All the news for Sunday 7 February 2021
2020 FIH Pro League (Men)
5 Feb 2021 ESP v BEL (RR) 2 - 3
6 Feb 2021 ESP v BEL (RR) 0 - 2
Live streaming and full game replay on the Watch Hockey App (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)
|Rank||Team||Played||Wins||SO Win||SO Loss||Losses||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Difference||Points|
Victory for Belgium as Dohmen makes 400th appearance
Belgium claimed a second FIH Hockey Pro League victory in two days over Spain, defeating the host nation 2-0 at Valencia’s Estadio Betero to open up a 14-point lead at the top of the standings.
The Red Lions – who had recorded a 3-2 triumph over the Red Sticks on Friday – scored goals in the first and second quarters, with Simon Gougnard smashing home on the backhand before competition top scorer Alexander Hendrickx doubled the advantage with a trademark penalty corner drag-flick. Spain competed throughout the contest and created numerous goal-scoring chances. However, they could find no way past brilliant shot-stopper Vincent Vanasch, who made numerous world class saves – including a penalty stroke from Xavi Lleonart – to help his team to success in a match that was played behind closed doors under strict covid-19 protocols.
For Belgian midfielder John-John Dohmen, the result was the perfect way to mark his 400th senior international appearance, with the 33-year-old becoming only the sixth men’s player to reach this incredible milestone. The current caps world record is held by Netherlands legend Teun de Nooijer, who played 453 times for the Oranje.
"It was a great game; it is always tight against Spain”, said Belgium’s Vanasch, who was named Player of the Match. “I am very happy that we dealt with the pressure and I'm really pleased that John John Dohmen celebrated his 400th cap for Beglium today. We could not be more proud."
Talking about his incredible caps landmark, John-John Dohmen said: "I am just really proud to have played so many games for my country, especially with these boys. I love this group. I just enjoy the journey with the team, it is just amazing. Ten years ago we were nowhere in the world ranking, but now we are the best team in the world. We can be really proud of that. I am not the only one, there are a lot of old guys in this team who did the same journey as me, so we can be really proud of this."
More information on the game can be found by clicking here.
The FIH Hockey Pro League continues early in March when the Netherlands men and women play host to Germany.
Keep up to date with all the latest news on the FIH Hockey Pro League via the Watch.Hockey app, event website and through FIH social media channels - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
FIH Hockey Pro League
Saturday 6 February 2021 – Valencia (ESP)
Men’s result: Spain 0, Belgium 2 (Match 2 of 2)
Player of the Match: Vincent Vanasch (GK - BEL)
Umpires: Francisco Vasquez (ESP) and Jakub Mejzlik (CZE)
Official FIH Pro League Site
Belgium score maximum from double header against Spain in Valencia
Belgium made it a profitable visit to Valencia with a 2-0 win over Spain in the FIH Pro League double header that ended on Saturday.
Six points from two outright wins took the Red Lions, World and European champions, to 32 points from 13 matches at the top of the nine-nation table – 14 ahead of their nearest rivals The Netherlands who have played four matches fewer.
Spain remain at seventh spot with seven points from 10 matches after drawing a blank from the dual encounters, the first of which ended in a 2-3 defeat on Friday.
It was a fitting result for Belgium who must surely dedicate victory to captain John-John Dohmen who collected his 400th cap during the match – only the sixth player in history to do so.
The hosts will reflect ruefully on the match for wasted opportunities, not least a penalty stroke which Xavi Lleonart failed to score from, thanks to goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch’s fine block with the glove, stretching to his left.
The penalty stroke came from sustained pressure at the set-piece that saw three post-hooter penalty corner awards at the end of the third quarter.
Spain had nine penalty corners in all but were undermined by mediocre trapping at the top of the circle. One, at the end of the first quarter, did enter the goal but a high “first-hit” meant that the hosts were denied by a technicality again after suffering a similar fate with the last play of the first match.
Belgium did not produce the effervescence of the first match but did enough to control proceedings for the most part and shot ahead when Simon Gougnard’s back-hander found the boards through the pads of Quico Cortes in the 10th minute.
Spain were pretty much in the game but apart from their prodigality, it was the tenacious defence by Van Aubel who kept out Pau Quemada’s drag-flick on the line and Vanasch’s superlative performance that kept the Belgian goal intact.
Alexander Hendrickx then consolidated his position on top of the scorers’ list when his quality drag flick beat Cortes in the 18th minute to bring up his 11th goal in the competition so far.
Ninth-ranked Spain ran their No.1 ranked opponents close in terms of circle entries (16-17), even had more shots (10-5) and percentage possession (58-42) but the final pass and execution went missing.
“It was a great game; it is always tight against Spain”, said Belgium’s Vanasch, who was named Player of the Match. “I am very happy that we dealt with the pressure and I’m really pleased that John John Dohmen celebrated his 400th cap for Beglium today. We could not be more proud.”
Talking about his incredible caps landmark, John-John Dohmen said: “I am just really proud to have played so many games for my country, especially with these boys. I love this group. I just enjoy the journey with the team, it is just amazing. Ten years ago we were nowhere in the world ranking, but now we are the best team in the world. We can be really proud of that. I am not the only one, there are a lot of old guys in this team who did the same journey as me, so we can be really proud of this.”
The match, as did Friday’s encounter, was played behind closed doors and without the TV umpire whose visit was not possible because of travel restrictions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The league takes a break until March 6 when Netherlands take on Germany in a double header at home.
Spain play India in a double header on May 6 in Valencia while Belgium with three matches remaining take on Argentina in a double header commencing on May 22 before the concluding match of the league on May 30 against the Netherlands which in all probability will confirm the title winners.
FIH Hockey Pro League
Saturday 6 February 2021 – Valencia (ESP)
Men’s result: Spain 0, Belgium 2 (Match 2 of 2)
Player of the Match: Vincent Vanasch (GK – BEL)
Umpires: Francisco Vasquez (ESP) and Jakub Mejzlik (CZE)
Belgium beat Spain in Hockey Pro League as Dohmen wins 400th cap
By Liam Morgan
Belgium beat Spain in Valencia for the second day in a row ©FIH
Belgium's men recorded their second victory over Spain in as many days in the Hockey Pro League to cap a perfect 400th appearance for midfielder John-John Dohmen.
Goals from Simon Gougnard and competition top scorer Alexander Hendrickx gave Belgium a 2-0 win at the Estadio Betero in Valencia.
The victory for the reigning world and European champions, who beat their Spanish opponents 3-2 yesterday, extended their lead over The Netherlands - who have played four games less - at the summit of the standings to 14 points.
Dohmen becomes only the sixth player to appear in 400 international matches and holds the Belgian appearance record.
Belgium controlled proceedings from the outset and went ahead in the first quarter when Gougnard smashed home a backhand drive.
Hendrickx doubled the advantage with a trademark penalty corner drag-flick in the second, and that was how it stayed as Belgium closed out another Pro League win.
"I am just really proud to have played so many games for my country, especially with these boys," said Dohmen.
"I love this group.
"I just enjoy the journey with the team, it is just amazing.
"Ten years ago we were nowhere in the world ranking, but now we are the best team in the world.
"We can be really proud of that.
"I am not the only one, there are a lot of old guys in this team who did the same journey as me, so we can be really proud of this."
Inside the Games
Women's hockey coach Sjoerd Marijne: 'We are getting closer to the top of the world'
Marijne feels that the Indian women's hockey team is pretty close to beating teams like world no. 2 ranked Argentina. Hockey India
Barring the fleeting landscape during their bus shuttles between hotel and stadium, the Indian hockey women managed to see little of the bustling city of Buenos Aires, which is known for its bistros, parks and plazas. What they did get to see though is where they stand against the No. 2 side in the world, less than six months ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
The Indian players are coming off four weeks and seven matches against the Argentinian junior, 'B' and senior sides, which they wrapped up winless - with four defeats and three draws.
Coach Sjoerd Marijne calls attention to the changed attitude of the girls in facing a higher-ranked team as a significant takeaway from the tour. Against the Argentinian senior team, the Indians played out two losses and one draw. "This was our first competitive experience in over a year and we wanted to know how we matched up to a side like Argentina," he says.
"In the first two matches, we gave opportunity to young players in the core group who haven't had a great deal of international experience, so in the future it's easier to close the gap. For the last three matches, against the Argentinian senior team, we played our strongest side and did very well. In all matches, the score could have very well been the other way around and that means we are getting closer to the top of the world. There is a big difference in the attitude of our players now when playing a top side. In the past, our players went into these matches telling each other to keep the score difference as low as possible but now they are trying to go for a win and were really disappointed when they couldn't do so."
Goalkeeper and senior member of the Indian side Savita Punia seconds the switch in mentality. "Earlier, against Argentina. we would largely stick to defensive play and they would end up being largely one-sided matches. This time we had a hunger for attack. After losing the first two matches against the senior team this time, we told ourselves ek match toh jeetna hi jeetna hai (we have to win at least one match). Our third match was abandoned because of rains but we managed a draw in the fourth. We felt disheartened at not having a win, but the good thing was we had gotten better with every match. Our circle entries have improved. We were trying out different players in varied roles during this tour to have a better idea of who fits where and results weren't always great."
In the 2017 World League semi-final against Argentina which India lost 0-3, Savita made as many as four saves in the first fifteen minutes.
The Indian defence line cracked early in the final match of the tour which ended in a 1-1 draw, conceding two penalty corners within the first three minutes of the first quarter. "Less PCs is something we need to keep working on," says Marijne, "We are used to adapting to the situation so this will not be different."
Coach Sjoerd Marijne says the changed attitude of the women's team in facing a higher-ranked team is a significant takeaway from the Argentina tour. Hockey India
With the Asian Champions Trophy in March - which was supposed to be the first major tournament for the women's team - being indefinitely postponed, there is no competitive event on the horizon at the moment. It is understood that Hockey India is in talks with federations of Japan and Netherlands for exposure trips in the months ahead. Plans, however, will be subject to the Covid scenario in the weeks ahead. Currently, Japan has declared a state of emergency, with bans on entry of foreign travelers running up to March 7. On their part, the Dutch too have lockdown restrictions and curfew in place at the moment.
"We are working on playing other matches in that period, but it's still uncertain right now," says Marijne, "If we can't play these matches, then we will keep training like we did last year. At least we now have a benchmark after this tour and we know where to work on to win these matches. We know we are pretty close."
The crucial factor, Punia says, has been the team's fitness levels through the months of no competitive play last year. "I don't think we can make excuses for not having any matches. We had the rare opportunity of being in camp almost for nine months. I don't think any other team in the world had that. It's the reason why our fitness level didn't drop even though we had no matches."
The team is now on a week's break before they regroup on February 14 for a four-week camp, including a week's quarantine. They were tested twice during the course of a month - before they left for Buenos Aires and after the tour concluded. Their hotel in the Argentine capital even arranged a separate dining room for their activities and team meetings.
"The vegetarians in our side went there mentally prepared to have little choice in food but the hotel staff had made arrangements to follow our trainer's brief and fulfill our dietary requirements. We left them a thank you note when we left," says Punia.
"Barring the no handshakes and no contact, it didn't feel like we were trapped in a bubble. Of course, we usually go for shopping and long walks when we travel abroad, which we didn't do this time. Before we left for the tour, our trainer would joke that he would have to play cop to ensure we follow protocols. But once we got there, it was good to see all the girls, even the new ones, grow a lot more responsible. We knew that anything silly we did would put the entire team in risk and place future tours in doubt. No one wanted to take a chance."
Lahore, Faisalabad set up title clash in Quaid Hockey Championship
LAHORE-Lahore and Faisalabad hockey teams reached the final of 1st Quaid-e-Azam Inter-Division Hockey Championship 2021 after winning their nail-biting semifinals here at Pakistan's National Hockey Stadium on Saturday.
Lahore defeated Sargodha 6-5 on sudden death while Faisalabad beat Bahawalpur by 3-2 in the second semifinal. The title clash of the nine-team tournament will be played on February 9 (Tuesday) here at the National Hockey Stadium.
Director General Sports Punjab Adnan Arshad Aulakh along with Director Sports Hafeez Bhatti, DSO Lahore Nadeem Qaiser, PHF Chief Selector Manzoor Junior, Head coach of national hockey team Olympian Kh Junaid, Olympian Tauqeer Dar, PHA President Kh Khawar, Secretary Lt Col (r) Asif Naz Khokhar and hockey fans witnessed the closely-fought semifinals.
The first semifinal was played between Faisalabad and Bahawalpur division hockey teams in which Faisalabad edged past Bahawalpur division hockey team by 3-2.M Sajid scored two splendid field goals in the 14th and 49th minutes of the play while Moazzam struck the third one. Bahawalpur division hockey team bounced back in the later stages of the match and struck two goals through M Uzair and Absar bin Rauf in the 50th and 53rd minutes respectively.
Lahore and Sargodha’s second semifinal turned out to be a tense clash after both the teams played a 1-1 draw during the stipulated time. Lahore’s goal was scored by skipper Hannan Shahid through field effort in the 11th minute. Sargodha responded after seven minutes when Ibrar Arshad converted a penalty corner to level the score.
Strikers and goalkeepers of both the teams once again showed great resolve in the penalty shoot outs scoring three goals each for their respective teams. Shahzaib, M Rabiya and M Amar scored for Lahore while Shaheer, Ibrahim Manga and Ibrar Arshad netted three goals for Sargodha.
Then Lahore emerged victorious in the sudden death stage when Sargodha’s Shaheer sent the ball out of goalpost. Lahore’s M Amar, Hannan Shahid and M Rabiya successfully converted their hits into goals. From Sargodha, Ifrahim Manga and IbrarArshad managed to score their goals but Shaheer mistakenly sent the ball out of goalpost that gave Lahore a ticket to the final.
Covid-delayed NHDP will start next month
By Jugjet Singh
MHC development committee, chaired by Datuk S. Shamala.
THE National Hockey Development Programme (NHDP) is expected to start next month.
Modelled after the 1Mas Development Programme, which was discontinued in 2018, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) believe the NHDP will produce results.
MHC development committee, chaired by Datuk S. Shamala, have selected 74 centres for boys and 20 centres for girls in 13 states for the programme.
NHDP was initiated following a coaching clinic for Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16 players in August 2019, but it did not take off due to delays, caused mainly by Covid-19.
"We will start the NHDP next month. We do not want to sit and wait for Covid-19 to disappear.
"If the fields in Malaysia are still off-limits next month, the NHDP will hold online sessions," said Shamala after a meeting with the National Sports Council and the Education Ministry yesterday.
Three sports schools — the Bukit Jalil Sports School, the Bandar Penawar Sports School and the Setapak High School — will be part of the programme.
Balls, hockey sticks, goalkeepers pads and safety equipment have also been ordered from several agents to ensure they are of the best quality.
"We will start distributing hockey equipment to our centres soon. We have appointed a few agents to make sure we get value for money," she added.
New Straits Times