Sunday, August 18, 2013

2013 Men's Pan Am Cup - Gold: CAN vs ARG

Malaysia Living the Dream...

 Malaysian assistant coach Arul Selvaraj gets an identical Living the Dream tattoo
 The late Chua Boon Huat tattooed his bicep with Living the Dream after the end of the World League in Johor Baru.

MALAYSIA have virtually made the grade for the Netherlands World Cup next year, but the even better news is that Paul Revington’s men are determined to win the Asia Cup starting in Ipoh on Saturday.
   The team is Living The Dream, the phrase that the late Chua Boon Huat tattooed on his left bicep after he helped Malaysia finish fifth in the Johor Baru World League.
   And with Argentina beating Canada 4-0 in the Pan American Cup in Toronto yesterday, the fourth placed team in Johor Baru, South Korea, also qualified for the World Cup as stipulated in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) qualification criteria.
   Argentina, who had qualified for the World Cup by finishing second in Johor Baru, aslo did a big favour to start the ball rolling as now it is the turn of Spain, who finished fifth in the World League in Netherlands, to qualify.
   And Spain have the easiest task, as in the ongoing Euro Championships; Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and England have qualified for the World Cup, and if any of the above win the title, or Spain wins it themselves, it will then be Malaysia’s turn.
    And if all goes to plan, as the big four in Europe are not expected to fail, Malaysia need not break sweat in the Asia Cup but qualify for the World Cup via the Oceania Championships -- where Australia and New Zealand play and it does not matter who becomes the champion -- Malaysia will be the winners.
    “By finishing fifth in the World League, we knew to a certain degree that we have a foot in the World Cup, and the vision is becoming clearer after Argentina won the Pan American Cup.
   “But that does not change our plans to win the Asia Cup in Ipoh (for the first time) and double qualify for the World Cup,” said team manager George Koshy.
   On Saturday in Group A of the Euro Championships, Spain hammered Czech Republic 6-1 while Belgium beat Germany 1-0. In Group B are England, Netherlands, Poland and Ireland.
    “Well Argentina (winning the Pan Am) is certainly good news, and barring an upset in the Euro Championships from the lower ranked teams, Spain should qualify for the World Cup. Hopefully all goes well and Malaysia’s fifth finish in the World League will be duly rewarded,” said Revington.
    And since the semi-finalists of the Euro Championships will be known a few days before the Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia and South Korea might just be the two Asian teams who had made the grade on merit for the World Cup.
    Assistant coach Arul Selvaraj, who was among Boon Huat’s close circle of friends, on Friday (16-8-2013) at 3pm, also tattooed his left bicep with Living The Dream -- as Malaysia are almost certain to play in the World Cup after a hiatus of 12 years.

   The number 3 was Boon Huat's special...
   Teams which have qualified for the World Cup:
   From World League in Netherlands: Belgium, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand
    From World League in Johor Baru: Germany, Argentina, England, South Korea.
    FIH first reserve: Spain; Second Reserve: Malaysia; Third Reserve: India.

A Royal kick off for Belgium teams...

King Philip and Prince Gabriel where a good luck charm for the Belgian players. After  the majestic victory of the Red Panthers this afternoon, it was the Red Lions turn to meet the King. This in front of thousands of fans, whom they just treated to a moving a cappella version of the Belgian national anthem. 
   There is no doubt, The King and his son - a hockey player himself - enjoyed their day at the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships 2013.
The big Belgian hockey family thanks his royal highness King Philip for his support.

Men: Germany - Belgium 1-2 (1-2)
The day concluded with a nailbiter of a clash between Germany and the home team in front of a stadium packed to the last seat with enthusiastic supporters of the Red Lions who witnessed Belgium recording an important opening win against Olympic champions Germany.
An early goal from Mats Grambusch had gotten Germany on the scoreboard first but Belgium soon took the reigns and a quick double hit with two penalty corner conversions in as many minutes through Loïck Luypaert and Tom Boon set the hosts back on track. German goalkeeper Nico Jacobi was crucial in keeping the scoreline close with some extraordinary goalkeeping efforts in both halves, but Germany could not get past the Belgians on the attack and Belgium celebrated their win in the opening match with more than 8.000 vocal fans.

Men: Spain - Czech Republic 6-1 (3-1)
In the first men's match of the event, Spain sailed to a 6-1 win over the Czech Republic, including a double hit from Edi Tubau plus one goal each from Miki Delás, Pau Quemada, Roc Oliva an Alex Casasayas.  The Czechs's lone goal came from a standard situation as defensive anchor Tomas Prochazka sunk a penalty corner in the 16th minute that was also the Czech Republic’s first ever goal in the top tier of European championships history.
The win gives Spain a headstart in the strong men's pool A, in which Spain will be competing for a semi-final spot with powerhouses Germany and Belgium.

Viva La Espana!


Saturday 17th August 2013
Spain - Czech Republic 6-1 (3-1)
Germany - Belgium 1-2 (1-2)
Sunday 18th August 2013 
England - Poland

Netherlands - Ireland

Argentina beat Canada 4-0; Korea in World Cup..

2013 Pan American Cup (Men)

URU Uruguay
Brazil BRA
CHI Chile
Mexico MEX
TTO Trinidad & Tobago
ARG Argentina
Canada CAN