Monday, December 31, 2012


The almost there boyz...

By Jugjet Singh
MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah had a strong feeling that the Dublin Olympic Qualifier would be the turning point of Malaysian hockey.
  That is why he took a 30-strong delegate to Ireland to watch and return with the gold medal which would have taken his charges into the London Olympics.
  Alas, his men gave away the gold to South Korea, silver to Ireland and returned home with the bronze instead.
  After much soul searching Tengku Abdullah decided that his charges need the touch of a foreign coach and his council stamped their backing on South African Paul Revington.
  Revington was one step better than the previous coach Tai Beng Hai, as he had guided Ireland to a silver in Dublin.
  In came Revington and his assistant Arul Selvaraj, and off they went to Argentina for their first experience with the national players. The Champions Challenge I got off to a rousing start, when Malaysia beat all and sundry, even South Korea to top Group A.
  And then the downhill slide started and South Korea whacked Malaysia 6-3 in the semi-finals and Revington's men finished fourth and failed, yet again, to play in the higher Champions Trophy bracket.
  South Korea were then humiliated 5-0 by Argentina in the final and the South American moved into the Champions Trophy next year leaving behind Asian sides Malaysia, Korea and Japan in the Challenge category.
  India and Pakistan also had a super run in the initial stages of the Champions Trophy in Melbourne, but were reduced to the bronze playoff by Australia and Netherlands.
  Pakistan claimed the bronze and India fourth in Champions Trophy, which is a super result considering India finished last in the London Olympics.
  And on the local front, the MHC saw a poor turnout of fans for all their tournaments with even the Malaysia Hockey League being shunned and the seats empty even during knock-out stages.
  The Junior Hockey League, Razak Cup and even the Aazlan Shah Cup saw poor turn-outs at stadiums and this is a worrying trend which the MHC must try to arrest soon.
  The next big assignment for Revington is the Asia Cup in Ipoh next year which offers a ticket to the World Cup, but it is easier said than done, as India, Pakistan and Korea would be the teams to beat again for the gold.
  The easier path would be the World League, where Malaysia will play Round Two in Russia, and if they enter the final round of eight teams, they are almost assured of a place in the World Cup.
  Tengku Abdullah never gave up on the team after Dublin, and its time the team give him a reason to smile by at least playing in the final of the Asia Cup.
  All the other achievements, including winning the FIH Executive Board elections on a landslide of votes and hiring a top-notch coach, would cone to nought if the team fails to play in the World Cup from the two routes that the FIH have provided them with.
  At the Asian front, Malaysia ended as bronze medallists in the second edition of the Asian Champions Trophy in Oman.
  It was the last assignment this season for the senior side, and they held Pakistan 3-3, beat India 5-3 but their prelimanary round 2-1 defeat to China derailed hopes of playing in the final.
  However, Malaysia exacted revenge when they beat China 3-1 in the bronze playoff. Pakistan beat India 5-4 for the gold medal.
  Malaysia scored 20 goals in Doha, and 22 goals in the Champions Challenge I in Argentina, which indicates we have good strikers, but the defense still needs work to make an impact next year.
  On the juniors front, coach K. Dharmaraj's players were brought crashing down to earth when they ended last in the Sultan of Johor Cup tournament after winning the inaugural edition last year.
  The juniors then went to India to play in the Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup in Bhopal and lost all three matches. It was their first step towards making an impact in the Junior World Cup next November in New Delhi.
  As for the MHC, their administration side needs to buck up, as news about local tournaments, and results of overseas matches are very slow to trickle from their side.
  States are also complaining that the parent body does not keep them abreast of developments, as those manning the daily aspects of the MHC are very slow to act and even slower to send out e-mails on tournaments and results.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New look Malaysia..senior and juniors

NATIONAL hockey coach Paul Revington benched eight players who played in the Champions Challenge I in Argentina for his next assignment in Doha.
  The senior side will play in the Asian Champions Trophy on Dec 20-27 with four players form the Project 2013, while the rest are from the training pool.
  In Doha, Malaysia will play against India, Pakistan, China, Japan and Oman.
  The eight experienced players left behind are Chua Boon Huat, Jivan Mohan, Ismail Abu, Izwan Firdaus, Amin Rahim, Shukri Mitalib, Marhan Jalil and Baljit Singh.
  The four from Project 2013 who will strenghten the squad are Syamim Yusof and Izad Hakimi, who will be making their international debut, while the other two are Fitri Saari and Faiz Helmi.
  The team will see two pairs of brothers donning national colours at the same tournament, Izad and Roslan while the other is Fitri and Faisal.
  And had Jivan been retained, he would have teamed up with Jiwa Mohan to make it three set of brothers.
  As for the juniors, who there would also be eight changes to the team which will play in the Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup in Bhopal on Dec 19-25.
  "It's a new look team as we build towards the Junior World Cup and I believe the level of competition will prove useful," said juniors team manager Mirnawan Nawawi.
  "We hope the players will adapt well to the conditions and play to their abilities despite facing more senior players in the tournament."
  The new players included by Dharma who did not see action in Johor are Hazrul Faiz, Haziq Shamsul, Nor Aqmal Ghaffar, Dangerous Lee, Meor Azuan, Ibnu Fathillah, Sobirin Illias and Fitri Ismail.
  Those retained are Shahril Saabah, Zulhairi Hashim, Firhan Ashaari, Shazril Irwan, Hafiz Zainol, Azri Hassan, Kavin Karthik, Rashid Baharom, Shazrul Imran and Hafizuddin Othman.
  MALAYSIA SENIORS: S. Kumar, Roslan Jamaluddin, Azlan Misron, Hafifi Hafiz, Jiwa Mohan, Faiz Helmi, Izad Hakimi, Sallehin Ghani,  Faizal Saari, Syamim Yusof, Fitri Saari, Sharun Nabil, Azammi Adabi, Noor Faeez Ibrahim, Norhizzat Sumantri, Razie Rahim, Nabil Fiqri, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.

Monday, December 10, 2012

JHL, Doha squad and Nor Saiful..

THE Junior Hockey League (JHL) will start on  Jan 10, with  more than 20 teams expected to challenge for titles in  Division One and Two.
   Entry forms were sent out to states yesterday, with closing  date on Dec 29. The Under-19 tournament made its debut in  1995, and has produced many outstanding players since.
    “We are expecting many teams to register for the tour nament, and if about 20 teams confirm entries, it will be run  on a two division format like previous years,” said Malaysian  Hockey Confederation (MHC) sectary Johari Aziz.
   Meanwhile, the senior team will attempt to pick up the   pieces when they compete in the Second Asian Champions   Trophy in Doha on Dec 20-27.
   After finishing fourth in the Champion Challenge I in   Argentina, coach Paul Revington gets another chance to spar   his players with the best in Asia in Doha.
    The South African will name his team today, and it is  expected to have more youth than experienced players in  it.
    But the Asian Champions Trophy will not be an easy   tournament as Pakistan and India showed that they are   vastly improved sides after finishing third and fourth re  spectively in the just concluded Champions Trophy.
   The other teams are Oman, China and Japan, with South   Korea opting to sit out.
   On another note, the MHC had sent Tenaga Nasional a  letter reprimanding their coach Nor Saiful Zaini for an  outburst in the media after his star player Faizal Saari was  ruled out ineligible to play in the first leg semi-finals of the  Malaysia Hockey League.
    Nor Saiful had said: “The decision to ban Faizal Saari for  one match is a weird and stupid penalty.”
    “There will not be any Disciplinary Board hearing on Nor  Saiful Zaini as the time has lapsed, but he has apologised to  the MHC and we have sent in a letter to Tenaga Nasional  highlighting the matter and I consider it closed,” said  Johari.

High Five for Australia

Australia – Netherlands 2-1 aet (1-1 halftime)
Australia made it five in a row at the Champions Trophy after earning a 2-1 win against the Netherlands on home-turf in Melbourne. The five consecutive medals extends the Australian’s record at the event and re-establishes them as the men’s hockey team to beat after they missed out on gold at the Olympics. For the Dutch, the silver medal has a silver lining as it is an upgrade from their bronze finish the last two years.
Kieran Govers fired in the gold-medal winning goal 4:38 into extra time to lift the host nation to the victory.
It was a meeting of two of the most experienced and successful teams at the Champions Trophy. On one side was Australia in their 33rd Champions Trophy appearance and with 26 medals to their credit including four golds in their last four outings. On the other side was the Netherlands with 21 medals in 13 appearances, earning bronze the last two years.
The Aussies pressed hard in the first half, but fell behind early when Sander Baart found the upper corner open on a penalty corner effort and scored the 1-0 goal,. Australia camped out in the Dutch zone after the goal and was rewarded for their efforts on their second penalty corner chance of the game when Russell Ford scored on a follow-up play after the short corner chance.
The Aussies had the chance to take the lead at the end of the half when they were awarded a penalty stroke as time expired, but Jaap Stockmann came up with a big save on five-time FIH Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer to keep things even at the break. Stockmann was named the Best Goalkeeper of the tournament, and rightfully so as his acrobatics were a key to the Dutch success at the tournament.
Stockmann continued to wow in the second half as he was a one-man-show through much of the 35 minutes. Australia attacked and Stockmann stopped, and so it went through six penalty corner chances and multiple breakaways for the 35 minutes. In the end, the Dutch were able to hold off the Aussies in regulation and send the game to extra time.
The win improves Australia’s record against the Netherlands at the annual event. Australia now owns a 21-3-10 record against the Dutch in their 34 Champions Trophy meetings.
Tournament Awards:
Best Player: Shakeel Abassi (PAK)
Best Goalkeeper: Jaap Stockmann (NED)
Top Scorer: Nicholas Wilson (NZL)
Fair Play Award: The Netherlands

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Case of the missing E..

E-ERIE.... Hocky Lovers at the Champions Trophy in Melbourne.

Only one picture?

The FIH website only had one picture of India v Australia semi-finals...

Pakistan v Netherlands in FIH pictures

German Fuerste Player of the Year

Germany’s Moritz Fuerste (pic) was named the FIH Men’s Player of Year in a post-game ceremony in Melbourne today. It was a double German delight as Fuerste’s Olympic teammate Florian Fuchs was named the FIH Young Player of the Year (U21).
Fuerste beat out an impressive field of finalists that included Australian Jamie Dwyer, the Netherlands' Robert van der Horst, India's Sardar Singh and Fuerste's teammate Tobias Hauke. The Young Player of the Year finalists were Simon Gougnard (BEL), Harry Martin (ENG), Gonzalo Peillat (ARG) and Muhammad Rizwan Junior (PAK).
It is the first time that Fuerste earned Player of the Year honors, having been a nominee in 2011 and 2010, and the first time since 2002 that a German won the award. Fuerste was the captain of the German team that won the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and also a member of the German gold medal teams at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the 2006 World Cup in Mönchengladbach, and the 2011 and 2007 Indoor World Cups.
"I am really honored to be named the Player of Year," said Fuerste after he received the award from FIH President Leandro Negre. "It's a great way to end a very memorable year for me."
It was the second Olympic gold for the 28 year-old veteran, who celebrated his 200th cap for Germany during the tournament here in Melbourne and has scored 67 goals in his international career.  Fuerste added one penalty corner goal at the Olympics and has added (INSERT AFTER GAME) goals so far at the Champions Trophy in Melbourne. In Germany, Fuerste plays club hockey with UHC Hamburg, a team he has guided to three Euro Hockey League titles, including this year’s top honors, and has been crowned EHL’s Most Valuable Player twice.
Florian Fuchs was also in London as part of the golden effort for the Germans, and was instrumental in the team’s win as he paced the entire tournament, scoring six field goals in seven games. The six goals ranked Fuchs second in overall scoring at the men’s hockey tournament in London. Fuchs debuted with the German senior men’s team 18 days after his 18th birthday at the 2009 Champions Trophy in Melbourne, a few months after having won Junior World Cup gold, and as a mere 20 year-old, has already played in 70 international games for the Germans and has scored an impressive 45 goals in the German jersey.
The last time a German won the Young Player of the Year award was when Tobias Hauke earned the honor in 2010.

Aussies-Dutch battle for Champions Trophy gold

Rivals Pakistan and India to meet in the bronze medal game


Semi-Final #2
India – Australia 0-3 (0-2 halftime)
Australia will go for a record five consecutive Champions Trophy titles after winning its semi-final game against India today on home field in Melbourne, 3-0. Under sunny skies and in front of a full house, the Kookaburras dominated the Indians with a speedy, relentless attack.
The World #2 Australians will meet #3 Netherlands in the gold medal game tomorrow, while #11 India and #9 Pakistan are the surprise entrants in the bronze medal game.
Both teams entered today’s second semi-final game on a mission. The Aussies were looking to re-establish themselves as the unbeatable team in men’s hockey after missing out the Olympic gold medal, while the Indians were looking to re-establish their national team program on the eve of the launch of the Hockey India League.
Jamie Dwyer was a difference in the game. He struck twice in a ten-minute span in the first half to lift the Aussies to the early 2-0 lead. Dwyer popped in a rebound on a Chris Ciriello penalty corner flick and then easily converted a penalty stroke mid-half to send a clear message early on.
Kieran Govers extended the lead as he swept in front the India net and converted the streaking shot to give Australia a solid 3-0 lead with 26 minutes left in the game. The Aussies continued to apply steady pressure as India never really had a chance to work its way into the game and threaten the hosts’ solid lead. It was a valiant effort on both sides, but in the end Australia was the better team.
India still has the chance to earn a major moral victory for the national team program as it can go for its second-ever Champions Trophy medal and its first since 1982 in the bronze medal game against Pakistan. That game is sure to be barn burner as the rivals always put on an entertaining show.
Notes: Former Australian players Nathan Burgers, Luke Doerner and Grant Schubert were recognized before the game for their outstanding careers with the Kookaburras.

Semi-Final #1
Pakistan – The Netherlands 2-5 (1-3 halftime)

Third-ranked Netherlands earned its first spot in a Champions Trophy final game since 2006 after they topped Pakistan 5-1 in today’s first semi-final game in Melbourne. The victory guarantees the Netherlands their third consecutive medal at the Champions Trophy.
The Dutch wasted no time getting onto the board when Billy Bakker went-end-to-end just 1:30 into the game to give his team the quick advantage. The lead doubled when the swam of orange jerseys was camped in the Pakistan D as Seve van Ass took advantage of situation and made it 2-0 with 15 left in the half.
Pakistan scored three minutes later on what was officially an own goal from the Netherlands, but given enough time, Shakeel Abassi might have put in the marker himself on the play. Bakker netted a second goal with three minutes left in the half on a solo effort from the top of the circle to give the Netherlands some breathing room at the break with a two-goal advantage.
The second half was big on action, but short on goals. Valetnin Verga, who left early in the first half after a collision, returned in grand style to sink the 4-1 goal 10 minutes into the half. From there, the Dutch knew they had things well in hand and even replaced #1 goalie Jaap Stockmann with back-up Pirmin Blaak. Late goals on each side brought the final score to 5-2.
The Dutch will go for their ninth Champions Trophy gold medal tomorrow and their 22nd overall. The last time the Netherlands won the gold medal at the Champions Trophy was 2006, which was also their last appearance in the final game. For Pakistan, the loss still has a silver lining as they can go for their first medal at a Champions Trophy since 2004.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ambank-SportExcel challenge

Ambank senior Genaral Manager Syed Anuar Syed Ali (right) and  SportExcel Chairman Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar.

THE Ambank Group-SportExcel Malaysian Junior Golf Grand Finals will be held at the Rahman Putra Golf Club on Dec 12-14.
    A total of 120 golfers, 90 from Malaysia, and 30 from Thailand, South Korea, England and also for the first time from India will make it an exciting finale.
    The tournament will also double up as the International Junior Golf Championship, and the winner will receive the Tan Sri Azman Hashim Trophy, named after the Ambank Group Chairman.
    “SportExcel firmly believes that the future of Malaysian sports lies in the sustainable junior development programme and we at AmBank share he same vision a we believe in supporting this tournament for the seventh year,” said Ambank senior Genaral Manager Syed Anuar Syed Ali.
    Ambank will contribute RM28,860 for this edition, bringing their total in seven years to RM190,000.
   “Our commitment, to date, has benefited 620 youth golfers and it has also come to our attention that in the 2013 Myanmar Sea Games, the bulk of our players will be from the SportExcel alumni.
   :It is heartening to note that the programme run by SportExel have produced many sportsmen and sportswomen who went on to win at the world stage,” said Syed Anuar.
    SportExcel Chairman Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar threw a challenge for the young golfers to move abroad and ply their trade.
   “If you notice the top athletes in Malaysia moved abroad and trained as well as played in many tournaments on their own to become champions.
   “And since young Korean, Thai, English and India golfers keen enough to come here and play, Malaysian golfers should also move abroad and play in as many tournaments if they intend to become Olympic as well as world beaters,” said Tunku Imran.
   There will be seven categories in the tournament, with the combined Under-9, and Boys and Girls in the Under-12, Under-15 and Under-20.
    The 90 Malaysians were selected for the Grand Finals after playing over eight legs in the SportExcel junior circuit.

Pakistan stun Olympic champs

Germany – Pakistan 1-2 (1-0 halftime)
Pakistan earned a spot in the 2012 Champions Trophy semi-finals after stunning defending Olympic Champion and World #1 Germany in a 2-1 decision in today’s quarterfinal. Is it the first time since 2004 that Pakistan finds itself in the hunt for a medal at the Champions Trophy. On the other side of the coin, this is the second consecutive time that Germany has missed the semi-finals at the annual event.
Shakeel Abbasi was the man of the hour for Pakistan. He fired in both Pakistan goals in the surprising win.
Pakistan was simply the better team in today’s game, generating more scoring chances and chipping away at the tough German defense, which found itself on duty for much of the 70 minutes. The Germans managed just one shot in the first half, but they made it count  as veteran Moritz Fuerste, one of only three players in Melbourne from the 2012 Olympic team, gave the Germans a 1-0 lead nine minutes into action.
Pakistan was not put off by the goal and maintained its pressure on the German net. Admittedly not all of the scoring chances were impressive, but it put Pakistan in a better position to get the odd penalty corner chance.
Pakistan’s persistence finally paid off when Abbasi scored a picture-perfect goal four minutes into the second half on a follow-up play after a penalty corner opportunity to even things up at one. Abbasi struck again with 20 minutes to go on in the half after he put in another second-effort goal after a penalty corner. The key goal went to video review, but it was ruled valid and Pakistan climbed out to its first lead of the game.
The lead endured through an action-packed 20 minutes as Germany found itself two men up in the last two minutes but unable to get the equalizer as Pakistan earned their semi-final spot.
Pakistan will take on Netherlands in Saturday’s semi-final.

India continues Cinderella run

India – Belgium 1-0 (1-0 halftime)
After sitting out of the Champions Trophy for the last six editions, India’s grand return to hockey’s top stage continued as they earned a spot in Saturday’s semi-final where they will take on Australia in the semi-finals.
   India’s earned its spot after a nail-biting 1-0 win against a persistent Belgium team in an entertaining quarter-final meeting.
The Indians will go for their first Champions Trophy medal since 1982 and are guaranteed their first top-four finish since 2004. A massive success considering the fact that the Indians came into the even as the lowest team in the FIH World Ranking, weighing in at #11.
Nithin Thimmaiah gave India the early advantage after getting a perfect feed from Sardar Singh for the easy 1-0 tap in. Belgium slowly gained momentum as the half wore on and gave the Indians some worry moments late in the half with two good penalty corner chances, but ultimately, India escaped the half with the slim 1-0 lead.
The second half, it was India’s turn to own the momentum, but they simply couldn’t convert their chances into goals, as the tension built with only one goal separating the teams. Belgium had a handful of later penalty corner chances, while the Indians had a speedy counter attack, but neither team managed to put a dent in the scoreboard as Thimmaiah’s goal stood as the lone marker in the critical quarterfinal game.
Belgium is still looking for the elusive first victory at the Champions Trophy. The newcomers have put in some strong performances, but own a 0-4 record so far. The Belgians will look to get the first win in the placement round.
Note: Today marked Sardar Singh’s 150th international cap for India.

Monday, December 3, 2012

101 years old because he runs for his life

Turbaned tornado coming in: Fauja arriving to flag off the Chardikala Fun Run at Padang Astaka in Petaling Jaya.
PETALING JAYA  (THE STAR): A tragedy drove the world's oldest marathon runner to the sport but running has now become Fauja Singh's “medicine” and is the secret to his longevity.
The 101-year-old said he only started running in his 80s, after his eldest son Kuldeep Singh died in an accident.
“Running helped me cope with the loss,” said the British national, who was in Malaysia for the Chardikala Fun Run at Padang Astaka here yesterday.
“Running and walking have become my medicine and are part of my routine now,” he said. “I simply have to do it.”
Fauja added that he walked an average four hours a day but would go “all out” and run for 10 miles once every eight days.
The centenarian said he started with 100m sprints until a friend recommended that he tried running marathons.
Pumped with bhangra: Runners dancing before the run. Pumped with bhangra: Runners dancing before the run.
Fauja, who was an Olympic torchbearer at the Athens Games in 2004 and London this year, looks at it as an opportunity to represent the Sikh community.
Nicknamed “The Turbaned Tor-nado”, he said other runners' good wishes gave him the energy to keep on running.
“My favourite marathon experience was in New York after 9/11, where turbans and beards were a no-no.
“People told me to pull out and even said I might be shot at. I decided to take my chances, as what better way to die than while running.

World League, Asia Cup or bust...

A GOLDEN Goal from Peter Caruth gave Ireland a sen sational extra-time victory over Malaysia to claim the bronze  medal at the Champions Challenge I in Argentina.
  And in the final, hosts Argentina whitewashed South Korea  5-0 to claim their Champions Trophy fame.
   Malaysian coach Paul Revington was heartbroken with the  sudden-death failure, but:  “I’m sad for the moment but I am  excited about the future as in balance, what the team has  done in the last six weeks has been terrific.”
   Will McCabe gave Ireland a dream start with a breath- taking strike from the right, picking up a pass from Michael  Watt before hammering a low drive beyond the despairing S.  Kumar in the third minute.
     However, Malaysia’s confidence was restored in the 18th  minute thanks to Ismail Abu, who got a crucial touch in the  circle to tie the scores at 1-1.
   The Malaysians started looking more like the team that had  impressed so much in the early part of this tournament, but  the Irish upped their game and moved ahead when Conor  Harte fired home a penalty corner eight minutes before half  time.
   Ireland’s failure to put the game out of the reach of  Malaysia cost them dear in the 50th minute, when Faizal  Saari produced a moment of brilliance.
    A Malaysian counter-attack found Faizal on the half way  line, with the attacker running fully 40 meters before  unleashing a fierce strike into the roof of the Irish net to make  the score 2-2.
    Malaysia thought that they had won the match in normal  time when Nabil Fiqri was on hand to tap in following another  great save from David Harte in the 67th minute.
    Incredibly, Ireland went straight down the other end and  levelled the scores at 3-3, with Conor Harte netting another  penalty corner variation to delight the Irish fans in the  crowd.
    Harte’s goal sent the match into extra time, and in the 80th  minute, Peter Caruth surged into the circle and smashed an  unstoppable reverse stick shot into the Malaysian net before  wheeling away in celebration.
    Malaysia skipper Sharun Nabil was also optimistic: “We  had a lot of chances, but didn’t take them. That’s why we lost  the match. We were not organised in defence, which allowed  them to score the golden goal. All in all, we had a great  tournament in Argentina, but we have to work really hard to  improve.”
    Revington and his men will have two chances to qualify for  the 2014 World Cup. The first is the World League which  starts in May, and the next is the Asia Cup on Aug 24-Sept 1  in Ipoh.
    Malaysia will play in Round Two of the World League on  May 27 to June 2 in Elektrostal, Russia. And for company,  they have Austria, Egypt, Japan, Russia and Ukraine.
    Malaysia will play in Round Two of the World League on May 27 to June 2 in Elektrostal, Russia. And for company, they have Austria, Egypt, Japan, Russia and Ukraine.
   Malaysia needs to finish amongst the top two in Russia to move into the Third Round which will comprise of eight teams each in Germany and Holland.
     And from there they need to finish amongst the top four to make the final round, and in the process seal a spot in the 2014 World Cup.
    The World League would be the easier route, as in the Asia Cup, Malaysia will be up against South Korea, India, Pakistan and Japan.

Mlaysia v Ireland in FIH pictures

Argentina gold, Malaysia fourth...

Host nation Argentina have won the Argentina Hockey Men’s Champions Challenge 1 thanks to a stunning 5-0 win against Korea.
It was a truly brilliant performance from the South Americans, who totally dominated the world number 7 to seal a place in the next edition of the FIH Champions Trophy. Agustin Mazzilli, Gonzalo Peillat, Pedro Ibarra, Guillermo Schickendantz and Manuel Brunet were the scorers for Argentina, delighting a huge partisan crowd in Quilmes.
Argentina were hugely impressive in the first half of the final, and snatched an early lead when Agustin Mazzilli pounced on a loose ball in the Korean circle to score and send the home fans into raptures.  Gonzalo Peillat added a second goal two minutes from the end of the half with a blistering penalty corner, rattling the backboard with a perfectly executed low effort. 
The home side won a succession of penalty corners at the end of the first half, but their failure to convert their chances left Korea very much in the game for the second half.  However, Argentina added a third goal at the very start of the second period, with Pedro Ibarra taking on the flicking duties with another brilliant penalty corner effort. 
Korea went in search of a much needed goal, but an error in their own circle cost them another penalty corner. Again, there was a different player taking the flick, with Guillermo Schickendantz sending a high shot into the roof of the net for his fifth goal of a remarkable debut tournament.
The fifth and final goal was a beautiful move from Argentina, passing their way through the Korean defence before Manuel Brunet tapped in from close range to seal an epic victory.   
The competition final brought to an end a hugely entertaining event, with all of the matches being played in great spirit under glorious sunshine.  
Argentina forward Lucas Vila was named as the Player of the Tournament thanks to some outstanding displays for his team, while the Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award went to Ireland’s David Harte. Korea’s Jong Hyun Jang finished as the tournament’s top goal scorer thanks to eight penalty corner strikes, while Japan were given the Fair Play award for receiving the lowest number of disciplinary cards.  
The bronze medal went the way of Ireland, who defeated Malaysia 4-3 thanks to a golden goal from Peter Caruth.  It was a remarkable achievement for a team playing in their first ever Champions Challenge 1, and one that their players will never forget.  The full report can be found by clicking here.
Earlier in the day, Japan took fifth place with a 4-2 win over Canada, while South Africa took seventh place by beating Poland 4-1. Reports for both of these matches can be found by clicking here.

Final Standings:

1: Argentina (Promoted to the Champions Trophy)

South Africa


Player of the Tournament:
Lucas Vila (ARG)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament:
David Harte (IRL)
Top Goal-scorer:
Jang Jong Hyun (KOR) – 8 goals.
Fair Play Award:

Informationn on team arrival..

Since MHC has removed me from their mailing list, opting not to send me any information on hockey, I shall not bow as low as these characters and provide you with information.
 The National Team, having sought details from the Team Manager, will be arriving at KLIA on Wednesday, Dec 5 at around 1350H.
 My friends from the media, this is the latest info I received and its provided should some of you want to know about this detail and wish to make your way to KLIA. And hopefully some concerned and supportive MHC officials who place hockey above self interest will make it there as well.

Satwant Singh Dhaliwal (sometimes right, sometimes left)
Your one stop website for the real and latest hockey news
Thank you.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Negri and KL declared joint Veterans champs..

NEGRI Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur were declared as joint  champions of the National Veterans Championship in Alor  Star yesterday.
    Adverse weather, with only ten minutes of the final played,  forced the match to be called off.  It was the second successive  title for NS who won it outright last year.
    In the match to determine bronze, Perak edged Police 1- 0.
   Organised by the Kedah HA, the tournament saw eight  teams competing in what is a permanent location in Alor  Star.
   ROLL-OF-HONOUR: Best Goalkeeper : Daljit Singh (NS);  Top Scorer: Abu Zaireen (NS); Best Player: Louis Gregory  (KL); Special Award: Ng Hak Keen (Perak)

SEMIS: Mas v S Kor in FIH pictures