eye on Tokyo 2020.
While any opportunity to play an international is a valuable one, particularly with the Olympic qualifiers only a month away, Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch said the match against Japan is just one important element of the squad’s program while they are over there.
“We’ll be up for the game and we’re looking forward to it, but the match is not the only thing we’re focused on as we’ve been training all the way through and will continue to train until we leave,” said Batch.
“But the opportunity to take on Japan is exciting. We haven’t played them since September last year in the Darwin series.
“They have improved a lot, right now they’re still the only team that has qualified for the Olympics. They’ve done well to qualify in their own right through winning the Asian Games and our challenge to qualify is in front of us.”
As the best-of-three Olympic qualifiers against New Zealand draws nearer, Batch stated he will not experiment or tinker with his team or style too much against Japan, rather using the match as another step in the process towards Olympic qualification.
“We still have a few weeks of training before the Oceania Cup so they will be important training weeks for us. At the moment it’s an opportunity to play an international game against a good team, so it’s good to combine both the training side of things and the match to test ourselves.”
The match will hold added significance for midfielder Flynn Ogilvie who is in line to make his 100th appearance for the Kookaburras.
Due to a serious hamstring injury at the 2017 Azlan Shah Cup, the impending 100 game milestone has been somewhat of a long time coming for the 25 year old who made his Kookaburras debut back in November 2014.
“Reaching 100 caps for your country in any sport is a terrific achievement,” said Batch.
“Flynn was part of our gold medal winning team at the Commonwealth Games last year and also in our World Cup squad, and he played an important role for us in the FIH Pro League right through this year.”
“He had a very difficult injury to get over in 2017, tearing a tendon off his hamstring. That meant when our current coaching staff took over we didn’t see much of Flynn other than on the rehab side of things.
“Due to the seriousness of the injury, it took a long time for him to get to get over that but he’s been able to establish himself back in the team and he’s playing good hockey at the moment.”
The match will be the Kookaburras’ first since winning the inaugural FIH Pro League Grand Final in Amsterdam, in turn claiming the world number one ranking.
Kookaburras v Japan
Wednesday 7 August 2019
Ritsumeikan University, Osaka, Japan
8:00pm AEST (7:00pm local)
Kookaburras team: Jacob Anderson, Daniel Beale, Josh Beltz, Tim Brand, Andrew Charter, Thomas Craig, Matthew Dawson, Blake Govers, Jake Harvie, Jeremy Hayward, Tim Howard, Tyler Lovell (gk), Trent Mitton, Eddie Ockenden, Flynn Ogilvie, Corey Weyer, Jacob Whetton, Aran Zalewski
Hockey Australia media release
Young guns Shamsher Singh, Ashis Topno ready for the big stage
Shamsher Singh and Ashis Topno came up the hard way, but they are now in line to make their India debut.
Ashis Topno (left) and Shamsher Singh are set to make their debuts for the India national hockey team. - K. Murali Kumar
Three years ago, Shamsher Singh watched from the sidelines as the Indian team went on to lift the Junior World Cup on home soil. The forward from the border town of Attari was named on standby but he eventually played no part in the tournament. Shamsher did not imagine then that he had much of a future with the National set-up. But a lot can change in three years. Last week, the 22-year-old was named in the Indian senior men's team for the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo. When Shamsher called home to inform his family of his selection, the announcement was met with disbelief. "They thought it was a joke," he says. “Because there are so many senior players in the team. They didn't believe me. They are very excited now."
When he looks back, Shamsher is a little surprised himself. "I never thought I would reach this level," he says. "But over the last two years, I've been working very hard. It's been a dream of mine to represent the nation and I'm very proud. I just can't wait for my debut."
Shamsher is a versatile player, capable of playing up front or in midfield. He is, in the words of chief coach Graham Reid, an Australian style of player. "He's strong on the ball, he's fast, and he's very smart," says Reid. "He understands what we are trying to do with the press. He's flexible, can play in the forward-line and also in midfield. So he ticks off a lot of boxes that I look for in players."
Shamsher learnt his trade at the Surjit Singh Hockey Academy in Jalandhar, from where a number of India's current senior crop hail. Growing up, life was not always easy. "My father's a farmer. As a youngster, there was some difficulty in terms of buying hockey sticks and good shoes. But my family supported me a lot, so we were able to manage," he says.
Also in line to make his debut for India in Tokyo is Ashis Topno. The midfielder from Deogarh in Odisha caught Reid's eye with his dribbling and ball control. "His skills on the ball are beautiful to watch," says the Australian. "We've been improving his tackling. He hasn't had too much experience at this level, so it's been about trying to get him to this level in terms of tactics and strategy. He can turn on a dime but he's also open to understanding the way we want him to play."
Topno is a man of few words. The 21-year-old initially played with home-made hockey sticks, but his talent soon saw him inducted into the government-run sports hostels in Panposh and Bhubaneshwar. "As a kid I dreamt of becoming like Dilip Tirkey, Prabodh Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey and Lazarus Barla one day," he says. "They were my inspiration. It feels nice to be playing in the senior team now."
Irish Over-35s land Euro Masters bronze in Rotterdam
The Ireland men’s Over-35s
The Ireland men’s Over-35s landed bronze at the first European Cup in their age group following a fine set of performances in Rotterdam.
The side swept to second place in their initial four-team group, only denied by a late equaliser in their second tie against Germany.
Rob Abbott’s hat trick saw Ireland easily see off Denmark in game one 6-1, the Railway Union man scoring three of the first four goals.
Against the Germans, Ireland led three times with goal machine Chris Barnes whipping home two penalty corners with Bandon man David Smith getting the other for a 3-2 lead. But Markus Pingel got an equaliser with three minutes to go for what proved a vital strike.
Barnes and Smith both added another couple to their personal tallies in a 5-0 win over Wales to complete the group stages with James Browne netting the other. It meant they finished second in the group on goal difference.
It meant a semi-final date with England and Ireland got off to a great start, leading twice in the first half. Smith opened the scoring from a corner and Browne made it 2-1 in the 16th minute.
England got level before half-time, however, and moved into a 4-2 lead with 10 minutes to go. Abbott did give them a lifeline, reducing the deficit to 4-3 but two late goals killed off the tie 6-3.
It left Ireland playing for bronze against Scotland and they led from the front with Cork Harlequins man Dave Egner creating an early lead which was augmented by Johnny Aiken on the stroke of half-time.
Craig Hilton got one back for Scotland but Ireland withstood the pressure to take third place with a 2-1 win.
It was the highlight of the first tranche of Masters European Championships this summer. The men’s Over-40s finished eighth out of nine. They fell to initial defeats to the Netherlands (3-1) and France (6-1) before drawing 3-3 with Germany and 2-2 with Italy.
In the men’s Over-45s, Ireland finished in sixth place out of nine with a 1-0 win over Italy the highlight of their campaign with Paul O’Brien netting the goal.
The women’s Over-40s side got a fourth place in their competition. After an initial 2-0 loss to England, they bounced back with a 2-0 success against Ghana and then beat Wales 1-0 with a last-ditch Niamh Spratt-O’Shea goal.
And a closing 1-1 draw with Spain took them to fourth place in the final standings.
The women’s Over-45s ended in fifth place. Ther fell to a close run 1-0 defeat at the hands of Germany in game one before drawing 0-0 with England and then beat France 1-0.
It saw them miss out on the semi-finals on goal difference and into the fifth place playoffs. There, they beat Scotland 2-1 courtesy of two Noreen Dockery goals. They then hammered France 4-0 with goals from Noreen Dockery, Caroline Sharkey-Brady, Fiona Byrne and Avril Jones for a fifth place finish.
The second series of masters tournaments gets underway this week in Crefeld with the Irish men’s and women’s Over-50s and 55s tournaments running from August 8th to 17th.
'You just want to hide in a dark room': England hockey star Shona McCallin on her 17 months out with concussion
Shona McCallin, MBE is a member of Great Britain women's national field hockey team and an Olympic gold medalist at the 2016 Summer Olympics
Shona McCallin is just returning from a 17-month layoff with concussion Credit: Instagram
Three weeks after being concussed playing for England in February last year, Shona McCallin jovially posted video footage of the incident on her social-media channels, reliving the moment with thousands of followers.
“Top tip: don’t let a shoulder hit you in the side of your head. It really hurts and you might get concussion,” she wrote.
After being accidentally clattered in the head by an Argentina opponent, the Rio Olympics gold medallist fell to her knees. Within three seconds, she stood up and began striding towards the sidelines, serenely blinking away the shock as her team-mates played on.
McCallin did not fully comprehend the enormity of the injury which would force her out of the game for 17 months.
“It’s essentially like having a bit of a hangover,” McCallin, 27, says. “You’re just a bit sensitive to everything, you don’t feel quite right, you’re a bit agitated, everything can be a bit too much and when it gets too much you just want to hide in a dark room.
“The most frustrating thing is that you don’t know when it’s going to come. I could have seven days doing exactly the same thing every day, I would be absolutely fine, and then I’d feel awful. It can just come on, so in terms of planning and trying to live a normal life, it was impossible.
“There would be many times when I would plan to see a friend, but then have headaches and I’d be feeling really sensitive to everything and just need to rest.”
McCallin playing for England against the USA in 2017 Credit: Frank Uijlenbroek
McCallin made her return for Great Britain in a 22-player squad at an acclimatisation camp in Tokyo last month.
She played four games during the camp and returned injury-free – an all-round success considering she also had been battling a knee injury. As a result, she remains in contention to be picked for England’s squad for the EuroHockey Championships, which begin in Antwerp on Friday week.
Victory would seal Olympic qualification for Mark Hager’s side after missing the chance to do so as part of Great Britain at this year’s inaugural Pro League competition.
“I knew I wouldn’t go out there [to Japan] and try to be the player that I was before the injury, that just wasn’t going to happen,” McCallin says.
“It was just about keeping things simple and enjoying being back out there and not taking anything for granted. There’s a phrase when you’re coming back from injury, which is ‘keep winning’. Don’t push yourself too far.”
McCallin is not alone in experiencing concussion within her hockey circle.
Alex Danson, the England captain, remains sidelined after hitting her head on a concrete seat while holidaying in Kenya last year.
England captain Alex Danson has been out with a concussion since last year Credit: Ady Kerry
Danson later revealed she lost her ability to read following the incident. McCallin now wants to raise awareness about concussion – irrespective of whether it is sports-related or not – and is determined to shatter the taboo that it is little more than a brief blackout and a bout of sickness.
“It’s not unusual for people to have that opinion of it,” McCallin says. “I think what needs to be explored a little bit more is, with concussion there’s so many strands to it. It’s like classing every ankle injury as just an ankle injury, whether that could be a little sprain or fracturing every single bone and destroying every single ligament – you’d still class it as an ankle injury.
“The main symptom for me was headaches. I probably had a headache every day for seven, eight or nine months. I would get eye fatigue and facial numbness all down my left side where I got hit. Those were the ones that stopped me from doing stuff.”
While the management of concussion and mild traumatic brain injury remains an area of clinical uncertainty for most sports medicine professionals, there is conflicting evidence as to whether females are more adversely affected after concussion than males, particularly in relation to an athlete’s length of recovery.
McCallin even watched videos of rugby players “getting smashed” on the pitch in a bid to try to categorise her own head trauma.
McCallin celebrates with team-mates after winning the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics Credit: Julian Simmonds
“My research has shown that the most lingering ones are the ones where you don’t get knocked out and you get hit on the side or the softer part of your head, rather than full on,” she says.
“There’s also a rotational aspect of it. Rather than just getting headbutted full on, when your head goes back and forth, and that’s it, you get hit on the side, which is followed by a swinging motion as well. I almost hit the jackpot, because I got all three of those.”
Should England fail to win the EuroHockey Championships, then Great Britain’s last shot at Olympic qualification will be a two-legged qualifier in the autumn.
McCallin could yet feature at another Olympics after Tokyo – should Great Britain book their place – but overcoming concussion has taught the 73-time capped international that running out for her country, whatever the occasion, is worth its weight in gold.
“Being out for so long has definitely made me appreciate playing international hockey,” she says. “It’s a cliche, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone and that is certainly the case for me.”
PHF Secy seeks govt support to revive hockey
I expect govt to appreciate our efforts and lend a helping hand, as without its support, no sports can survive
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Olympian Asif Bajwa described recently-concluded 65th Muhammad Noor Khan National Hockey Championship as the most successful and well-organised event in the history of Pakistan hockey.
Talking to The Nation, Bajwa said: “Despite huge financial issues, lack of manpower and poor arrangements at the venue, the PHF, under the command of its President Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, did a tremendous job while the entire supporting staff also put up great efforts to prepare Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium for hosting the championship and played significant role in making the event a success.
“I also want to thank Sindh government and especially Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah, who is not only a great hockey lover and promoter, but also have great passion for the national game, for providing all-out support to the federation during hard times,” he added.
He said they managed to gather 24 teams to unearth great raw talent, who will be taken good care of by the federation. “The youngsters are future of Pakistan hockey. We have taken onboard all the past greats and now we have only one mission to take Pakistan hockey forward. We have announced new senior team management committee under the chair of Olympian Khawaja Junaid (coach/manager) while Smaeer Hussain, Waseem Ahmed and Ajmal Khan as its members.
“Olympian and legendry goalkeeper Shahid Ali Khan has been given the responsibility of goalkeeping academy as in-charge. Pakistan team is in dire need of goalkeepers, so he will train the youngsters in Lahore, while selection committee under the chair of chief selector Manzoor Junior has also shortlisted 35 players from the National Hockey Championship. Majority of the selected players are youngsters, while international players are also part of the shortlisted players. The camp will be established from August 25 here at National Hockey Stadium, Lahore,” he added.
The PHF Secretary said that Khawaja Juniad and management committee has been assigned two upcoming assignments - South Asian Games and Olympic qualifiers - which will be held in either last week of September or October. The venue has yet to be finalized. We are working tirelessly to bring hockey back to its feet.
“I expect the government to appreciate our efforts and lend a helping hand, as without government support, no sports can survive. We have managed to deliver in limited resources and now when all are on same page, it is high time for government to step forward and release long-standing financial grant to the PHF, so that we may implement our goals,” he added.
When asked whether those international players, who were sidelined since long, as senior team was not involved in any event, are invited in the camp, he replied: “I didn’t receive the players list yet. It is hoped that they will hand over the list in a day or two, but I know, all the performers of National Hockey Championship will be part of the training camp.”
“I will hold an important meeting with the PHF President today (Wednesday) in Lahore and will decide our future course of action. Now we don’t have time to waste, as high-profile mega events are just round the corner. Our job is to ensure camps and best coaching facilities for the players. We are working on private sponsors as well, but I hope PM Imran Khan will spare some time to meet the PHF officials,” Bajwa concluded.