Thursday, November 18, 2010

Malaysia need goals against Oman

By Ajitpal Singh

THEY were five minutes away from a famous victory but hats off for the national hockey team, who fought bravely to earn a 2-2 draw with defending champions South Korea in a Group A match at the Aoti Hockey Stadium in Guangzhou.
In the first half, both teams played cautiously in the opening minutes and against the run of play, Korea took the lead in the ninth minute through Hyun Hye Sung.
He put the ball past Malaysia goalkeeper S. Kumar, after poor defending from Baljit Singh Charun, who failed to clear a free hit from Jang Jong Hyun.
Not be deterred, the young Malaysian team continued with the relentless pursuit to find the equaliser and in the 24th minute, they were rewarded through Azlan Misron, who latched onto a through pass from Marhan Jalil, before slotting the ball past Korea goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho.
Korea, also the Asian Cup champions, started on a fiery note in the second half and earned a penalty corner but luckily Jong Hyun’s powerful drag flick was deflected off Baljit’s stick.
Minutes later, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Jalil left several Korean defenders trailing behind him in the semi-circle before making a beautiful pass to an unmarked Azlan, but his weak shot was padded away by Korea keeper Myung Ho.
Playing a rather tactical game, Malaysia kept the dangerous Koreans at bay while looking for goals from quick counter attacks.
Malaysia silenced a small group of Korean fans in the stadium, when they took a lead with a goal from a perfect piece of smooth flowing hockey in the 48th minute.
Tengku Tajuddin, being a constant trouble-maker in the Korean half with his fast pace and skillful game, found himself space in the semi-circle, before passing to Azlan, whose rising shot beat the out-rushing Korea keeper Myung Ho, before Hafifihafiz Hanafi deflected the ball into the empty goalmouth.
It was Kumar‘s show after that goal, as the Koreans pressed hard for the equaliser but the Malaysian keeper was up to it on several occasions.
Korea almost earned their equaliser after 58 minutes but captain Lee Nam Yong’s deflection, in front an empty goal, hit the post.
But five minutes from time, Korea’s Seo Jong Ho, upon receiving a pass from Nam Yong, slotted the ball past Kumar.
Not satisfied with the equaliser, Korea launched several dangerous moves and almost found their winner two minutes later.
However, Malaysia keeper Kumar made a brilliant double save, first from Jong Ho and then from Nam Yong. And it left him injured but he continued playing.
Two minutes from time, Korea earned a questionable penalty corner but jong Hyun drag flick sailed above the crossbar.
National coach Stephen van Huizen said his boys fought bravely against a fast-paced Korean team.
“We should have collected three points as we were five minutes away from victory. A win would have put us in a good position to qualify for the semi-finals,” said van Huizen at the Aoti Hockey Stadium yesterday.
“But a draw is also a good result. We could have also lost the match as the Koreans were pushing hard for a winner after their equaliser. Kumar played a good game to deny them in the final minutes of the match.
Van Huizen, however, reminded his players to stay focus on remaining matches, especially against Oman today.
“We need to stay focus for Oman as we need a good victory as it will give us the extra confidence before the match against China (Sunday),” he added.

Malaysia hold Korea 2-2

Asian Games field hockey results on Thursday:
Men Group A Oman 2 (Mohammad Bait Jandal 55, Samir Al-Shibli 59) Singapore 1 (Marican Enrico 6) H-t: 1-0
South Korea 2 (Hyun Hye-Sung 9, Seo Jong-Ho 65) Malaysia 2 (Azlan Misron 24, Hafifihafiz Hanafi 48) H-t: 1-1
Group B Bangladesh 7 (Rashel Mahamud 16, 54, Mamaunur Chayan 21, 35, 38, 46, Maksud Alam 52) Hong Kong 3 (Asghar Ali 14, Arif Ali 27, 69) H-t: 3-2

India, Pakistan win big

ARCH-RIVALS India and Pakistan warmed up for the high-voltage clash in the Asian Games men’s field hockey with an awesome display of their strike power on Wednesday.
India whipped Bangladesh 9-0 for their second win in group B with penalty corner specialist Sandeep Singh scoring four goals and Tushar Khandekar two.
Pakistan, playing their first match in the competition, adjusted quickly to the conditions and hammered Hong Kong 12-0 with Muhammad Waqar leading the charge with three goals.
India and Pakistan are due to meet on Saturday in what could be the key match to decide the two semi-finalists from the five-nation group B.
It will be the third face-off between the South Asian neighbours this year, with India winning 4-1 at the World Cup and 7-4 at the Commonwealth Games, both times at home in New Delhi.
Pakistan, who complained of rude behavior by Indian fans during the Commonwealth Games, are looking to turn the tables on neutral territory.
India’s Spanish coach Jose Brasa admitted it was important to beat Pakistan, but chose to concentrate on the bigger picture.
“The winner of the tournament will go through to the London Olympics, so each match is important,” said Brasa.
“Two out of two is a good start and we are ready for our next game (against Pakistan).” India, who had trounced Hong Kong 7-0 on Monday, took a 3-0 lead by half-time against Bangladesh before pumping in six more goals in the second session.
Khandekar struck twice, while Shivendra Singh, captain Rajpal Singh and Dharamvir Singh netted one each to build on Sandeep’s four penalty corner conversions.
“We tested our penalty corner tactics and they worked well,” said Sandeep, who scored two goals in the first match.
Pakistan, taking the field soon after India’s match, attacked from the start to run up an impressive tally.
Veteran penalty corner exponent Sohail Abbas, recalled to the national side after the Commonwealth Games, and his understudy Muhammad Imran, scored two goals each.
Both Rehan Butt and Haseem Khan also found the target twice, while Fareed Ahmed completed Pakistan’s goal-spree.
Pakistan are hoping to turn their fortunes in Guangzhou after finishing last at the World Cup and an embarrassing sixth at the Commonwealth Games.
The Pakistanis, who won the last of their seven Asian Games gold medals in Beijing in 1990, have not bagged a major title since the World Cup triumph in Sydney in 1994.
“This tournament is big for us,” said Pakistan veteran Shakeel Abbasi. “To win our first match by 12 goals is a good start, but we know we have tougher games ahead against Japan and India.” Butt, asked about the match against India, said: “They had the crowd on their side in the last two matches, but this is a neutral venue and that advantage won’t be there.
“It should be a very good game.”
Asian Games field hockey results on Wednesday:
Men Group B India 9 (Tushar Khandekar 2, 39, Sandeep Singh 13, 47, 63, 66, Shivendra Singh 22, Rajpal Singh 37, Dharamvir Singh 69) Bangladesh 0 H-t: 3-0 Pakistan 12 (Rehan Butt 2, 58, Sohail Abbas 8, 29, Fareed Ahmed 22, Muhammad Waqas 24, 50, 53, Haseem Khan 31, 55, Muhammad Imran 35, 61) Hong Kong 0 H-t: 7-0

Women’s round-robin South Korea 1 (Kim Jong-Hee 8)) India 0

Koreans start count with 8-0 win

SOUTH Korea opened their bid to win a hat-trick of Asian Games men’s field hockey titles with a 8-0 demolition of lowly Oman on Tuesday.
China, silver-medallists behind the Koreans at Doha four years ago, downed Singapore 2-0 after two second-half goals from Lu Fenghui and Liu Yixian.
The Koreans outwitted their hapless rivals after scoring twice in the first three minutes which opened the floodgates for a goal-spree in the group A match at the Aoti Hockey stadium.
The defending champions led 3-0 at half-time and then pumped in five more goals in the second session to warn rivals in the 10-nation competition of their awesome firepower.
Hyun Hye-Sung and Nam Hyun-Woo scored two goals apiece, while Seo Jong-Ho, Jang Jong-Hyun, You Hyo-Sik and Lee Nam-Yong chipped in with one each.
South Korea have won four of the last five Asiad men’s titles, indicating their firm grip on the sport in Asia that was earlier dominated by former champions India and Pakistan.
“We are confident we can win the gold medal again because we are in good form,” said Hyun.
“There are very tough teams in this competition like India, Pakistan and China, but we know how to beat them.” South Korea are drawn with China, Malaysia, Singapore and Oman in group A, from which two teams will qualify for the semi-finals.
The other group has India, Pakistan, Japan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong.
Men Group A South Korea 8 (Seo Jong-Ho 1, Hyun Hye-Sung 3, 61, Nam Hyun-Woo 6, 50, Jang Jong-Hyun 39, You Hyo-Sik 47, Lee Nam-Yong 63) Oman 0 H-t: 3-0 China 2 (Lu Fenghui 56, Liu Yixian 65) Singapore 0 H-t: 0-0
Women’s round-robin Japan 3 (Miyuki Nakagawa 5, Kaori Chiba 11, Mazuki Arai 70) India 0 H-t: 2-0 China 3 (Ma Yibo 2, Zhao Yudiao 11, Song Qingling 19) Kazakhstan 0 H-t: 3-0 South Korea 4 (Park Mi-Hyun 27, Cheon Seul-Ki 39, Kim Eun-Sil 49, Lee Seon-Ok 67) Malaysia 0 H-t: 1-0