Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eight degrees hotter for India

Chris Ciriello, Simon Orchard, veteran Jamie Dwyer and Glenn Turner also contributed goals on either side of halftime against a clueless Indian defence. —AFP Photo
Australian women's hockey team members celebrate after winning the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

WORLD champion Australia capped its fourth successive Commonwealth Games gold medal win by thrashing India 8-0 in the men’s field hockey final Thursday, silencing a capacity crowd that came hoping for an upset win for the host nation.
Jason Wilson and Luke Doerner scored two goals apiece, while Chris Ciriello, Simon Orchard, veteran Jamie Dwyer and Glenn Turner also contributed goals on either side of halftime against an outclassed Indian defense.
It was India’s biggest ever defeat in international tournament after losing the 1982 Asian Games final to Pakistan 7-1 at the same venue.
The gold medal completed a perfect year for the Kookaburras, who also won the World Cup in March and the Champions Trophy in August.
Indian National Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were among a capacity crowd of 19,000 at the MDC Stadium, but they had little to cheer their home team.
New Zealand defeated European champion England 5-3 on penalty strokes to clinch bronze medal after both teams were level at 3-3 in regulation time and the extra time could not produce a golden goal.
“We were effective in our defense and also took our chances effectively in attacking circle,” Dwyer said. “After that (4-0) halftime lead, it was all over.”
Early morning heat affected the home team more than the Australians as India had played all its pool matches under floodlights and also won the semifinal against England on Tuesday afternoon.
Wilson’s reverse strike from the top of the circle shot the Kookaburas ahead in 19th minute and only two minutes later Ciriello rasping drag flick off second penalty corner went into top of the net.
“They haven’t played in this heat and it’s difficult to catch up once you take a two goals lead in these conditions,” Dwyer said.
Australia continued its charge with Wilson neatly deflecting the ball into the board and Luke Doerner made it 4-0 off a short corner just before the halftime.
The home crowd started to leave the stadium after the break — and Australia scored four more goals in the last 18 minutes.
“We committed mistakes one after the other and it cost us in the end,” Indian forward Arjun Halappa said.
Earlier, England forward Simon Mantell scored a hat-trick against New Zealand but Kiwis took the bronze by winning the third place playoff on penalty strokes.
After the score was locked at 3-3 and extra time failed to produce a golden goal, New Zealand was on target with all its five shots from the spot and goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex brilliantly stopped Adam Dixon’s third penalty stroke to clinch 5-3 win for the Kiwis.
Simon Mantell, who scored in the first half, had pushed the playoff into extra time with two late goals to draw level.
“We had fought hard for nearly two weeks and it’s great to have something in the end,” New Zealand captain Phil Burrows said. “It was a great game and I think the crowd had their money worth.”
New Zealand capitalized on both chances in the first 15 minutes when Dean Couzins converted an eighth-minute penalty stroke and Nick Haig sounded the board with an angular shot from the right flank.
England pulled one back when Mantell scored off a powerful reverse flick in the 25th minute.
New Zealand widened the lead in the 37th when Hayden Shaw was on target off the second penalty stroke, but was then reduced to 10 men when Steve Edwards was temporarily suspended for unintentionally hitting England skipper Barry Middleton in the face.
Edwards’ exit provided enough space for England’s forwards to penetrate the New Zealand defense time and again with Mantell brother — Simon and Richard — combining well to force the game into extra time.
Simon Mantell scored with deft touch from close range in the 57th minute and then completed his hat-trick nine minutes from time with a hard deflection that flew into the net.

Kg Pandan Gurdwara creates history

MHF vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema (centre) with Malaysian soccer legend Santokh Singh at the opening of the futsal/hockey/netball court at Wada Gurdwara Kampung Pandan.
Gatka (Sikh martial art) performance at the cement hockey/futsal court opening.
Traditional music before the official opening of the cement futsal/hockey/netball court.

EDITORS NOTE: It is a challenge to attract Sikh youth to Gurdwaras these days. Kg Pandan Gurdwara's small step should be emulated by Gurdwaras around the world, as sports is a great platform to guide those who have forgotten the route to their Gurdwaras.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Wada Gurdwara Kampung Pandan reached a new milestone when it launched a multi-purpose cement court at its premises on 10.10.10.
It became the first sports facility built in the premises of a gurdwara in Malaysia, and possibly in the world.
The RM35,000 cement court will be used for futsal, hockey and netball matches.
"As a sports loving faith, we decided to pass the hat around and collected enough money to build the cement court so that our children, and students around Kampung Pandan will be able to play futsal, hockey and netball at the gurdwara grounds," said former national hockey player Avtar Singh, who is also the organising chairman on Sunday.
The multi-purpose court was officially opened by Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) vice-president Datuk Dr. S.S. Cheema.
Also present at the opening ceremony were former football great Santokh Singh, national hockey captains DSP Mohinder Singh and Sarjit Singh Chaal, and the president of Malaysia- Singapore Sikh Sports Council, Datuk Sohan Singh Randhawa.
"This is the second such facility to be opened by Sikhs to promote sports in the country.
"The first was at Kelab Aman which received a tremendous response after it was launched a month ago.
"The Sikhs have the distinction of being great sportsmen in Malaysia, and with these facilities we will continue to support the nation's quest to become a sporting power in the world," said Cheema.
Cheema added there are plans to adopt a school in the Kampung Pandan area for its sport programme.
"There are many schools around this gurdwara, and we hope to adopt one and allow students to train and play at the cement court."
For information on coaching clinics at the multi- purpose court, contact Avtar Singh at 017-3565 180 or Hardip Singh at 012-2967 878.

Golden outing for Australia (W)

The Hockeyroos have won the Gold medal beating New Zealand 4 - 2 on Penalty strokes after New Zealand levelled the scores at 2 - 2 with an extended time penalty corner goal at the end of the second half to force extra time. Golden Goal extra time failed to break the deadlock.

England secured the Bronze medal beating South Africa 1 - 0 in the earlier game

Final standings Women

1. Australia
2. New Zealand
3. England
4.South Africa
5. India
6. Canada
7. Scotland
8. Wales
9. Trinidad & Tobago
10. Malaysia

India on a hot streak


PIC: Rajpal Singh celebrates with teammates after defeating England in the 2nd semifinal of the men's hockey at Major Dhyanchand National Hockey Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

IT is difficult to pitch on the right epithet to convey the mood of exuberance after India made the first entry into the hockey final of the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday
Before a huge crowd and in a pulsating combat, embellished by some exquisite goals, India edged out England by a sensational verdict of eight goals to seven after the tie breaker to set up a gold medal clash with Australia on Thursday.
What made the whole exercise to remain etched on the mid for years to come was the grit and determination of the home team to stage a comeback and make good a two goals deficit.
The initial flourish, which brought India into the lead after Saranjit Singh netted, began to in the later stages of the first half.
England used this sluggish phase to level through Ashley Jackson. And, Jackson added one more shortly after the break from a blinding penalty corner hit. Then Simon Mantell converted another to give England, what at that point, looked an unbeatable lead.
Rarely have we seen the Indians stage such a recovery, which they did last night. Even as visions popped up of India’s quest for gold might vanishing in thin air the team staged a historical recovery.
In a spell that eloquently projected India’s hockey ethos of fluency, finesse and forward thrusts, Vikram Pillay deflected a long hit by Sandeep Singh into the net, Within minutes came the leveler by Sarvanjit off a pass from Sardar Singh. India had the whip-hand in the extra-time, but two agonizing misses by Tushar Khandekar stretched the match into the extra-time.
If this in a nutshell mirrors the sequence of scoring, the report would be incomplete without a tribute to the role of Sardar Singh at the back line, Halappa’s charming forward passes, Sandeep Singh’s long and accurate drives that sent the rival defenders into a state of panic, and the solid work of Vikram Pillay.
And finally, goal-keeper Chettri for that brilliant save from Kirkham in the tie breaker that eventually tilted the scales on India amidst spontaneous approbation.
India is now assured of a medal, which it did not get in 1998 and 2006.
In total command from the push off, the Aussies authored an attractive 6-2 success against the Kiwis to make the fourth successive final in the men’s hockey competition.
Exemplary in every layer, the ingenuity and improvisations effected by the team were evocative and educational.
The margin clearly masks the effort, energy and efficiency of the Kiwis, who made a gallant bid late in the second half to keep the fight alive till the final whistle.
Simon Child symbolized the danger element. It was a pity that his efforts went unrewarded in the end. Steve Edwards and Brad Shaw were the others who were noticeably energetic.
Pace management is Australia’s virtue. This element was executed with care. Content with probing till a modicum of rhythm was accomplished, the velocity of the Aussie attack intensified progressively.
With the ubiquitous Jaime Dwyer marshalling forces, the stress on the Kiwi defenders became pronounced, notwithstanding the intrepidity displayed by goal-keeper, Kyle Pontifex. Some of his saves were a delight to behold.
The Aussies tightened the after Luke Doerner’s successive penalty corners failed to fructify. Simon Orchard flung open the doors with a smashing shot. Then the string of goals followed.
Glenn Turner and Jason Wilson enlarged the margin with Abbott adding one more after the break.
The best spell for the Kiwis came when Blair Hilton executed a thundering drive to beat Nathan Burgers at the Aussie goal and Phil Burrows tapped in a cross from the rest.
Pepped up by this turn, the Kiwis forced the pace. But the Aussies neutralized the advantage when Glenn Turner scored a superb diving goal. This was followed by Simon Orchard off a pass from Jaime Dwyer.
Pakistan surrendered a two goal advantage, suffered a red card suspension (Muhammad Irfan from umpire-Greenfield from New Zealand) and conceded the golden goal to tumble down against South Africa to the sixth place. Pakistan was a silver medallist in the last edition while South Africa’s best placing-fifth-in 1998 at Kuala Lumpur.
The results:

(9-10) Scotland 7 (Cameron Fraser, Niali Stott, Christopher Nelson, William Marshall, Kenneth Bain 2, Alan Forsyth) beat Trinidad and Tobago 0 HT-2-0. (5-6): Pakistan v South Africa.(5-6): South Africa 3 ( Justin Ross 2, one golden goal, Gareth Carr) beat Pakistan 2 (Rehan Butt) HT 0-1.

Semi-finals: India 3 (Sarvanjit Singh 2, Vikram Pillay) beat England 3 (Ashley Jackson 2, Simon Mantell) HT 1-1.Tie breaker: India 5(Sarvanjit Singh, Vikram Pillay, Sandeep Singh, Arjun Halappa, Shivendra Singh);England 4 ( Richard Smith, Richard Mantell, Ashley Jackson, Harry Martin) Total 8-7.

Australia 6 (Simon Orchard 2, Glenn Turner 2, Jason Wilson, Desmond Abbott) beat New Zealand 2 (Blair Hilton, Phil Burrows) HT 3-0;

Wednesday’s matches: Women: (3-4) England v South Africa (10 a.m.);


The Hindu