Sunday, June 7, 2009

Singapore on receiving end

SINGAPORE opened their Junior World Cup campaign on a humiliating note in Group D when they were steamrolled by Netherlands 8-0 at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium.
Netherlands, scored four goals in each half, and Singapore were lost in the wilderness for the duration of the match.
Netherlands fired six field, and two penalty corner goals against the co-hosts. Robbert Kemperman (11th), Mink van der Weerden (17th), Mink van der Weerden (19th), Bob de Voogd (26th), Lukas Siebinga (47th), Bob de Voogd (49th), Bob de Voogd (55th) and Roderick Musters (69th) scored for the Dutch.
In Group A, Pakistan got off to a rousing start when they hammered Russia 7-2. However, Pakistan had to dig deep into their reserves in the first half, as the score was only 2-1 and the Russians looked dangerous on the counter.
But a late surge saw Pakistan collecting full points: "It is always good to have a wining start, and my boys did it in style by scoring seven goals. I believe we have a team which will advance to the second round," said Pakistan coach K.M. Junaid.
Pakistan haver six players who played with the senior squad in the Asia Cup in Kuantan where they lost to South Korea in the final.
"The six players held the team together, and with their experience, we have a good chance to do well in the world cup."
The men in green have defending champions Argentina in their group, which is expected to be their toughest hurdle.



Group A
P W D L F A Pts
Pakistan 1 1 0 0 7 2 3
Belgium 1 1 0 0 5 1 3
Egypt 1 0 0 1 1 5 0
Russia 1 0 0 1 2 7 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Group B
P W D L F A Pts
Germany 1 1 0 0 5 0 3
Japan 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
South Africa 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Chile 1 0 0 1 0 5 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Group C
P W D L F A Pts
South Korea 1 1 0 0 7 0 3
Malaysia 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
England 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
US 1 0 0 1 0 7 0
Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Group D
P W D L F A Pts
Netherlands 1 1 0 0 8 0 3
New Zealand 1 1 0 0 8 1 3
Poland 1 0 0 1 1 8 0
Singapore 1 0 0 1 0 8 0
India 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


RESULTS :Group A: Belgium 5 Egypt 1, Pakistan 7 Russia 2; Group B: Japan 1 South Africa 1, Germany 5 Chile 0; Group C: South Korea 7 USA 0, England 0 Malaysia 1; Group D: Netherlands 8 Singapore 0, New Zealand 8 Poland 1.


MONDAY: Group A: Russia v Argentina (7pm, Johor); Group B: Chile v Australia (5.30pm, Singapore), Poland v Netherlands (5pm, Singapore); Group C: Egypt v Pakistan (5.30pm, Johor), Malaysia v South Korea (7.30pm, Johor); Group D: South Africa v Germany (7pm, Singapore), Sin gapore v India (7.30pm, Singapore).

TUESDAY: Group A: Argentina v Belgium (5.30pm, Johor); Group B: Spain v England (7.30pm, Johor); Group C: Australia v Japan (7.30pm, Singapore); Group D: India v New Zealand (5.30pm, Singapore).

WEDNESDAY: Group A: Russia v Egypt (5.30pm, Johor); Group B: Malaysia v USA (7.30pm, Johor); Group C: Chile v South Africa (5.30pm, Singapore); Group D: Singapore v Poland (7.30pm, Singapore).

Malaysia start with a bang


MALAYSIA did what was expected of them when they beat England 1-0, courtesy of Faizal Shaari, in their curtain raiser of the Junior World Cup at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.
Playing in Group C, there were many jittery moments, but in the end, they held onto the early goal and will meet South Korea in another grueling match today.
Korea hammered USA 7-1 to show that they will not be pushovers.
"I am happy with the score, but not the way my boys played in the second half. They are capable of playing much better," said juniors coach K. Rajan.
And Rajan promised a sizzling encounter against Korea: "Many players had cramps today (yesterday) because they lacked fluids, and we will address that tonight. And I promise another sizzling match against South Korea."
The boys started on a confident note, and there was no stopping them from raiding the England goalmouth with precision, but missing was the last touch needed to slot the ball in.
Cheered on by a capacity crowd of 5,000, Malaysia controlled the match, and won their first penalty corner in the 11th minute.
Faizal Shaari made a powerful attempt, but the ball sailed over the bar and England were let off the hook.
However, a rough tackle in the 18th minute, saw Faizal being flashed the yellow card and he sat in the sin-bin for a good 12 minutes.
And immediately after Harvinder Singh made his appearance, his darting runs took him deep into the English semi-circle, but goalkeeper Ian Scanlon brought out some good saves.
And in the 30th minute, just as Faizal was recalled from the sin-bin, Malaysia won their second penalty corner.
The forward, wearing jersey number 10, did not disappoint with a powerful drag flick which gave Malaysia the lead, and he ran towards the fans to celebrate wildly.
England only had one penalty coner to show late in the first half, and the Malaysian players defended it well and went into the dressing room with a confident gait.
And the confidence was again obvious when they restarted, and placed England under tremendous pressure.
However, Malaysia started playing more cautiously 10 minutes into the half, to hold onto the lead, by making some back passes. The English started to use longballs to ease the pressure on their defense.
In the 53rd minute, Malaysia won their third penalty corner and this time Faizal's flick was saved by postman David Beckett.
England won two more penalty corners, but Malaysia defended with style, and when the final whistlke blew, they threw their sticks in the air in jubilation.

Khairil: Don't bungle it


CONFIDENCE should not lead to overconfidence.

That is Khairil Anuar's call to his teamamates as Malaysia meet England in their Junior World Cup opening match today in Johor Baru. The 21-year-old skipper said the Malaysian team are primed for the task of reaching the semi-finals, a target set by the Malaysian Hockey Federation. "My team-mates and I have been preparing for this day for a long time now. If we do not become overconfident against England, we will collect maximum points," said the stocky defender who started playing hockey after being encouraged by his mother, Sabriah Adam, a headmistress at Sekolah Hashim Awang in Kepala Batas, Penang, "I studied at Sekolah Kebangsaan Bagan Ajam and I am proud to say that Izzat (Rahim), Jamil (Saidin) and Izwan (Firdaus) were also my school mates and we graduated to become Junior World Cup players," said Khairil.
England, according to coach K. Rajan, are among the best teams in Group C, which also has Malaysia, Spain, South Korea and USA. 'I have watched England grow in strength in every tournament, and they are a well balanced side. However, I have my plans to upset their rhythm, and hopefully, start on a winning note," said Rajan. While many teams were seen lugging their equipment to the Taman Daya Stadium for last minute tune-ups, the Malaysian team took a break by lazing around their hotel pool, and then had a video session on the game plan against England. "We have done all the ground work, and I felt that the boys must relax before the big day, and there was no need to push them on the field. "I showed them England's strengths and weaknesses, and the boys know what to expect in the opening encounter.Our target is still the semi-finals, and I believe we can achieve it if the defenders keep their cool. "We have never failed to score against the teams which we played against since I took over eight months ago... which means I have talented forwards. But the problem is that when the forwards score three goals, the defenders have been guilty in letting in the same number, and we have many draws to show this trend," said Rajan. Though the coach has been working on the defenders, the Malaysian backline is till shaky. And this is where Khairil, the skipper, will have to be extra sharp. "I know the backline has been guilty of letting slip many winning situations after the forwards have done their part and scored. Being a defender and skipper, I will try to see to it that we make as few mistakes as possible," said Khairil. GROUPINGS: Group A: Argentina, Belgium, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia; Group B: Australia, Chile, Germany, Japan, South Africa; Group C: Malaysia, South Korea, US, Spain, England; Group D: India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Sin gapore. FIXTURES -- Today: Group A: Belgium v Egypt (5pm, Johor), Pakistan v Russia (5.30pm, Johor); Group B: Japan v South Africa (5pm, Singapore), Germany v Chile (7.30pm, Singapore); Group C: South Korea v US (7pm, Johor), England v Malaysia (7.30pm, Johor); Group D: Netherlands v Singapore (5.30pm, Singapore), New Zealand v Poland (7pm, Singapore). Tomorrow -- Group A: Russia v Argentina (7pm, Johor); Group B: Chile v Australia (5.30pm, Singapore), Poland v Netherlands (5pm, Singapore); Group C: Egypt v Pakistan (5.30pm, Johor), Malaysia v South Korea (7.30pm, Johor); Group D: South Africa v Germany (7pm, Singapore), Sin gapore v India (7.30pm, Singapore).