Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sunday 'Scoop with Poon Fook Loke'


1975 World Cup player Datuk Poon Fook Loke will take you through 50 years of foreign coaches in Malaysia and what we have achieved, in the New Sunday Times. Don't miss it.
1954: Gian Singh.
1966: V. Naidu.
1970: Ghafoor Khan.
1990: Terry Walsh.
1997: Volker Knapp.
1998: Paul Lissek.

ALSO: NEW DELHI: In what promises to be a rollicking start to next year's Hero Honda FIH Hockey World Cup , hosts India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan on the opening day of the mega-event to be held from February 28 to March 13.
According to event itinerary released by the International Hockey Federation on Tuesday, India will play Pakistan in the third Pool B match of the opening day, while Spain will take on South Africa in the tournament opener followed by the encounter between England and Australia.
India will next play Australia on March 2, and then take on Spain on March 4, followed by encounter against England on March 6 and finally round off their Pool stage with the game against South Africa on March 8.
Meanwhile, Olympic and World champion Germany will commence their defence on the second day on March 1 against Korea in Pool A. The day will also see New Zealand taking on Canada and the Netherlands facing Argentina.
The semi-finals of the tournament are scheduled for March 11, while the final will be played on March 13.
2010 FIH World Cup schedule:

Pool A: Argentina, Canada, Germany, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand.
Pool B: Australia, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain.

Sunday February 28, 2010: 16:35 B South Africa vs Spain, 18:35 B Australia vs England, 20:35 B India vs Pakistan.
Monday March 1, 2010: 16:35 A New Zealand vs Canada, 18:35 A Germany vs Korea, 20:35 A Netherlands vs Argentina.
Tuesday March 2, 2010: 16:35 B South Africa vs England, 18:35 B Pakistan vs Spain, 20:35 B India vs Australia.
Wednesday March 3, 2010: 16:35 A Canada vs Germany, 18:35 A Argentina vs Korea, 20:35 A New Zealand vs Netherlands.
Thursday March 4, 2010: 16:35 B South Africa vs Australia, 18:35 B England vs Pakistan, 20:35 B India vs Spain.
Friday March 5, 2010: 16:35 A Korea vs New Zealand, 18:35 A Netherlands vs Canada, 20:35 A Germany vs Argentina.
Saturday March 6, 2010: 16:35 B Australia vs Spain, 18:35 B South Africa vs Pakistan, 20:35 B India vs England.
Sunday March 7, 2010: 16:35 A Korea vs Canada, 18:35 A New Zealand vs Argentina, 20:35 A Germany vs Netherlands.
Monday March 8, 2010: 16:35 B Spain vs England, 18:35 B Australia vs Pakistan, 20:35 B India vs South Africa.
Tuesday March 9, 2010: 16:35 A Germany vs New Zealand, 18:35 A Netherlands vs Korea, 20:35 A Canada vs Argentina.
Wednesday March 10, 2010: Rest Day. Thursday March 11, 2010: 15:35 Clas.11-12 6th Pool A vs 6th Pool B, 18:05 Semi-final 1st Pool A vs 2nd Pool B, 20:35 Semi-final 1st Pool B vs 2nd Pool A.
Friday March 12, 2010: 15:35 Clas. 9-10 5th Pool A vs 5th Pool B, 18:05 Clas. 7-8 4th Pool A vs 4th Pool B, 20:35 Clas. 5-6 3rd Pool A vs 3rd Pool B.
Saturday March 13, 2010: 15:35 Bronze medal match, 18:05 Final.

The Times of India

Maybank want it all

THE New Year will start with an explosive weekend in Penang, as Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division leaders Maybank and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) lock horns at the Universiti Sains Malaysia grounds.
Maybank top the standings only on goal difference, and second placed KLHC have the players to take over the reigns.
However, KLHC coach I. Vivekanandan is not in the mood to celebrate just yet.
“Maybank have showed consistency in their three matches they played, and being the leaders, I am sure they will not cave in easily.
“We will have to be careful not to give them too much of space, as they have speedy forwards,” said Vivekanandan.
KLHC basically have the same players who won the double for Ernst & Young last season, and even then then had difficulty when facing Maybank.
“It will be a difficult weekend for us as after we play Maybank, Nur Insafi is next. Lets not forget the fact that last year E&Y, with the same players I have now, beat Nur Insafi 10-0 but in the return leg in Penang, we had to come back from behind twice, to beat them 3-2.
“That is why I see this weekend as a crucial mid-way battle and the winner is likely to place his hands on the title,” said Vivekanandan.
While KLHC are cautious and will only travel to Penang today morning, Maybank are already at the Island, waiting for their opponents.
“We are ready to face KLHC and continue our run in the MHL. It will be a cracking weekend, but I expect my boys to keep the top spot.
“The match against KLHC will be energy sapping, and then there is not enough rest before we face Sapura the next day. But I am confident my players will not disappoint,” said Velappan.
SATURDAY: Sapura v UniKL-Ibil (4.30pm), KL Hockey Club v Maybank (6.30pm), TNB v Nur Insafi (8.30pm).
SUNDAY: TNB v UniKL-Ibil (4.30pm), Maybank v Sa pura (6.30pm), Nur Insafi v KL Hockey Club (8.30pm).
All matches will be held at the Universiti Sains Malaysia grounds.


P W D L F A Pts
MAYBANK 3 3 0 0 9 2 9
KLHC 3 3 0 0 10 4 9
SAPURA 3 1 0 2 7 7 3
TENAGA 3 1 0 2 5 5 3
UNIKL 3 0 1 2 2 8 1
NUR INSAFI 3 0 1 2 4 11 1

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hunt for coach gone wild

WHAT Malaysian hockey need is an academy, not a foreign coach.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) are still hunting for a suitable foreign coach to replace former national player Tai Beng Hai, but their targeted ‘victims’ have either asked for an astronomical salary package, or were scared off by the prospect of coaching a 15th ranked team.
But like full-blooded Greyhounds, MHF are still chasing coaches around the world, even though the scent and excitement of the hunt is fast disappearing, as reputable coaches are tied-down by contracts.
And even if the MHF manage to snare a foreign coach at this juncture, they might end up with someone who is of the same standard as our local coaches, or end up paying through their nose to pay-off the existing contract of a reputable coach.
The better idea is to have a pool of local coaches to handle the various age-groups, and increase their salary instead. But this idea, somehow, seems not to attract the keen nose of the MHF hunting party.
Coming back to the academy, Sports Minister Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek has announced that he is working to realise golf and motor-racing academies because both the industries are money spinners who need qualified people to run the show in the near future.
The cost for both the academies is expected to reach RM70 million, while a hockey academy can be established with minimal cost, as structure and synthetic turf are already in place at the Tun Razak Stadium.
A blueprint, dating back almost a decade, is in the possession of the MHF and if they care to read it again, Malaysian hockey can be saved from further embarrassment in the coming decade.
The plan almost became a reality in 2003, when the MHF selected 70 players from the Malaysia Schools Sports Council tournament in Kuantan, and went to meet the then National Sports Council director general Datuk Mazlan Ahmad.
The MHF delegation in ‘03 was led by the then deputy president Tan Sri P. Alagendra, the late secretary S. Sat gunam and current vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema.
But Mazlan poured cold water over their plans, as his argument was that the academy will clash with development at the two existing sports school.
“We went to see Mazlan today with the academy proposal but he was not receptive to the idea. He said it was similar to the other sports academy proposals and will not get off the ground.
“But he gave us the green light to use the Tun Razak Stadium to develop hockey,” this scribe had quoted Sat gunam then.
Many now know that Mazlan made a bad choice, as he should have, instead, taken hockey out of the sports schools and placed it in an academy.
The sports schools have too many disciplines under their wings, and taking hockey off their shoulders would have made more sense.
The proposed academy was also to train coaches, umpires, technical officials and take in players from the Asean region to strengthen hockey at the Sea Games level.
But it never took off, and 10 years later, we have a pool of so-so umpires, are still looking for a foreign coach, our technical officials are slowly fading away due to age, hockey is now not even a Sea Games sport, and Malaysia are struggling to qualify for the Olympics and World Cups.
Not to forget, if Mazlan had agreed to the academy in 2003, six years later Malaysia would have a bigger pool of players to select from, and could have even won the Asia Cup in Kuantan and qualified for the New Delhi World Cup.
The ifs will always linger around, so get out of the instant- noodles syndrome to hire a foreign coach, and instead, start an academy to groom our own officials and players.
If not, the ifs will surface again a decade from today.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Presidential target remains blur

Malaysia have their back to the wall at number 15.

2009 Malaysian Hockey In Review

MALAYSIAN Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah took over the reigns of a sinking ship in October last year, and while most of the debts have been paid, his vision to break into the top-ten in the world will take much longer than he expected.

He entered a world which, in his own words, was quite alien and said that he will need all the help he can get from his state affiliates to realise his dream.
After a year at the helm, he has delivered his promise of bringing in the cash, and even the jaded Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division is now shown live on tele vision and will travel out of Kuala Lumpur to woo more youth to take up the sport.
However, the 2-1 defeat to New Zealand in the World Cup Qualifier final has placed Tengku Abdullah and his council in a tight spot.
Malaysia only moved up a rung to 15th in the world in the latest International Hockey Federation (FIH) ranking, while China moved up three rungs to occupy the 10th spot, as they beat Malaysia on penalty strokes to win bronze in the Asia Cup in Kuantan.
The FIH do not take into consideration the ranking points for the 18 teams which competed in three World Cup Qualifiers, where Malaysia did outclass China to reach the final. In the FIH world of weird rankings, the points earned will only be accumulated after the completion of the New Delhi World Cup in March next year.
New Zealand, who struggled to beat Malaysia in the final, are eighth in the world. After the Qualifier, the Kiwis played in the Champions Challenge I, where they beat Pakistan 4-2 in the final and will play in the Champions Trophy next year.
The FIH ranking has shown that teams placed in the eighth to the 16th bracket are almost of the same standard and only separated by determination on match day.
This is the only plus point, which the MHF president and his council members can bank on to work even herded next year.
We have the players who can even upset world No 2 Australia, as they did in the 1-0 win at the Five-Test series in Melbourne, only to lose 11-3 to the Aussies the very next day.
The yo-yo performance is still a mystery, just like the coach issue which has been dragging since Tengku Abdullah took over in October last year.
Tai Beng Hai can now apply to be listed in the Malaysia Book of Records, for being the longest interim coach in the country. He has the distinction of holding the interim reigns for a year, and his assignments include the Azlan Shah Cup, the Champions Challenge II, the Asia Cup and the World Cup Qualifier.
And it looks like he is going to break his own record next year, as the MHF have yet to secure a foreign coach, while the Azlan Shah Cup, the Asian Games, Asian Champions Trophy and the Commonwealth Games await to strengthen his internship next year.
The Korean has said ‘aniyo’, the Dutch said ‘nee’ while the Aussie also said ‘norrr’.
It looks like Tengku Abdullah and his men must first decide on their coach, local or foreign, before they can work towards breaking into the top-10 in the world.
The Asian Games next year provides a direct entry into the London Olympics, and all we need to do is beat our Asian neighbours, which is not too much to ask from this talented squad.
AZLAN SHAH CUP: 1 India, 2 Malaysia, 3 New Zealand, 4 Pakistan, 5 Egypt.
CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE 11: 1 Poland, 2 Ireland, 3 France, 4 Malaysia, 5 Japan, 6 Russia, 7 Austria, 8 Chile.
ASIA CUP: 1 South Korea (qualified for 2010 World Cup), 2 Pakistan, 3 China, 4 Malaysia, 5 India, 6 Japan, 7 Bangladesh.
WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS: 1 New Zealand, 2 Malaysia, 3 Scotland, 4 China, 5 Austria, 6 Wales.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Faith in local talent pays off

THE Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division has produced a surprise leader after three matches, and it looks like Maybank’s trust in youth has paid off.
And the same can be said about the young UNiKL-Ibil side, who stanched a point from the foreign-based Nur Insafi after two defeats.
“Last year we blooded some young players, and they were a little shaky. But it paid off in the last three matches this season, and we are looking forward to the remaining match es with confidence,” said Maybank coach S. Velappan.
UNiKL-Ibil have five Project 2013 players, while the rest were ‘picked from here and there.”
“Initially we had difficulty in fielding a side as all the top players were already attached with other clubs. So we took in five Project boys, and then had to source the others from the reject pool,” said UNiKL-Ibil coach I. Vickneswaran.
The average age of the UNiKL-Ibil team is 20, and they did well to hold more experienced foreign players from Nur Insafi to a 2-2 draw.
The trust in local youth paid off, while the trust in players from India and Pakistan has only brought Nur Insafi two defeats and a draw.
Nur Insafi has the likes of Indian national midfielder V.S. Vinaya and Pakistani forward Mohamed Nadeem, as well as Pakistan penalty corner flicker Imran Warsi.
However, the youth of UniKL-Ibil still managed to hold them to a draw.
And off the pitch, it looks like the fans are still shying away from the Tun Razak Stadium even though some quality matches have been played to date.
The MHL will take a break and resume on Jan 2 at the Universiti Sains Malaysia grounds, and hopefully the fans in Penang are more responsive.


P W D L F A Pts
MAYBANK 3 3 0 0 9 2 9
KLHC 3 3 0 0 10 4 9
SAPURA 3 1 0 2 7 7 3
TENAGA 3 1 0 2 5 5 3
UNIKL 3 0 1 2 2 8 1
NUR INSAFI 3 0 1 2 4 11 1

The best? hardly....

FIH Men's WorldHockey All Stars 2009.

The WorldHockey All Star Teams 2009 were selected by visitors of the official website of the FIH Out of the hundreds of people voting, the FIH created the Men’s and Women’s All Star Team. The composition of each team is 18 players and two coaches.

Salman Akbar (PAK)
Goal keeper

Pol Amat (ESP)

Simon Child (NZL)

Jamie Dwyer (AUS)

Moritz Furste (GER)

Myung Ho Lee (KOR)
Goal keeper

Ashley Jackson (ENG)

Mark Knowles (AUS)

Barry Middleton (ENG)

Maximilian Muller (GER)

Teun de Nooijer (NED)

Eddie Ockenden (AUS)

Jong Ho Seo (KOR)

Rob Short (CAN)

Prabhjot Singh (IND)

Austin Smith (RSA)

Taeke Taekema (NED)

Christopher Zeller (GER)

Coaches: Ric Charlesworth (AUS) & Markus Weise (GER)

UniKL-Ibil's victory in draw

UNIKL-Ibil took their chances well to hold Nur Insafi 2-2 in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier League at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
Nur Insafi, even with 16 foreign players, were made to sweat for the point, as the youthful UniKL side came back into the match twice, and were unlucky not to have collected full points.
Eighteen-year-old Noor Faez Ibrahim was in top flight, and it earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.
Nur Insafi took the lead off Pakistan penalty corner specialist Imran Warsi in the ninth minute, but Faez replied with a well taken penalty corner in the 20th minute.
The boys then held the experienced foreigners at bay for the remained of the first half, but in the 51st minute, Sundeep Michael scored in the run of play.
However, UniKL players turned a penalty corner into a penalty stroke, and Razali Zulkipli flicked home for the
“I am still seething from the 3-0 defeat we suffered against Maybank on Friday, but the players made up with the draw against experienced foreign players.
“We could have won if not for the missed sitters, but I am still happy with my players because they showed maturity in their approach today,” said UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran.
Maybank remained unbeaten when they edged Tenaga Nasional 1-0 with the goal coming in the 54th minute from former international K. Gobinathan’s penalty corner at tempt.
“We have a good blend of youth in our side this year, and beating TNB is especially sweet as they have many current internationals in their side,” said Maybank coach S. Ve lappan.
IN the last match of the day, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club beat Sapura 4-2. Sapura took the lead off S. Kuhan in the 25th minute, only to see Razie Rahim pulling off the equaliser in the 40th minute.
However, KLHC scored three more off Chua Boon Huat (46th), Azlan Misron (51st) and Ismail Abu (64th).
Kuhan again scored for Sapura in the 65th minute, but time was not on their side.
The Premier League will take a weeks break as players celebrate the Christmas weekend, and the action will begin on January 2 at the Universiti Sains Malaysia grounds.
RESULTS: Maybank 1 TNB 0, UniKL 2 Nur Insafi 2, KL Hockey Club 4 Sapura 2.


P W D L F A Pts
MAYBANK 3 3 0 0 9 2 9
KLHC 3 3 0 0 10 4 9
SAPURA 3 1 0 2 7 7 3
TENAGA 3 1 0 2 5 5 3
UNIKL 3 0 1 2 2 8 1
NUR INSAFI 3 0 1 2 4 11 1

Saturday, December 19, 2009

KLHC edge TNB 3-2

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) edged Tenaga Na sional 3-2 in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday (18-12-09).
Both sides parades a healthy dose of national players, and the win has placed KLHC as the ‘team to beat’ in the six-team tournament.
Fairuz Ramli handed Tenaga the lead in the fourth minute, but a minute later Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin dazzled with his skills and nailed the equaliser.
KLHC then took the lead off Megat Azrafiq in the 13th minute, and the score stood until the breather.
Amin Rahim flicked in the equaliser for Tenaga in the 54th minute, only to see Sukri Mutalib deliver the winner for KLHC in the 60th minute.
In another match, Maybank beat UniKL-IBIL 3-0 with goals from Azammi Adabi (26th), Suhaimi Ibrahim (60th) and Norikram Sulaiman (70th).
In the last match of the day, Sapura beat Nur Insafi 4-0 with a hat-trick from Rodhanizam Radzi (2nd, 5th, 41st) and Redza Maadun (68th).
“We have placed ourselves in a good position with two wins, but it is too early in the League to start dreaming big. We must beat Sapura tomorrow (today) and keep up the momentum as the rest of the teams are also improving with every match,” said KLHC coach R. Vivekanandan.
The two-week rest allowed KLHC to bond as a team, but Vivekanandan said his charges can perform much better.
“We will be playing the same teams again, and there must be constant improvement in tactics, if we want to lift the title.
“The penalty corner variations, defending and attacking, is also crucial as all the teams have good flickers. And even though we won against Tenaga today (yesterday), I would say it was a 50-50 match, and we barely collected the three points.”
RESULTS: Maybank 3 UniKL 0, KL Hockey Club 3 TNB 2, Nur Insafi 0 Sapura 4.
TODAY: Maybank v TNB (4.30pm), UniKL v Nur Insafi (6.30pm), KL Hockey Club v Sapura (8.30pm). All matches at the Tun Razak Stadium.


P W D L F A Pts
MAYBANK 2 2 0 0 8 2 6
KLHC 2 2 0 0 6 2 6
SAPURA 2 1 0 1 5 3 3
TENAGA 2 1 0 1 5 4 3
UNIKL 2 0 0 2 0 6 0
NUR INSAFI 2 0 0 2 2 9 0

Friday, December 18, 2009

...but the Indians know better

LAHORE: The India Hockey Federation has expressed its inability to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to organise a four-nation tournament, a dress rehearsal, before hosting the 2010 World Cup, mainly because it was facing problems in making security arrangements due to the participation of the Pakistan team in the quadrangular tournament.
Well informed sources told Dawn that the IHF asked the FIH that though it could make maximum strict security arrangements for the mega event to be held in Feb-March, to organise a four-nation tournament involving Pakistan, needs extraordinary security arrangements and that could not be possible for just a dress-rehearsal competition.
The FIH had asked the IHF to organise the said tournament, with the entry of Pakistan as a must, as it would help to check security arrangements before the World Cup. The tournament was proposed for January.
The strained political relations between India and Pakistan after the Mumbai attack in Nov 2008 had suspended bilateral sports activities between the two countries. Due to it cricket ties as well hockey have been seriously affected.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), which is searching for some international matches desperately, as part of their preparations for the World Cup now is focusing much on the alternate plan to play some matches against European teams at neutral venues in Dubai.
Sources said a development in this regard could be made in the next couple of days.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Negre assures Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: International Hockey Federation President Leandro Negre has assured Pakistan that their players would be provided with adequate security when they tour India for next year's World Cup.
"I believe that the organisers will be providing special security to Pakistan team because there could be some crazy elements who may try to take advantage of presence of Pakistan team in India to create a bad situation,"Negre said.
"Security of Pakistan team is a very important issue in the prevailing situation and FIH will play its due role in this regard,"the FIH chief said.
Asked about the possibility of Pakistani players facing visa problems as was in the case of cricketers wanting to play in Indian Premier League, he said, "FIH is in constant with the Indian authorities and I am confident that there will be no such problem as we look forward to an exciting and successful World Cup in India.
"FIH is monitoring the situation on regular basis and there should be any problem for issuing visas to Pakistan and their safe stay in India,"he said.
Negre also favoured resumption of India-Pakistan hockey ties and suggested neutral venue for such series.
"It's the best way to resume bilateral hockey ties between the two countries,"he said.
The Times of India

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

India, Pakistan in same World Cup group

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has released the pools for the Hero Honda FIH World Cup, to be played in New Delhi, India from 28 February-13 March 2010.

Defending World Champion Germany is the top seed in Pool A and will meet Netherlands, Korea, New Zealand, Canada and Argentina in the pool phase of the Hero Honda FIH World Cup.

Host India is placed in Pool B, together with Australia, Spain, England, Pakistan, India and South Africa.

Following the pool phase of the Hero Honda FIH World Cup, the best two ranked teams of each pool will proceed to the semifinals.

The match schedule for the Hero Honda FIH World Cup will be released before the end of December 2009.

Hero Honda FIH World Cup, 28 February-13 March 2010:

Pool A:

  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Korea
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Argentina

Pool B:

  • Australia
  • Spain
  • England
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • South Africa

Monday, December 14, 2009

MHF still await Oltmans

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) are still keen to hire a foreign coach, but have yet to receive a reply from Dutchman Roelant Oltmans.
The MHF held their management committee meeting in Penang on Sunday, in conjunction with the USM Penang- International Sixes and Sevens, but could not reach a concrete decision.
“We only had a brief discussion because National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Zolkeples Embong cold not make it for the meeting.
“The MHF is still keen to hire a foreign coach, but until we do so, Tai Beng Hai remains as the interim coach,” said MHF secretary Hashim Yusoff.
Hashim said the MHF has short-listed three coaches, and the coaching committee has been told to submit their recommendations.
“I know that it has been a year that Beng Hai has been an interim coach, but I believe we should be able to get a reply from the coaches that we have contacted by the end of this year.”
Oltmans has a contract with clubside Larens until 2012, and the MHF will have to pay a bomb to secure his release, and then pay him and his assistant at least Euro 16,000 per- month.
Malaysia will be involved in the Asian Champions Trophy, the Azlan Shah Cup, Asian and Commonwealth Games next year and the MHF are keen to seal a foreign deal as soon as possible.

Kiwis polish off Pakistan

Sunday 13 December
9:05 7-8 BEL : CAN 2:0 (1:0)
11:35 5-6 RSA : CHN 5:0 (2:0)
14:05 3-4 ARG : IND 2:3 (2:1)
16:35 1-2 NZL : PAK 4:2 (2:2)

Final Standings
1. New Zealand
2. Pakistan
3. India
4. Argentina
5. South Africa
6. China
7. Belgium
8. Canada

Game 20 – Final – New Zealand v. Pakistan: 4-2 (half-time: 2-2)

Statistics between the two teams before this final (compiled by B.G.Joshi, Bhopal, India):
Matches played: 43 - Pakistan won 34, New Zealand won 4 - 5 draws
Goals for Pakistan: 149 - Goals for New Zealand: 65
Biggest Wins for Pakistan: 12-3 in 1982 World Cup in Mumbai
Biggest Wins for New Zealand: 7-1 in 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games
Last played: 2009 Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh: New Zealand won 2-1

The much expected Final between New Zealand and Pakistan, the top two ranked teams in the competition, started immediately at high pace. New Zealand had to concede a penalty-corner in the 7th minute, and Sohail ABBAS scored it dutifully although Kyle PONTIFEX got a piece of the shot. New Zealand replied with a penalty-corner of their own, using an option with Ryan ARCHIBALD deflecting on the post.

The game was back to square one and the initial nerves shaken. New Zealand then scored a sumptuous goal by Phillip BURROWS diving full length to deflect a cross from the left, then read well the second penalty-corner for ABBAS. Pakistan could not penetrate the compact New Zealand defense and tried to use long passes but they seldom came close enough to be dangerous, let alone win the coveted penalty-corner for ABBAS to officiate. It is finally in the last minute of the period that Rehan BUTT pounced on a ball in the crowded circle and acrobatically managed to shoot it out of reach of PONTIFEX.

Second half started under hot summer sun finally arrived over Salta. New Zealand were consistently dangerous upfront by Simon CHILD, Phillip BURROWS and Ryan ARCHIBALD, circulating the ball with speed and accuracy. Their best chance was for Nicholas WILSON, deflecting the ball from close range on the crossbar, but the score did not evolve. Pakistan had three additional unsuccessful penalty-corners then New Zealand scored two goals in quick succession in the last five minutes, first by Steven EDWARDS then Phillip BURROWS, both at the conclusion of fast offensive moves that swept away the Pakistani defense.

Sohail ABBAS missed another penalty-corner and New Zealand could soon celebrate their first Champions Challenge victory with their traditional haka.

BDO Champions Challenge I (men) – Salta, Argentina
Results Day 5: Sunday 13 December 2009

(7-8) Belgium - Canada 2:0 (1:0)
BEL 24mn Alexandre DEPAEUW (FG) 1:0
BEL 50mn Renaud PANGRAZIO (FG) 2:0

(5-6) South Africa - China 5:0 (2:0)
RSA 8mn Thornton McDADE (FG) 1:0
RSA 26mn Julian HYKES (FG) 2:0
RSA 38mn Justin REID-ROSS (PC) 3:0
RSA 42mn Gareth CARR (FG) 4:0
RSA 68mn Austin SMITH (FG) 5:0

(3-4) Argentina - India 2:3 (2:1)
ARG 22mn Facundo CALLIONI (FG) 1:0
ARG 29mn Facundo CALLIONI (FG) 2:0
IND 35+mn Vokkaliga RAGHUNATH (PC) 2:1
IND 54mn Gurbaj SINGH (FG) 2:2
IND 69mn Dhananjay MAHADIK (PC) 2:3

(Final) New Zealand - Pakistan 4:2 (2:2)
PAK 7mn Sohail ABBAS (PC) 0:1
NZL 15mn Ryan ARCHIBALD (PC) 1:1
NZL 20mn Phillip BURROWS (FG) 1:2
PAK 35mn Rehan BUTT (FG) 2:2
NZL 65mn Steven EDWARDS (FG) 3:2
NZL 66mn Phillip BURROWS (FG) 4:2

Final Standings: 1) New Zealand (qualify for the 2010 Champions Trophy) 2) Pakistan 3) India 4) Argentina 5) South Africa 6) China 7) Belgium 8) Canada

Individual Awards:
Player of the Tournament: Sardar SINGH (India)
Goal-keeper of the Tournament: Kyle PONTIFEX (New Zealand)
Top goal scorer: Pedro IBARRA (Argentina), 8 goals
Fair Play: Argentina

NSTP lift Nazrin trophy

By K. Kandiah

NEW Straits Times Press (NSTP) defeated Felda Hockey Club by a single goal in the Classic Men's Open final to lift the Raja Dr Nazrin Shah Challenge Trophy in the 36th USM Penang-International Sixes and Sevens Hockey Fest 2009 at the Universiti Sains Malaysia Synthetic Turf Hockey Stadium in Minden yesterday.

This was the first time that NSTP, who play in the KL Division One hockey league, lifted a silverware after participating at the competition for many years said its team manager K. Jayakumar.
Both teams were playing cautiously, and ended the first half scoreless and with about 90 seconds left in the clock before the final whistle, NSTP's P. Sivanesan picked up the ball from a free hit and tapped it to Medrianto in their own half.
Medrianto collected the ball and ran solo with none of his opponents near to challenge him, drew the goalkeeper out and slammed the ball home for the winning goal. NSTP collected RM1,000 while Felda Hockey Club received RM700.
A hat trick by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin helped KL Hockey Club trash defending champion Nur Insafi 4-0 in the Men's Open Premier final and lift the Sultan Azlan Shah Challenge Trophy. The other goal was by Azli Misron.
For their win, KL Hockey Club received RM2,000 while their opponent, Nur Insafi settled for RM1,400 in cash prize money.
In the Women's Open final, KL Senior Ladies defeated Perak's RPS Blues 3-1 to capture the Governor Of Penang Challenge Trophy. Kannagi Arumugam, Nur Hafizah Azman and Nuraini Rashid scored for the champions while Norzuliana Hamzani replied for RPS Blues.
The KL Seniors collected RM1,200 while the runner-up RPS Blues received RM800.
RESULTS - (all finals) Men's Premier League: KL Hockey Club 4 Nur Insafi Penang `C' 0.
Classic Men's Open: New Straits Times Press `B' 1 Felda Hockey Club 0.
Institutions of Higher Learning Men: Universiti Putra Malaysia `A' 1 Universiti Putra Malaysia `C' 0.
Men's Veteran: Jolly Lads KL 3 KL Irrigation 2.
Classic Women's Open: KL Senior Ladies 3 RPS Blues 1.
Institutions of Higher Learning Women: Universiti Putra Malaysia `B' 2 Universiti Putra Malaysia `A' 1.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A worn out Maria shoe, signed by Maria...

TV3 presenter Azura Zainal will be among the celebrities in the CEO and Celebrity Charity Tennis this Sunday at the National Tennis Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

TENNIS balls, a shoe and pictures signed by famous players will go under the hammer to raise funds for the CEO and Celebrity Charity Tennis this Sunday at the National Tennis Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
The event is jointly organised by NSTP and Bursa Malaysia, and held in conjunction with the ECM Libra Foundation and Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia Junior Tennis Cham pionships.
Last year, a total of RM75,000 was raised, and it looks like at least RM100,000 will be collected for charity this year.
“We have a used tennis shoe signed by Maria Sharapova, a framed set of four tennis balls signed by Roger Federer, James Blake, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg; photos of Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras with their signatures which were all given to us by IMG.
“And we also have a jumbo tennis ball signed by Anna Kournikova courtesy of Dunlop. All the items will go under the hammer during the tournament, and we hope to raise a substantial sum,” said NSTP Corporate Communication and Events senior manager Wan Abdillah Wan Nawi.
DLP Sporting Goods director Alan Tang said they are happy to be associated with this glamorous event.
“This year other than tennis balls, we will also be providing T-shirts and a jumbo ball sighed by Anna for auction. And next year, we hope to get more items for auction, like memorabilia from Thailand’s Tamarin Tanasugam,” said Alan.
Sixty-four players have confirmed for the fun-filled event, where a lucky draw will decide who-partners-who.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Azura's fling with Brazilian Capoeira

PETITE TV3 presenter Azura Zainal will be making her charm felt for the second time in the CEO and Celebrity Charity Tennis this weekend at the National Tennis Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
Last year she did better off court, in making acquaintances, than on the court, but the fun-filled event has reeled her in again.
“I just hit some balls last year and did not progress much, but I made many friends and had a fantastic time. That is why I am looking forward to competing in the event again,” said Azura.
She hung her racquet for almost a year, and dusted off he cobwebs recently, and does not expect to make an impact.
However, she has been keeping herself in good shape, and is capable of landing a killer knock-out kick, as her current passion is a Brazilian by the name of Capoeira.
“I am into Capoeira right now, and the Brazilian martial arts is not only good for self defense, but also a good exercise,” said Azura.
The wikipedia lists Capoeira as: Afro-Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, music, and dance. It was created in Brazil by slaves brought from Africa, es pecially from present day Angola some time after the 16th century.
Azura will surely be an added kick to the CEO & Celebrity Charity Tennis event, jointly organised by NSTP and Bursa Malaysia, and held in conjunction with the ECM Libra Foundation and Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia Junior Tennis Championships.

Make a date with Sania

INDIA tennis starlet Sania Mirza will be the drawcard in the Showdown of Champions on Dec 19-20 at the Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam.
The showdown will also feature China’s Zheng Jie and Russians Elena Dementieva and Maria Kirilenko and the tennis babes are not only set to dazzle with their skills, but also their attire.
Sania became a rage in her country when she reached the fourth round of the US Open in 2005, and personifies the emerging India, and is just behind the Bollywood stars and cricket players in term of popularity.
Zheng Jie holds the distinction of becoming the first China player to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam singles in Wimbledon in 2008.
Elena is the Beijing 2008 Olympic champion, while Maria is said to be one of the most attractive and sexiest stars on the planet.
And two lucky ladies will also get the chance to become Liaison Officers, and spend four days with two of the skilled and glamorous etnnis stars during their exhibition stint.
The first day of the tournament will be on a singles format, while the second day will be a doubles partnership of Asia versus Russia.
Yesterday, Firefly were unveiled as the Showdown’s Plat inum Partner.
“LD Sports is excited to have Firefly aboard, as their regional and international network that is further supported by Mas and MASwings is well suited to deal with the anticipated increase in tourist flow for the Showdown,” said LD Sports deputy chairman Adlin Zabri.
Angelina Fernandez, head of marketing and commu nications of Firefly said: “This tournament will offer a once- in-a-life chance for a tennis fan to be close to her idol, as we will be selecting a candidate soon. The candidate we are looking for must have a good knowledge of the country as she will assume the role of an ambassador as well.”
LD sports will also sponsor a liaison officer.
“LD Sports will award our winner a three nights stay at the Royal Chulan and RM1,000 spending allowance.
“Interested candidates can come to the Pavillion in Kuala Lumpur this Friday between 6 to 8pm, and come dressed in chic, classy or creative tennis attire in heels.”
Tickets can be purchased via and are priced at RM48 to RM208 for court-side seats.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tiger jokes

Tiger Woods crashed into a fire hydrant and a tree. He couldn't decide
between the wood or the iron.

We heard that Tiger's wife has been interested in taking up golf. However,
2:30am does sound a bit of an odd time to start hitting your Woods.

Ping just offered Elin Nordegren an endorsement contract pushing her own set
of drivers. They are marketing them as "clubs you can beat Tiger with."

News travels fast. The Chinese are already making a movie about Tiger Woods'
crash.. They are calling it, "Scratching Swede, Lying Tiger."

EA Sports has announced the recall of Tiger Woods 2010 so a new bonus level
can be added called "Tiger VS The Driveway". A collector's edition will be
sold with a free Wii steering wheel.

What does Tiger Woods have in common with baby seals? They're both clubbed
by Scandinavians.

If you made it to work this morning, you have earned the right to say "I can
out drive Tiger Woods."

It has just been reported that Phil Mickelson contacted Tiger's wife, Elin,
to pick up some tips on how to beat Tiger.

The police asked Elin how many times she hit him. She replied, "I don't know
exactly, but put me down for a 5."

Tiger Woods is so rich that he owns lots of expensive cars. Now he has a
hole in one.

What's the difference between a car and a golf ball? Tiger can drive a golf
ball 400 yards.

What were Tiger Woods and his wife doing out at 2.30 in the morning? They
were clubbing.

Tige a sex addict

Girls linked to Woods are (foreground from left) Kalika Moquin, Jamie Jungers and Cory Rist. In the background (from left) are Mindy Lawton, Rachel Uchitel and Jaimee Grubbs.

LONDON - A leading health expert believes Tiger Woods is a sex addict who needs immediate help.
David Smallwood, addictions manager at London's Priory clinic, believes the exposure of the golfer's affairs hint at his uncontrolled craving for sex.


"He displays a number of the pointers such as seeking highs from outdoor sex and having many mistresses," the News of the World quoted him as saying.
However, the expert who has provided service to a number of celebrities wishes to help Woods.
He said: "I would implore him to get help. But I see him as ill, not bad.
"All of the things Woods is alleged to have done point to him having a sex addiction.
"Outdoor sex is a way of creating excitement and going higher and higher.


"If you were snorting cocaine you would start off doing one line and end up doing five grams. The more sex he has the more he will want and the more outlandish he will try to make it.
"While he's been at the top of the golfing world, my guess is he wasn't having affairs.
"He then had a bad spell, some injuries and lost some tournaments.
"He won't be getting out of the sport what he used to and perhaps he is looking for something more extreme. Maybe he is looking for another outlet for his excitement."


Lending credence to Smallwood's theory was a US Weekly report that reportedly claimed Woods sexted to one of his alleged mistresses that he had a fascination with having a threeway with her and some big name male sports and TV figures.
The magazine said Rachel Uchitel had forwarded an intimate message to friends in which Tiger said he dreamt of having some sort of orgy with Uchitel, NY Yankees Captain Derek Jeter, actor David Boreanaz and Ryan Seacrest.
The list of women Woods has been accused of having affairs could reached a dozen soon ever since his private life was exposed by his car crash accident outside his Orlando home on Nov 27.


Woods' frequent trips to Las Vegas did not go unnoticed. Several prominent Las Vegas nightclub managers said there were more women who have yet to come out of the woodwork.
“He wasn’t one to send away someone who was interested. There was a revolving door of women with Tiger,” said one. “I can think of half a dozen off the top of my head. But if you want his business - and you do - you make sure it’s kept as discreet as possible.”


One mistress said of Woods: "His big problem is, ironically, insecurity . From the age of four or five, he was destined to be a golfing legend but no one told him how to be a man. He married the dream girl, had the perfect family, but couldn't feel satisfied with that."
According to Radar Online, Woods had decided to pay between US$1mil and US$3mil (between RM3.5mil and RM11mil) to secure the silence of Uchitel, the first woman to be linked to the golfer since his nocturnal accident. Uchitel had earlier strongly denied any affair with Woods.
Apart from Uchitel, women who have been linked to the world No 1 golfer were Jamie Jungers, Cory Rist, Jamiee Grubbs, Kalika Moquin and Mindy Lawton. Lawton was said to be the golfer's first mistress.
A British TV presenter and a porn star could be next on the list of revelation.
Apparently, Woods has also agreed to pay off his wife Elin Nordegren and alter their original prenuptial agreement to ensure her more money to stay in the marriage. Under the deal, believed to be US$80mil (RM280mil), Nordegren would not tell her story should she and Woods divorce.

Pakistan edge Canada 2-1

FIH / Matias Aguirre

Sunday 6 December
12:05 PAK : CAN 2:1 (2:0)
14:05 BEL : CHN 4:3 (1:1)
16:05 NZL : IND 2:2 (0:1)
18:05 ARG : RSA 6:2 (4:1)

At the BDO Champions Challenge in Salta, Argentina impressed the crowd with a decisive 6-2 win over South Africa, Pakistan edged Canada by a lone goal (2-1), the young Belgium team showed character to beat China (4-3), and India and New Zealand split points after an entertaining match (2-2).

Game 1 – Pakistan v. Canada: 2-1 (half-time: 2-0)

The 2009 Champions Challenge opened under stormy skies in a venue diligently prepared by the Salta Hockey Association. Pakistan and Canada were first in action, with Pakistan immediately threatening and earning a free hit just outside the circle to create danger in front of Dave CARTER in the Canadian goal. A few minutes later, Rehan BUTT penetrated the Canadian circle but was prevented to shoot on goal by Scott SANDISON, coolly clearing the ball in both occasions.

Selangor League knock-out stage

The Selangor Hockey League 2009 had reached its knockout stage. The league matches were completed on Decemebr 6th with UiTM emerging as Division 1 Champion as Selangor Polis gave them a walk over.
The Quarter Finalist are from Division 1 Champions - UiTM, Runnersup - RAMD, 3rd - KDJLJ, 4th - OLAK, 5th - Projek 11-A.
From Division 2 Champions - RAMD Jnr, Runnerup - SIA, 3rd - SMKPP.
The Quarterfinals will be played on Dec 8 and 9.
Challange Trophies were sponsored by the President of Selangor Hockey Association Dato’ Hj Salamon Bin Selamat.
Specials Awards, Medals for Top 4 Teams Overall, Division 1 & Champions & Runner-up were sponsored by Milo.
Milo also were gracious enough to sponsor the Match Officials Attire.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Athitsha hat-trick hands KL U-14 title

Kuala Lumpur u-14 players celebrate their title. Malay Mail Picture.

KUALA Lumpur’s Athitsha Tamil Chelvam delivered a hat- trick to beat Perak 3-2 in the National Under-14 hockey final at the Kuantan Stadium yesterday.
Athitsha gave KL the lead in the fourth minute, but Perak equalised off Azril Misron in the 23rd minute, and then took the lead off Amar Zahari in the 46th minute.
Athitsha then gave KL another lifeline in the 55th minute and the match went into extra-time.
KL camped in the Perak semi-circle and won a penalty corner three minutes into play, and Athitsha delivered the title to the City state.
All three goals by Athitsha were off penalty corners.
In the bronze battle, Negri Sembilan beat Penang 1-0 with the goal coming from Ikwan Ishak in the 24th minute.
RESULTS -- Final: Kuala Lumpur 2 Perak 2 (KL win sudden-death goal); Third-Forth: Negri Sembilan 1 Penang 0.

Better after the break

THE Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division took off with great fan-fare at the Tun Razak Stadium, but the first weekend proved to be more action off than on the pitch.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and many top brass from the MHF as well as Astro were at hand to launch the Charity Shield which was telecast live.
Before the match, title sponsors Tenaga Nasional con ducted a coaching clinic, while the Malaysian women’s national team played a game against their ex-interna tionals.
And after a round of matches, with Maybank at the top on goal difference, the MHL will take a two-week break and resume on Dec 18.
Many teams, especially foreign based Nur Insafi, are glad for the break.
“We had very little training as most of my players were with the national side, and then we took a break after the World Cup Qualifier.
“The two week break is a blessing, as we can get ourselves better prepared,” said KL Hockey Club skipper Azlan Mis ron.
As for Nur Insafi, only nne out of their 16 foreign players managed to arrive on time for the first match against Maybank, and they lost 5-2.
Pakistan penalty corner flicker Imran Warsi also had to watch from the sidelines at the Tun Razak Stadium, as his playing contract with the European Hockey League stipulates that he can only play for other teams starting from Dec 15.
The season started on a lukewarm note, but is expected to pick up steam after the break after teams have more training time, and Nur Insafi get their full side.


P W D L F A Pts
MAYBANK 1 1 0 0 5 2 3
KLHC 1 1 0 0 3 0 3
TENAGA 1 1 0 0 3 1 3
SAPURA 1 0 0 1 1 3 0
UNIKL 1 0 0 1 0 3 0
NUR INSAFI 1 0 0 1 2 5 0

Australia top of the world

FIH / Stanislas Brochier

Results Centre
Sunday 06 December

10:05 ENG : ESP 2:5 (1:3)
12:35 NED : KOR 2:4 (1:0)
15:05 AUS : GER 5:3 (1:3)

Gold Medal Match: Australia v Germany – 5:3 (1:3)

Australia have claimed the ABN AMRO Men’s Champions Trophy 2009 following a 5-3 victory over Germany in a pulsating final match in Melbourne, Australia. Both teams played with passion and pride in front of the capacity crowd, but it was Australia who emerged as the winners in a truly thrilling contest. Australia were forced to fight back from a being 1-3 down at half time, but second half strikes from Liam DE YOUNG, Luke DOERNER (2) and Fergus KAVANAGH gave the home favourites a victory that they will never forget.

It was a fantastic day for Australian hockey on many levels, with the Champions Trophy victory being added to the individual award given to Jamie DWYER, who was named as WorldHockey Men’s Player of the Year for a third time, while Grant SCHUBERT and Luke DOERNER were named as joint top scorers in the tournament. SCHUBERT was also named as the Player of the Tournament, with Korean keeper LEE Myung Ho being named as the Goalkeeper of the Tournament.

A huge and vociferous crowd had packed into the State Netball & Hockey Centre, all hoping to see a thrilling contest. The predominently Australian crowd got exactly what they had paid for from the moment the match started. Australia took a 1-0 lead after just two minutes when Des ABBOTT received a pass in the circle and clinically dispatched it into the bottom corner past Germany keeper Max WEINHOLD. The goal sparked wild celebrations from the vast numbers of supporters in the stadium who were hoping to see a Kookaburras victory. However, the youthful Germany team had Championship ambitions of their own and levelled the scores through Florian FUCHS, an 18-year-old who has a magnificent tournament. It was his fifth goal of the tournament, an impressive statistic for a player who arrived in Melbourne without a senior cap to his name. Germany then extended the lead when Martin HAENER scored a penalty corner which squirmed under the body of Australia keeper George BAZELEY. Things got even worse for Australia when Matthias WITTHAUS added a well taken field goal to extend Germany’s lead to 1-3 in the 26th minute. The Kookaburras battled hard to pull a goal back before half time, but Ric Charlesworth’s men went into the break facing a two goal disadvantage.

Australia needed an early goal at the start of the second half, and they found it through an unlikely source, with Liam DE YOUNG netting his first goal of the tournament by finished off a saved penalty corner effort from DOERNER. Australia really were in the ascendency, and grabbed it was DOERNER himself who fired in a trademark penalty corner flick to tie the scores at 3-3. The goal was a greeted by a huge roar by the crowd, but the Germans came back once in again in desperate search for a goal to re-gain the lead. Despite all of their efforts, it was the Australians who took a 4-3 lead when DOERNER stepped up to the mark to flicked another effort into the net for his second goal of the match in the 50th minute. Germany continued to battle hard but the result was put beyond all doubt when Luke DOERNER sent a huge aerial pass from defence to the chasing Fergus KAVANAGH, who brilliantly lobbed the goalkeeper to seal Australia’s tenth Champions Trophy title.

Earlier in the day, SEO Jong Ho inspired Korea to defeat the Netherlands 4-2 to win the bronze medal, while England were beaten to fifth place by Spain, who claimed their first victory of the tournament. Newly-crowned WorldHockey Young Player of the Year Ashley Jackson scored twice for England, but it was not enough for his team to avoid defeat.

Maybank have a field day

MAYBANK made short work of Nur Insafi when they hammered the Penang side 5-2 in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.
Nur Insafi had hired 16 foreign players, but could only field nine yesterday as the other have yet to arive.
Maybank started the rout in the 22nd minute when Suhaimi Ibrahim scored a field goal, while the other scorers were Azammi Adabi (29th, 38th), Hafifihafiz Hanafi (33rd) and Hairul Nizam (50th).
The Nur Insafi goals was scored by Sundeep Michael in the 36th minute and Nur Hrsikesa in the 70th.
Meanwhile, KL Hockey Club (KLHC) overcame a shaky first half to hammer in three goals after the breather against UniKL.
Both the teams are making their debut in the MHL, but KLHC basically has the same players as last year's double champions Ernst and Young.
National player Azlan Misron scored the first in the 37th minute, while Ismail Abu made it 2-0 a minute after re-start. The third goal was scored by S. Baljit Singh in the 56th minute.
"Even in defeat, I am proud of my players as the average age of this team is 20. They held well for 35 minutes, but lack of experience saw them letting in two goals inside two minutes and the match was over," said UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran.
KL Hockey Club coach R. Vivekanandan feels there is room for improvement and his players could have done much better in counter-attacks.
"The three points are ours, but I feel my players can play better and as our target is to finish tops, we need to work on some areas during the two-week break," said Vivekanandan.
The MHL will resume on Dec 18.
RESULTS: UniKL 0 KL Hockey Club 3; Nur Insafi 2 Maybank 5.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Kuala Lumpur-Perak in repeat final

PERAK and Kuala Lumpur will square off for the second consecutive year in the National Under-14 hockey tournament at the Kuantan Stadium today.
Kuala Lumpur beat Penang 2-1, while Perak beat Negri Sembilan also 2-1 in the other semi-finals.
Last year, Perak walked away with the title, but KL are expected to make life difficult for the champions today.
Penang took the lead off Syamil Sazali in the 14th minute Zulhafiq Hashim leveled the score with a 33rd minute penalty corner.
And the KL winner was delivered by Norsyafiq Sumantri in the 52nd minute.
And in the second semis, Negri took the lead in the ninth minute off Badrul Hisham, but Perak replied two minutes later off Ashran Hamsani and then the winner was delivered by Najib Hassan in the 53rd minute.
KL coach K. Rajan plotted Penang’s first defeat after five matches, by blanking out their centre-forward Azwar Rahim.
“I noticed that centre-forward Azwar was the life-line for Penang in all their previous matches, as he could beat afew players before making deft passes to the forward-line.
“I placed my centre-forward Nur Azrul Rahman to mark him, and my boy took him out of the match, and Penang fell apart,” said Rajan.
Perak team manager Azahar Ismail attributed the win to team-work: “We are in the final because the boys had a great understanding today, but in the final, I believe our chances are 50-50, because KL are the most improved team since the tournament started.
RESULTS: Semi-finals -- Kuala Lumpur 2 Penang 1, Negri Sembilan 1 Perak 2.
TODAY: Final: Kuala Lumpur v Perak (5pm); Third-Fourth: Penang v Negri Sembilan (3pm).

Australia get another shot at Germany

Match 15: Netherlands v Germany – 4:3 (2:2)

Germany fell to a 4-3 defeat at the hands of The Netherlands in the final match of the day here in Melbourne, but it was not enough to deny them a place in Sunday’s final against Australia. The Netherlands played arguably their best hockey of the tournament so far, but could not improve their goal difference sufficiently enough to force their way into the tournament final. Sunday’s Final promises to be a thriller, as home favourites Australia will look to gain revenge over Germany, the only team to have beaten them in this tournament.

The Netherlands took the lead through Taeke TAEKEMA as early as the fourth minute, with Taeke TAEKEMA being the scorer from the penalty spot. It did not take long for Germany to find an equalizer, with Matthias WITTHAUS deflecting an excellent cross from the right from teenager Florian FUCHS. The 18-year-old got his name on the scoresheet in the 14th minute, before Rob RECKERS tied the scores when he expertly guided home a cross from Jeroen HERTZBERGER for 2-2. .

Legendary Dutch international Teun DE NOOIJER put his team back in front once again at the start of the second half when he produced an expert turn and finish in the circle, finding the bottom left corner of the Max WEINHOLD’s net to make the score 3-2. Rob RECKERS increased The Netherlands’ stranglehold on the game when he deflected in a penalty corner in the 41st minute. The Dutch were dominant, but could not add to their tally despite a number of penalty corners, uncharacteristically missed by TAEKEMA. FUCHS netted again in the 44th minute, and Germany went in search of an equalizer. Despite their efforts, Germany lost their second match of the tournament, but their objective to reach the tournament final had been met.

Match 14: Australia v Spain – 10:2 (2:2)

Australia were back to their dazzling best in the second match of the day here in Melbourne, crushing Spain 10-3 to seal their place in the final of the ABN AMRO Champions Trophy. WorldHockey Player of the Year nominee Jamie DWYER was in sensational form for the Kookaburras, scoring once and contributing with a number of assists. It was another hugely disappointing result for Spain, who had once again showed flashes of brilliance, especially in a first half when they lead the match minutes before half time. However, Australia were rampant in the second half, meaning that they are one victory away from defending the Champions Trophy title that they claimed last year in Rotterdam.

Australia opened the scoring early, and it was Grant SCHUBERT – a player who has had an truly outstanding tournament – who scored from close range despite an unsuccessful video referral from Spain. The Spanish did not take long to level, however, with Edi TUBAU slamming home a reverse stick shot. Spain began to control the game, and took the lead when Pol AMAT – another WorldHockey Player of the Year nominee - scored the kind of goal that only he can, drifting past four players before shooting into the net from the right of the circle. However, Australia leveled on the stroke of half time, thanks to Luke DOERNER’s accurate penalty corner flick.

Australia moved into the 3-2 lead in the 40th minute, with Grant SCHUBERT scoring his second of the match from the penalty spot following a bad challenge on the influential DWYER. Spain were not finished yet, however, with David ALEGRE making the score 3-3 with an expert defection from a penalty corner. The large crowd were beginning to feel the tension on the field, knowing that Australia’s place in the tournament final could be in threat. Their fears were put at ease when Luke DOERNER scored another penalty corner in the 51st minute, and a 5-3 lead was established just three minutes later thanks to Glenn TURNER. Spain were looking fragile, and Australia stepped up the pressure. The result was sealed in the 59th minute when Fergus KAVANAGH found the target to make it 6-3, and Spain fell apart. Four more goals followed, with DWYER, KAVANAGH, OCKENDEN and TURNER all netting to record a resounding win that does not do justice to how close this contest was in the first half.

Match 13: England v Korea – 4:2 (1:1)

In the first match of Day 5, England produced a great display to defeat Korea 4-2, denying Korea a place in the Gold medal match in the process. It was a match that saw both team’s enjoy periods of dominance, but it was goals from Richard ALEXANDER and Richard MANTELL which gave England their first win of the tournament. The result means that Korea will play in the Bronze medal match, while England will go into tomorrow's 5th-6th place play-off against Spain with renewed confidence.

England started the match the brighter of the two teams, but Korea sound found their feet and began to play some classy attacking hockey. YOU Hyo Sik tested England keeper Nick BROTHERS with a rasping shot into his leg pads, but it was England who were the first team to score in this clash. Defender Ali WILSON proved to be an unlikely scorer, but it was he who slammed in a loose ball following a blocked shot from Richard MANTELL. Korea went on the offensive, intent on keeping themselves in contention for a place in the tournament final. After a period of relentless pressure, Korea leveled the scores when WorldHockey Player of the Year nominee SEO Jong Ho set up YOON Sung Hoon who fired powerfully into the England goal just before half time.

England grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half, and took the lead through Richard ALEXANDER in the 41st minute. The England midfielder forced the ball over from close range, with the goal being awarded following a lengthy video referral. Nick CATLIN extended England’s lead with 20 minutes left to play following a slick and decisive passing move which ripped through the Korean defence to give the England man a tap-in at the right post. Korea pulled a goal back through LEE Nam Yong, who produced a stunning turn and reverse stick shot that gave Nick BROTHERS absolutely no chance of saving. However, England seemed to have the chance to re-establish their two goal advantage when Richard MANTELL’s penalty corner effort appeared to hit the body of a Korean player on the goal-line, but Korea successfully appealed the decision to prove the shot was in fact going wide of the target. Despite this disappointment for England, MANTELL put the result beyond all doubt when he smashed a penalty corner against the Korean backboard at the second attempt to seal England’s first victory in of the tournament.

Germany-Australia final

5 December
11:05 ENG : KOR 4:2 (1:1)
13:05 AUS : ESP 10:3 (2:2)
15:05 NED : GER 4:3 (2:2)

League Table









Australia Australia

5 4 0 1 24 9 12

Germany Germany

5 3 0 2 17 16 9

Netherlands Netherlands

5 3 0 2 13 16 9


5 2 1 2 14 16 7


5 1 1 3 11 13 4


5 0 2 3 17 26 2