Friday, June 14, 2013

India versus Ireland in pictures....

Belgium v Australia in pictures...

Revington sets his sights on final...

SIXTEEN players were named for the World League Semi- finals in Johor Baru on June 29-July 7, with chief coach Paul   Revington setting his sights on playing in the final.
    The top-three from Johor Baru are assured of a spot in the   Netherlands World Cup next year, and the South African is   not willing to take any chances.
   The other two players will be named next Friday, just   before the team moves to Johor Baru on June 24.
    For warm-ups, Malaysia play Argentina on June 25 and   Germany on June 26 before starting their journey in the   World League Semi-finals in Group B with England, Pakistan   and South Africa.
   In Group A are Germany, Argentina, Japan and South   Korea. All eight teams advance to the quarter-finals.
    “Since the top-three are assured of a spot in the World Cup,   we will attempt to go one step higher by targeting to play in   the final in Johor Baru,” said South African Revington.
    However, to achieve that target, Revington must work on   his team’s tendency to collapse in the last five minutes of a   match.
    In the recent South African Tour, Malaysia fared poorly as   they lost 2-1, 3-1 drew 4-4 and lost 3-1. Two of the matches   were lost in the final minutes of the game.
     “It is never a good habit to be considered a team who   concedes late goals – and you have to work extremely hard to   change such a reputation.
   “We went a long way in Azlan Shah Cup (2012) to change   that by scoring two goals against South Korea in the last 4   minutes; managing a 2-1 win in the final minute against New   Zealand; scoring the equalizer against Australia (pool game)   in the final minute; and scoring the equalizer against India in   the final minute too.
    “However, the game against Australia in the final we   conceded two goals in the final three minutes of the first half   and one goal in the final 15 seconds,” lamented Revington.
   Revington said work is in progress to rectify that problem  before he World League starts.
     Nine players are in the running for the two remaining   spots, and among them are Amin Rahim, Firhan Ashaari and  Jivan Mohan.
    Goalkeepers: S. Kumar, Roslan Jamaluddin; Defenders:   Baljit Singh, Razie Rahim, Nabil Fiqri, Shahrun Nabil; Mid  fielders: Shukri Mutalib, Azlan Misron, Chua Boon Huat,   Izwan Firdaus, Izad Hakimi; Strikers: Faizal Saari, Fitri   Saari, Marhan Jalil, Tengku Ahmad Tajudin, Faiz Helmi.

Spain beat France 4-2..

Spain had a relatively easy challenge on its first day of action at the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, dispatching France in a 4-2 decision. The French did their best to stage a comeback late in the game, but the bid fell short as the Spanish were simply too strong.
Spain made easy work of the French during a four minute span that saw them pour in three goals. David Alegre got things rolling in the 18th minute when he put the ball right between the legs of French goalkeeper Martin Zylbermann. Xavi Lleonart and Andres Mir followed up with back-to-back penalty corner goals to pull the Spanish out to the commanding 3-0 lead.
Viktor Lockwood cut into the lead for the French in the 51st minute, but before anyone could say ‘Viva la France’ the Spanish had erased his efforts when Roc Oliva found the back of the goal less than a minute later. The French had the last word five minutes later when Hugo Genestet gave the French hope by cutting the lead to 4-2 with 14 minutes left, but ultimately the French ran out of time and gas in their comeback bid and fell, 4-2.
Both teams have tall orders ahead of them tomorrow as the French will take on Belgium and Spain will meet Australia.
n the 51st minute, but before anyone could say ‘Viva la France’ the Spanish had erased his efforts when Roc Oliva found the back of the goal less than a minute later. The French had the last word five minutes later when Hugo Genestet gave the French hope by cutting the lead to 4-2 with 14 minutes left, but ultimately the French ran out of time and gas in their comeback bid and fell, 4-2.
Both teams have tall orders ahead of them tomorrow as the French will take on Belgium and Spain will meet Australia.

Belgium beat Australia 3-1..

Australia – Belgium 1-3 (0-2 halftime)

Belgium proved yet again that they are one of the fastest improving nations in world hockey by recording a superb 3-1 victory over reigning world champions Australia on day 2 of the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi Final tournament in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. It was a top class performance Belgium, with goals from Sebastien Dockier, Cedric Charlier and John-John Dohmen giving the Europeans a memorable win over the world’s number 2 ranked team.
Belgium made the perfect start to their Hockey World League Round 3 campaign when Dockier produced a wonderful deflection inside the first 30 seconds of the match. It was a goal which rocked the Kookaburras, but it they were soon back on steady ground and began to mount wave after wave of positive attacking play. However, the Belgians dealt with the challenge impressively, and soon doubled their advantage when Cedric Charlier fired home from close range after being teed up by the outstanding Thomas Briels.
The Australians could easily  have been level ahead of the break were it not for some fine saves from Vincent Vanasch, who also watched a diving effort from five times FIH Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer go agonisingly wide of the target.
Australia were hugely impressive in the second half, but continued to struggle to find a breakthrough despite numerous penalty corner efforts. That was until the 63rd minute, when Russell Ford reduced the deficit from open play following some masterful work from Dwyer. However, The Belgians re-established their two goal advantage five minutes from full time, with John-John Dohmen producing a clinical finish to seal a memorable victory over the 2010 World Champions.

Double Draw for Men's Debut in Rotterdam

Netherlands – New Zealand 3-3 (1-2 halftime)
Much like their female counterparts, the Dutch men had their hands full today in their Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final debut, and like the women, they were able to salvage a point from the outing in a 3-3 draw against #6 New Zealand.
Jeroen Hertzberger opened the scoring with a penalty stroke goal in the 19th minute. It was a mirror start to the women, who also netted a first-half penalty stroke. But unlike the women’s game, the New Zealand men had an immediate response when Hug Inglis struck with a field goal a minute later. Inglis gave the Black Sticks the 2-1 lead three minutes before the break when he deflected a shot from Phil Burrows from nearly midfield.
The game could have gone either way when the second half started as it was a see-saw battle in the first ten minutes of the stanza. But the tide turned in New Zealand’s favor when Jacob Smith was in an ideal position in the slot and got a perfect pass to complete the play for the 3-1 lead.
Herzberger got the Dutch within striking distance when he put in a short corner goal with 15 minutes left in regulation and just over two minutes later, a field goal from Valentin Verga pulled the hosts even with New Zealand, setting up a grand showdown in the last 10 minutes. The grand showdown turned more into a slow simmer as the both teams were out of gas and had to settle for the 3-3 draw.
Tomorrow Pool A springs into action as Spain will take on France, while Australia meets Belgium. All four men’s team that played today are idle tomorrow. Saturday will feature all eight men’s team in action in a men’s-only day of action in Rotterdam.

India – Ireland 4-4 (1-2 halftime)
Only four World Ranking points separate India (11th) and Ireland (15th) and it was clear in today’s men’s Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final opener that the teams were very much equal as they played to a hard-fought 4-4 draw. The second half turned into a wild west shootout as the teams matched each other blow for blow in the entertaining match.
A Singh opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a great shot from the top of the D, but it was quickly answered by an even more spectacular goal when Ala Sothern dribbled the ball to-and-fro in the circle and put on a series of moves that led to a stunning 1-1 equalizer.
Ireland’s Paul Gelghorne scored the go-ahead goal before the halftime hooter to give the Irish the small 2-1 advantage at the break. India mounted its comeback in the second sparked by R.P. Singh fired in a hard short corner shot to even the game at 2. S. Singh followed-up with the 3-2 goal with a point blank tip in to give the Indians the lead.
But Ireland was not finished. With 12 minutes left in regulation, Conor Harte put in Ireland’s first short corner of the game to tie things for the third time. Andrew McConnell put in the 4-3 goal for the Irish with 6:30 left in regulation on a breakaway play. Unfortunately for India, goaltender Sreejesh was badly shaken up on the play and had to leave the field on a stretcher.
But with all the cards on the table, India came storming back, yet again. This time with a penalty corner goal from R.P. Singh with 4:27 left in regulation. The goal would be the last offense that either of the two exhausted teams could muster as they both left with a point apiece for their efforts.

South Africa name their 18

SA midfielder and London 2012 Olympian Jonty Robinson. Photo: MARCEL SIGG


The South African Hockey Association released the names Thursday of the South Africa men’s hockey team that will do battle in the World League semi-finals, which take place from June 29 to July 7 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
The SA team will be captained by Western Province’s Austin Smith, the Mugg & Bean Player of the Series in South Africa’s 3-0 triumph over Malaysia in the four Test matches that ended at a packed Randburg Hockey Stadium on Tuesday.
Smith’s WP team-mate Rhett Halkett is vice-captain in a team of 18 that includes seven players from Southern Gauteng, five from WP, four from KZN Coastal Raiders and two from Northern Blues.
The team has London 2012 Olympians in Jonty Robinson, Clint Panther, Taine Paton and Wade Paton, Tim Drummond, Rassie Pieterse, Lance Louw, Halkett, Smith, Julian Hykes and Lloyd Norris-Jones.
SA head coach Charlie Pereira said that choosing the final 18 from the talent available was extremely tough.
“There were lads who came very close but as always somebody is going to miss out,” said Pereira.
The coach said practice games in Malaysia were in the process of being arranged and at this stage the possibilities included Argentina, Japan and Malaysia U21.
World number 12 South Africa fly out to Malaysia on June 20 and Pereira said the lads would have a week to acclimatise before the tournament got under way.
In Pool B, SA meet world number four England on June 29, world number 13 Malaysia on June 30 and world number five Pakistan on July 2. All the SA matches start at 3 pm (SA time).
The teams in Pool A are world number one Germany, world number eight Korea, world number 10 Argentina and world number 16 Japan.
Goalkeepers: Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng), Gowan Jones (KZN Coastal Raiders).
Defenders: Austin Smith (capt, Western Province), Francois Pretorius (Northern Blues), Rhett Halkett (vice-capt, WP), Lance Louw (SG), Jethro Eustice (SG).
Midfielders: Jonty Robinson (NB), Clint Panther (SG), Wade Paton (KCR), Tim Drummond (KCR), Nick Gonsalves (SG), Taine Paton (KCR).
Strikers: Julian Hykes (SG), Craig Haley (WP), Pierre de Voux (WP), Miguel da Graca (SG), Lloyd Norris-Jones (WP).
Team staff - Charlie Pereira (Head Coach), Bartel Berkhout (Technical Advisor), Pierre le Roux (Trainer), Moabi Malebye (Trainer/Video Analyst), Robin van Ginkel (Conditioning Coach), Megyn Robertson (Physiotherapist), Martin van Staden (Manager), Jamie Kroukamp (Video Analyst).

South Africa whitewash...

SA midfielder Clint Panther (floored) wins a penalty stroke as (from left) South Africa's Nick Gonsalves, Malaysia's Baljit Singh, Nabil Fiqri (15) and goalkeeper Kairulnizam Ibrahim look on during the fourth Test at Randburg Hockey Stadium Tuesday night. SA won the match 3-1 to win the series 3-0, the third Test being a draw..MARIO VAN DE WALL

South African hockey witnessed arguably its biggest-ever crowd at Randburg Hockey Stadium Tuesday night and the fans weren’t disappointed when the lads in green and gold beat Malaysia 3-1 in the fourth and final Test after leading 1-0 at half-time, a result that leaves SA 3-0 series winners.
    SA won the first Test 2-1 and the second Test 3-1 while the third Test was a 4-4 draw.
   SA opened the scoring thanks to Wade Paton’s 15th-minute penalty stroke after Clint Panther was upended in the strike zone.
   Both sides had great chances during the match but a combination of superb goalkeeping and defending kept the scoreboard quiet.
   Turnovers came and went as the game became looser but the crowd erupted in the 55th minute when SA conjured up a slide-rule move down the right for Pierre de Voux to smash the ball past goalkeeper Kairulnizam Ibrahim (2-0).
   Malaysia hit back in the 57th when Chua Boon Huat set up Ahmad Tajudin Tengku’s magnificent reverse-stick blast that ripped into the net (2-1).
    Malaysia won their first PC on the hour-mark but outstanding keeper Rassie Pieterse saved superbly before SA broke out fast for De Voux to get in a shot that was blocked, while Firhan Asaari came agonisingly close at the other end soon after. With three minutes left Rhett Halkett steered two Malaysian penalty corners off the goalline with remarkable skill.
   And to rub salt into the wounds SA broke away with Jonty Robinson at first, then De Voux and Miguel da Graca combining, before Julian Hykes made it 3-1 with a quick-fire shot that cracked into the backboard.
    The teams meet again in Pool B at the World League semi-finals in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on June 30 and SA will go in with the psychological advantage.
   Mugg & Bean Player of the Series was SA captain Austin Smith.

In the second minute Miguel da Graca and Frankie Pretorius combined and Clint Panther came close to scoring but won a penalty corner. The SA variation was a superb innovation and keeper Kairulnizam Ibrahim did well to save. Pierre de Voux forced another PC and Ibrahim brought off a superlative stick save from an Austin Smith drag-flick rocket.
    Controlling possession and being patient had Malaysia on the back foot as SA moved left and right with great ball speed but an aerial pass evaded two SA defenders and Chua Boon Huat forced keeper Rassie Pieterse into a well-timed clearance.
   Both sides were probing with quick exchanges of passes and with SA down to 10 men after a green card, Nabil Fiqri got in a snap-shot that Pieterse palmed away. There was huge disappointment at the other end when Panther scored but the whistle had gone for a deliberate stick check and Wade Paton buried the penalty stroke for 1-0 after 15 minutes, SA scoring the first goal of the match for the first time in the series.
    Then the dangerous Fiqri was unlucky at the other end with his rebound shot but SA were back in the goal hunt when Da Graca and De Voux combined to win SA’s third PC after 22 minutes.  Smith’s low flick was blocked by first-wave defender Razie Abdul Rahim.
   Malaysia were still finding holes, though, but Pretorius smashed a diagonal to Hykes whose deflection was just saved by the keeper before Faizal Saari’s delicate touch whistled past the SA goalbox by the half-time whistle.