Monday, February 20, 2012

Delhi: Road To London in pictures..


Easy for champions Thunderbolts

UNIKL: Drew 1-1 but finished second in the League on goals scored.
2012 CHAMPIONS: Thunderbolts players celebrate their big day.

THE Milo Cup Junior Hockey League quarter-final draw was extremely kind to UniKL Young Guns and SSTMI Thun derbolts as the ballot saw them playing teams which they thrashed in the League.
The top-four teams in Division One were seeded, and an open draw was held to decide pairings in the two-leg quarter- finals.
And newly crowned League champions SSTMI Thun derbolts were drawn to meet Petaling Jaya Municipal Council who finished sixth in Division One, and their 6-1 triumph in the League tells the whole story.
League bridesmaid UniKL Young Guns will meet Division One fifth placed USM Juniors, whom they trashed 7-1 in the league.
Division Two champions Sapura, who made their JHL debut this season, will also have a relatively easy encounter against MBI Anderson who finished Fourth in Division One.
The other knock out match will be between Division Two silver medallists Malacca High School and Division One third- placed team Bukit Jalil Sports School.
“It was a big boost for my players to emerge as Division Two champions in our first season in the JHL but now we will be playing against an established side (Anderson) who did well to finish fourth in Division One,” said Sapura coach I. Vickneswaran.
Vickneswaran, a former international, feels it would be foolish to take Anderson lightly: “I have told the players to forget about the League title as we will be starting fresh against a better opponent in the quarter-finals.
“Anderson have a proud history, and their merger with MBI (Ipoh Municipal Council) has not only made their team stronger, but they also have a very capable coaching bat tery,” said Vicknewaran.
Sapura won all eight League matches and scored a whop ping 42 goals and only let in two. And Anderson won four, drew one, and lost three of the League matches.
Playing in Division One also took the toll on Anderson’s defenders who let in 27 goals while they scored 28.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be held in Kuala Lumpur, while the final on March 4, will be held at the newly laid blue pitch at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.
FRIDAY: Quarter-finals (First Leg): SSTMI Thunderbolts v Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 4pm), Sapura v MBI-Anderson (KLHA, 4pm), Malacca High School v Bukit Jalil Sports School (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 6pm), UniKL Young Guns v USM Juniors (KLHA, 6pm).
SUNDAY -- Second Leg: Bukit Jalil Sports School v Malacca High School (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 4pm), USM Juniors v UniKL Young Guns (KLHA, 4pm), Petaling Jaya Municipal Council v SSTMI Thunderbolts (Bukit Jalil Pitch II, 6pm), MBI-An derson v Sapura (KLHA, 6pm).

Bharat spot on

A SCORCHER: V.R. Raghunath scores India's second goal during its 8-1 drubbing of Italy. Photo: S. Subramanium

Indian captain Bharat Chetri had predicted that the home team's outings against Singapore and Italy would be like ‘practice matches.' His words turned out to be prophetic.
India warmed itself up for the sterner tests ahead by decimating another minnow, 28th-ranked Italy, 8-1 as it registered its second consecutive victory in the Olympic hockey qualifier at the National Stadium, here on Sunday.
The back-to-back win helped the host garner six points and reach the top of the table with a huge goal difference of +21.

Sandeep Singh (3), S.V. Sunil (2), V.R. Raghunath, Gurvinder Singh Chandi and Shivendra Singh scored for India. Alessandro Nanni reduced the margin for Italy.
For the statistically-minded, India could not better its previous best performance against the same rival, recorded way back in 1959. Then, Italy had suffered a 0-10 loss in an invitational tournament played in Terrassa.
However, the result here was quite different from India's 3-0 win in Caligari, where the two clashed 17 years ago.
On Sunday, the host started from where it had left off in its opening engagement against Singapore. But, in the face of some tough tackles from the Italians, the action was less monotonous than expected. Against the physically stronger European team, the game was more demanding. The Indians seemed ready for the challenge and pressed hard for goals by fielding 10 men inside the Italian half for the most part.
First blood
India drew first blood when Sandeep's low flick from a fourth minute penalty corner, sounded the board. He went on to hit the target two more times as India scored its first four goals off short corners and enjoyed a 100 per cent conversion rate at the lemon break.
Apart from that, Sunil and Chandi contributed a goal apiece to help the Asian Champions Trophy winner go 6-1 up in the opening 35 minutes. The only blemish for the host was a goal conceded in the 16th minute.
Nanni pushed home a rebound off a penalty corner, originating from poor defensive work by Sandeep. Three minutes after the change of ends, Sunil deflected in a Sandeep slapshot to complete his brace.
However, Italy displayed some solid defence through man-to-man marking and quick clearances. A few wide shots also prevented India from extending its lead for a period of 14 minutes.
Shivendra slotted in the final goal for India, which again struggled to taste success in the final 18 minutes.
Poland shocks Canada
In other matches in the men's competition, 19th-placed Poland shocked 14th-ranked Canada 3-2 in a thriller, while France banked on Martin Genestet's five goals, including a hat-trick, to outplay Singapore 9-0.
Monday is a rest day in both the men's and women's qualifying tournaments.
The results: Poland 3 (Mateusz Poltaszewski 18, Artur Mikula 33, Dariusz Rachwalski 70) bt Canada 2 (Iain Smythe 35, Sukhwinder Singh 54); France 9 (Martin Genestet 3, 30, 56, 58, 69; Sebastien Jean 14, 41; Simon Martin-Brisac 17, Fabien Magner 32) bt Singapore 0; India 8 (Sandeep 4, 22, 23; Sunil 30, 38; Raghunath 12; Chandi 32; Shivendra 52) bt Italy 1 (Nanni 16).

Johor Baru is further than Dublin...

The last time I checked, the distance between Johor Baru and Kuala Lumpur was just over 400 km while the distance between Dublin and KL was something in the range of 7500 miles.
But perhaps it has since changed as only 4 (FOUR) Malaysian Hockey Confederation officials made the trek down south for the MJHL matches today.