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HOCKEY - Int News29 Jan 2023

Germany crowned World Champions Hockey World Cup 2023
Sports Bulletin Report Bhubaneswar (India): The final day of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 was played in the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar as Germany were crowned the champions of the world, defeating the defending champions Belgium in a thrilling finals, where they went down by 2 goals early in the first quarter but fought their way back again and took the game into a shoot-out, where they held their nerves in the sudden deaths, winning 5-4. With the win Germany also claimed the top spot in the FIH Men’s World Outdoor Rankings. Bronze Medal Match: Netherlands beat Australia (3-1) Netherlands started the game on the front foot, with Theijs van Dam getting a powerful shot into the circle looking for a Dutch deflection, but Hoedemakers couldn’t get on the end of the cross and Australia survived an early scare. Australia started settling into the game midway through the first quarter and a pass into the circle by Jeremy Hayward found captain Zalewski open on the right of the goal, but his shot/cross went wide off the mark with Blake Govers missing a deflection from point blank range. Australia scored the opening goal of the game through Jeremy Hayward who scored his 100th goal in his 200th appearance for Australia. It was a double blow for the Dutch who had referred the penalty corner and lost their review early in the first quarter. Netherlands won their first penalty corner of the game in the 20th minute but Jip Janssen’s powerful flick went straight as an arrow and Charter managed to pull off a comfortable save to deny Netherlands from their first big chance since the opening minute. Both teams traded opportunities to close the opening half, with big chances falling to Koen Bijen for the Dutch and Blake Govers for the Kookaburras, but both star forwards were off targets with their running shots and the teams headed into the break with Australia holding a slender one-goal advantage against Netherlands. Netherlands started the second half with a high press, which was a tactic that worked quite well for Germany in the semi-finals. The ploy seemed to work well for Netherlands as well as they earned three quick penalty corners inside the first two minutes of the second half, and with the third attempt, Jip Janssen opened his account in the game with a powerful drag to the right of Charter to bring the teams level. Two minutes later, Netherlands were in the lead as a clearance attempt by Tim Howard was blocked by Wortelboer in the circle and the resulting loose ball was put into the goal by Dutch captain Thierry Brinkman. Australia started to press higher in search for an equaliser, but it was Netherlands again who capitalised with a quick counter as van Dam’s run from the half line produced a cross that found Brinkman unmarked at the back post and he made no mistake in doubling Netherlands lead. Australia entered the final 15 minutes needing to score at least 2 goals to keep their hopes of winning a medal at the World Cup alive. Their high press gave Netherlands a lot to do in defence, but Jorrit Croon, along with Blok and Jansen, were stellar in the Dutch defensive circle, stopping waves of Australian crosses into the circle. Netherlands believed they had scored the 4th goal of the game midway through the quarter with Koen Bijen knocking the ball into the goal on the back post, but a foul in the build up reversed the goal as Australia breathed a sigh of relief. But Netherlands continued their excellent defence and as time ran out, they ran out winners, earning their third bronze medal at the men’s World Cups.   Gold Medal Match: Germany beat Belgium 3-3 (SO: 5-4) Germany took on Belgium in the finals hoping to win their 3rd gold medal at the FIH Hockey Men's World Cups to go level with Australia and Netherlands and one behind Pakistan who have won the event 4 times; while Belgium aimed to become just the 4th team, after Pakistan, Germany & Australia, to defend their title successfully. Belgium started the game on the front foot, creating an early circle entry, but Tom Grambusch was alert to the chance and intercepted a cross right in front of the goal and cleared the danger. Germany won a penalty corner in the 6th minute, referring the original decision which had gone against them. The resulting penalty corner was well defended by first rusher Cosyns who blocked Gonzalo Peillat’s attempted flick. Belgium opened the scoring in the 10th minute as a long corner deflected high off a German stick and fell to Florent van Aubel at the top of the circle and he took the shot on in his stride and smashed the ball into the goal before Stadler could react! Less than a minute later Belgium had doubled their lead as a cross from the left deflected off a German stick and fell to Simon Gougnard who had to get the slightest of touches to put it in the goal. Belgium won a penalty corner early in the second quarter and their variation caught the German rushers out, but Stadler dived brilliantly to his left and pulled off a great save to keep Germany in the game. Moments later Germany won a penalty stroke after Christopher Rühr found Windfeder with an incisive pass and his cross was blocked by the foot of a sliding Belgian defender. Tom Grambusch stepped up to take the stroke but his high shot to the left was saved brilliantly by Vincent Vanasch who got his stick to the ball and deflected it on to the post and deflected out! Secure in their lead Belgium sat back in deep defence inviting German pressure, and Germany finally made it count winning a penalty corner with less than 90 seconds left in the quarter. It was Niklas Wellen once again scoring for Germany as Tom Grambusch’s attempted flick deflected off the first rusher and fell to Wellen, who was the injector. He controlled the shoulder high ball brilliantly and smashed the volley above the outstretched hands of Vanasch to give Germany a goal back before the half. Belgium nearly caught Germany out on a quick counter attack right at the start of the second half as Victor Wegnez’ long pass into the circle crashed into the backboard, but a diving Dockier did not manage to get a touch on the ball and Germany were awarded a free-out. Germany then managed to test Vanasch again as a quick pass by Trompertz found Miltkau in the circle and he had time and space to get his shot away, but his low effort was well saved by Vanasch who got his left foot on to the ball and sent it out of play. A minute later, Germany were back level as Gonzalo Peillat buried a penalty corner low in the bottom left corner of the goal and there was nothing a diving Vanasch could do to stop it. With 15 minutes left in the game it was all squared up again, with shoot-outs looming large if neither team could find the go-ahead goal. Germany completed their turnaround in the third minute of the final quarter as captain Mats Grambusch hit a sliding tomahawk shot from a minute angle and the powerful shot snuck in through the legs of Vanasch to give Germany the lead! Belgium started to pile on the pressure as they hunted an equaliser of their own having led for a significant portion of the match and for a change it was Germany who had to rely on their defence. But Hinrichs and Tom Grambusch were massive for the Germans in defence, keeping Belgium outside their 25 and intercepting any attempted crosses that looked to find an attacker in the German scoring circle. Belgium won a penalty corner with less than 2 minutes left in the game and once again it was star-man Tom Boon that did the business for the Red Lions perfectly placing his flick between Stadler and the post defender to score and send the game into a shoot-out! List of Awards Fair Play Award: Team Belgium Maximum Team Goals: Netherlands Best Team Goal Celebration: Korea Fan’s Choice Award: Christopher Rühr (Germany) JSP Foundation Best Junior Player of the Tournament: Mustaphaa Cassiem (South Africa) Hero Top Scorer: Jeremy Hayward (Australia) JSW Best Goalkeeper: Vincent Vanasch (Belgium) Best Defender: Jeremy Hayward (Australia) Best Midfielder: Victor Wegnez (Belgium) Best Forward: Niklas Wellen (Germany) Odisha Best Player: Niklas Wellen (Germany) Bronze Medal: Team Netherlands Silver Medal: Team Belgium Gold Medal: Team Germany

HOCKEY - Int News28 Jan 2023

Argentina and India register big wins to finish their World Cup campaigns
Sports Desk ISLAMABAD: The final day of classification matches of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 were played in the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela as Argentina and India registered wins to end their campaigns in the 9th position, while Malaysia and France finished on wins as well, ending their campaigns in the 13th position. Losses for Wales and South Africa, saw them finish 11th, while Japan and Wales ended their campaigns in 15th place. Malaysia beat Japan 3-2 Malaysia struck early in the battle of the two Asian teams as a penalty corner won by Ashari was scored by Shello Silverius with Malaysia opting for a variation as Razie Rahim pushed the ball wide for a deflection that beat the post defender and goalkeeper. Both keepers were immense in the first quarter saving attempts that looked like they were destined to find the goal. Malaysia captain Marhan Jalil was shown a yellow card in the second half as the team had 12 players on the field and Japan took advantage earning 2 penalty corners and scoring from the resulting side out after the Malaysian rusher had chased down the second penalty corner. Japan and Malaysia traded goals early in the 32nd minute with Seren Tanaka scoring for Japan, and Shello Silverius scoring his second of the game for Malaysia, to keep the teams on level terms. Two minutes later Malaysia were back in the lead as Faiz Jali found Irfan all alone in the circle on the left and his flat snuck under the Japanese keeper. Japan had a good spell of pressure to end the third quarter but couldn’t make it count, not finding the mark from 3 penalty corners. Japan tried to find an equaliser in the final quarter and received a boost when Malaysia were reduced to 10 players with Najmi Jazlan receiving a yellow card, but the experienced pair of Razie Rahim and Marhan Jalil kept Japan out brilliantly as Malaysia edged them for a narrow win. France beat Chile 4-2 Chile were coming into the game on the back of two big losses, but showed a lot of heart early in the contest to take the game to France. They created circle entries but the French deep defence held strong to stop the Chilean attackers from getting their shots away. France primarily looked to capitalise on counter attacks with Chile leaving plenty of space behind their last line of defence. France opened the scoring on one such counter through Eliot Curty and added two more in quick succession through Victor Charlet to stun Chile. Chile kept coming at France and pulled a goal back from a penalty corner of their own, with Franco Beccera getting on the scoresheet to go into the half-time break down 1-3. The third quarter followed a similar pattern to the first as Chile pressed high in search of a goal while France defended deep and looked for counter attacking opportunities. France scored first in the second half as a cross by Xavier Gaspard deflected off the keeper’s boot and snuck into the goal. Chile scored one of their own as a long cross from the left found Andres Pizzaro completely unmarked in the back post and he tapped the ball into an empty goal. Chile’s push for another goal went until the final whistle, but while they created plenty of circle entries, they lacked the final shots at the end of it and the game finished at 4-2. Argentina beat Wales 6-0 Before the game Wales coach Daniel Newcombe said that playing in the 9th/11th place game was a great achievement for the team in their debut campaign but they wouldn’t be happy with just that and wanted to end the campaign with a win. The Welsh team answered their coach’s call and started the game with a lot of attacking intent. Argentina were stifled for the first quarter as Wales dominated possession in the Argentine half, but they couldn’t find the goal to cap off a great quarter. Argentina were much improved in the second quarter and scored early through Lucas Toscani. They added a second when Martin Ferreiro’s cross from the left side of the circle was inadvertently deflected into his own goal by Joan Wall, to give Argentina a 2-goal lead going into the break. Argentina set the tone early in the third quarter with Agustin Bugallo scoring an absolute ripper on the reverse from the top of the circle. And soon they added a fourth from a penalty corner as Santiago Tarazona pounced on the rebound from the initial save and tapped the ball into the goal. Welsh shoulders started to drop, as despite the competitive nature of the game, Argentina had played the big moments well and put the game beyond the European debutants. Maico Casella, who has been Argentina’s best player in the World Cup added a 5th goal for the Leones and Ferreiro scored his second to make it 6 in the final quarter. India beat South Africa 5-2 India took on South Africa in their final game of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023, in front of yet another packed crowd in the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela and seemed to feed off the energy of the raucous crowd from the first whistle. Abhishek opened the scoring for India in the 5th minute as a powerful slap pass by Harmanpreet found him in space at the top of the circle and he unleashed a vicious shot that was past Gowan Jones in the blink of an eye. India added a second goal towards the end of first quarter as Harmanpreet Singh dispatched a powerful drag flick between the keeper and the post defender off a penalty corner won by Mandeep Singh. South Africa’s best chance of the first half came in the 18th minute as an aerial ball over the Indian defence allowed Keenan Horne to get a shot away from the right, but his shot hit the post and deflected out of bounds. The third quarter produced much more balance as South Africa dominated possession and territory but India looked like a constant threat on the counter. Abhishek had the best chance early in the half as a great pass by Akashdeep found him with just Jones to beat, but his tentative shot was saved well by the rushing keeper. At the end of the quarter another Indian counter attack allowed Abhishek to be the provider and his cross from the right deflected off a South African stick and fell to Shamsher at the far post who tapped the ball in to extend India’s lead. Akashdeep Singh added a fourth in the final quarter as he deflected a cross by Jarmanpreet at the front post that snuck through the legs of Jones. South Africa scored a goal right after sparking unlikely hopes of a comeback, but India added a 5th goal through Sukhjeet to put the game beyond their opponents. Dayaan Cassiem earned a penalty stroke in the final minute cutting through the entire defence before being brought down by Sreejesh. The stroke was dispatched by Mustapha Cassiem, bringing the final score to 2-5 in favour of the hosts.

HOCKEY - Int News27 Jan 2023

Wales stun France as South Africa, Argentina and India register big wins
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD: The 9-12 and 13-16 classification matches are set as South Africa, Wales, Argentina and India register wins in the first round of classification matches to head into the 9-12 playoff matches while losses for Malaysia, France, Chile and Japan see them go to the 13-16 playoff matches. All classification matches will take place on 28 January at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela. South Africa beat Malaysia (6-3) Malaysia were quicker off the blocks with form man Faizal Saari managing to get a shot in the circle inside the first minute, but South Africa survived that early chance and started to get in the game on counter attacks. They got the first goal through Bradley Sherwood who attacked a cross from the left by Nqobile. With the impetus now on Malaysia, they tried to press higher up the field, allowing South Africa to play on the counter, which is their preferred style. South Africa won 6 penalty corners in the first half and managed to convert one in the 17th minute as Guy Morgan pounced on the rebound after Eustice’s flick was blocked by the first rusher. They added a 3rd in the 26th minute through Nqobile to cap off a perfect half. Malaysia got the early goal they desperately needed at the start of the 3rd quarter, with Razie Rahim finding the mark from a penalty corner. South Africa got the next goal of the game as fabulous work by Mvimbi required the easiest of touches from Keenan Horne in front of the goal to restore South Africa’s 3 goal lead. A minute later South Africa extended the lead further as Mustapha Cassiem dispatched a penalty stroke won by Mvimbi. With just one second left in the 3rd quarter South Africa conceded a penalty stroke and Rahim scored his second of the game to reduce the deficit back down to 3. South Africa and Malaysia traded one late goal each as South Africa ran out winners to advance to the 9-12 place playoffs while Malaysia will play in the 12-16 place classification match. Wales vs France 2-2 (SO: 2-1) France were the higher ranked team in the match-up, but Wales looked like the more likely team to score early in the game as they committed a bulk of their players into the attack. They were rewarded for their adventurous play as a quick move from the left by James Carson left the French defence exposed and his cross was deftly touched into the goal by Luke Hawker. France equalised with 6 seconds left in the opening quarter as Draper turned over possession in a dangerous position and van Straaten found Sellier who scored to bring France level. Pieter van Straaten and Sellier connected again quickly after the break to give France the lead, with Sellier getting his second of the game. Gareth Furlong equalised for Wales, converting on their 4th penalty corner of the game as the teams headed into the break on level terms. No goals were scored in the third quarter as both teams struggled with clinicality in the opposition circle. France won 2 penalty corners in the 3rd quarter and two more in the final quarter but a combination of sloppy stopping at the top of the circle and captain Victor Charlet’s inability to find the target meant the score stayed level and the teams headed into a shoot-out. France struggled in the shoot-outs, with Clement the only scorer from their 5 attempts as Reynolds-Cotterill stopped the other 4 French attempts, while Benjamin Francis and Rupert Shipperly scored 2 of the 4 attempts, and that was enough to see them over the line. Argentina beat Chile (8-0): Chile started their game against South American rivals Argentina, looking to attack and had two early circle penetrations, but it didn’t lead to shots. Argentina slowly got into the game and started to dominate possession in the Chilean half. Their first goal for Argentina came from Nicolas della Torre through a penalty corner. The goal seemed to deflate the Chilean team as Argentina started to dominate in attack. Before the half time whistle went, Argentina had added 4 more goals to take a huge 5-goal lead into the break. Argentina kept up their high press to start the second half and Miaco Casella scored the goal of the game, getting in front of his marker and the Chilean keeper in the circle and deflecting a cross between his legs, with his back to the goal, that nutmegged the keeper and crashed into the goal. Martin Ferreiro and Tomas Domene added two more goals for Argentina in the final quarter of the game to push the final score to 8-0, earning Argentina a great win after the disappointment of the loss in the crossovers to Korea. India beat Japan (8-0): Japan and India played an even contest in the first quarter with both teams showing offensive intent but neither team could manage to create a clear scoring opportunity. India had the best chances through 2 penalty corners, but they were well chased down by the Japanese rushers. The second quarter was much of the same as both India and Japan found ways to get into the opposition circle, but were instantly hounded by opposing defences. Both teams earned penalty corners early in the second quarter as well, but the rush defences from both sides reigned supreme as the teams headed into the break on 0-0. India won an early penalty corner in the second half and they went for a variation on the far post with Amit Rohidas passing to Mandeep who lifted the ball over the keeper and into the net to open the scoring for the hosts. India scored a quick second goal, as a poor turnover in their own half by Japan gave Manpreet the ball and he found Abhishek in the circle who had all the time and space needed to calmly score on the reverse. Vivek then added a 3rd goal for India as the Japanese defence seemed to buckle under the constant pressure applied by a rampant Indian attack. Abhishek scored his second and India’s fourth goal in the 44th minute, bringing up the 200th goal of this World Cup. India scored 4 more goals in the final quarter as Harmanpreet (twice) and Sukhjeet found the target from penalty corners, while Manpreet Singh scored a field goal that deflected in off a Japanese stick, to give India a huge 8 goal win, scoring all 8 goals in the final 30 minutes of the game.

HOCKEY - Int News26 Jan 2023

Germany and Netherlands qualify for semifinals FIH Hockey World Cup
Sports Bulletin Report Bhubaneswar (India): Germany and Netherlands are semi-finalists at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 earning wins against England and Korea in their respective quarterfinals. In the semi-finals, Australia will face Germany, while Belgium will take on Netherlands, on 27 January, in the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.  Germany beat England 2-2 (SO: 4-3) Germany were quicker off the blocks in the first quarter dominating possession and territory in the English half. They created the first big chance of the game as Mats Grambusch’s good work on the left saw Zwicker deflect his pass into the circle, onto the path of Trompertz, but his shot on the reverse sailed high and wide of the goal. As the time moved forward, England started to find their rhythm and a free hit just outside the circle was played into the circle by Calnan and his pass in was lifted by Rushmere and at the end of his 3d skill move, the ball fell in the air to Zach Wallace and his volleyed effort found the back of the goal to open the scoring for the English.  Germany were measured in their attack in the second quarter, as the threat England possessed on the counterattack was evident. Zach Wallace nearly doubled England’s lead in the 21st minute on one such counter as he beat two defenders at the top of the circle with silky touches, before unleashing a shot, but his shot hit teammate Ansell’s foot before it could reach Stadler in the goal. Germany won two late penalty corners in the quarter, but their first was a variation that was well read and intercepted by Albery and the second, taken by Peillat, was stopped and kicked out rather easily by the in-form Ollie Payne. Germany were down to 10 players early in the third quarter as Oruz was given a green card for a deliberate foul to stop an English counter attack. England made good use of the player advantage to win three quick penalty corners and they doubled their lead on the third attempt as a misplaced injection by Condon forced Ansell to improvise with a flat hit and he placed it into the bottom left corner to perfection. As time started to wind down in the 3rd quarter, things started to get a bit fiery. Christopher Rühr earned himself a 5-minute suspension for an aggressive tackle in the middle of the field. Germany’s search for a goal to get back into the game was well stuffed out by some terrific defensive work by the likes of Alberry and Waller. England continued to play calmly and stuffed German attacks in the midfield in the first half of the final quarter. Germany subbed Stadler out for an extra outfield player and with a little under 5 minutes to go, won a penalty stroke. Christopher Rühr stepped up to take it, but his attempt hit the crossbar and England survived. Germany finally managed to score as Trompertz sent in a cross that found Mats Grambusch all alone on the far post and he lifted the ball into an open goal. England then went down to 10 players as Zach Wallace got himself a green card with just a little over 2 minutes to go. England then conceded another penalty stroke as a shot by Wellen looked destined to go into the goal but instead hit an English body. Tom Grambusch who takes penalty strokes for Germany, when on the pitch, was available this time and sent Payne the wrong way to complete the comeback for the Honamas and send the game into a shoot-out. Germany, who had won 7 out of the 9 shoot-outs over the past 4 years, were perfect in the shoot-out, scoring all 4 of their attempts. David Goodfield missed England’s third attempt and Danneberg, who was in the goal instead of Stadler for the shoot-outs, saved the final English attempt by Ansell to give the Honamas a famous win, and their first semi-final appearance at the World Cup since 2010! Netherlands beat Korea (5-1): Netherlands and Korea played a fascinating first quarter in the last quarterfinals match at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023. It was end to end action as both teams looked to play on counter-attacks and managed to find spaces through the midfield to successfully penetrate opposition circles. Both teams also won 2 penalty corners each, but all 4 penalty corners amounted to very little, thanks to some brave number one running from the defences. Netherlands had the best chance from open play as Pieters went on a great run from his own circle all the way to the Korean circle, but his shot was well saved by Jaehyeon Kim. The second quarter was much of the same as the teams traded possession on counter-attacks. Korea had a great chance on one of their attacks launched from a turnover they forced at the halfway line. Hwang’s driven pass into the circle nearly found the diving Junwoo, but Lars Balk got a crucial touch right before the pass got to Junwoo to send the ball out over the baseline. Netherlands opened the scoring in the 27th minute as Thierry Brinkman cut through the Korean defence from the right and his attempted pass was almost intercepted Jungjun, but he failed to make a clean connection on the ball and Koen Bijen was there right behind him to latch on to the loose ball and put it in the back of the goal to give Netherlands the lead they would carry into the interval.

HOCKEY - Int News25 Jan 2023

FIH Hockey World Cup: Australia and Belgium reach semifinals
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD: Australia and Belgium are the first semi-finalists at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 earning wins against Spain and New Zealand in their respective quarterfinals. In the semi-finals, Australia will face the winner of the match between Germany and England, while Belgium will take on the winner of the quarterfinals match between Netherlands and Korea. Australia beat Spain (4-3): The first quarterfinals set up an intriguing contest as the high-flying Australian attack came up against the Spanish defence that always raises its game against tough oppositions. The first quarter followed that pattern as Australia loaded up in the Spanish half, pinning them into their own circle for the most part of the opening fifteen. But Spain were very disciplined in their defence and the three penalty corners they conceded were stopped brilliantly by Adrian Rafi who looked in great form. Spain had one great chance in the quarter, as a penalty corner stopped by Rafi allowed Miralles to launch a counter attack, allowing Spain to create a 2-on-2 chance, but Gispert’s pass in the circle was well intercepted by Charter and cleared by the defence. Australia again started on the front foot in the second quarter, but it was Spain who found the opening goal in the 20th minute, as a rare foray into the Australian half, saw them win a long corner which was taken quickly by Xavier Gispert and his shot on the reverse found the bottom right corner of the goal to perfection giving Spain the lead against the run of play. Australia continued their search for an opening goal and another penalty corner opportunity amounted to nothing as Blake Govers’ flick was high and wide to the keeper’s right. Australia were back on level terms inside 2 minutes of the second half as a mazy run along the left baseline by Jake Whetton was not checked by any Spanish defender and his pass across the goal was tapped into an empty goal by Aran Zalewski. Another minute later, the turnaround was complete as a penalty corner, flicked by Hayward took a deflection off a Spanish stick and beat Rafi to give Australia the lead, with a mere 167 seconds between the first goal and the third. Hayward then doubled Australia’s lead in the 37th minute from a penalty corner, but 4 minutes later Miralles pulled one back for Spain through their second penalty corner of the game. Belgium beat New Zealand (2-0): The news cycle before the game was dominated by the injury suffered by Alex Hendrickx leaving the Red Lions without their ace drag flicker for the rest of the World Cup. Star forward Tom Boon allayed some of the worries by scoring the first penalty corner Belgium won by dissecting the gap between the keeper and the post defender perfectly. It was a great start to the game for Belgium who played confidently from the first whistle calmly circulating the ball from side to side looking for openings in the experienced Kiwi defence. New Zealand primarily looked to catch Belgium out with quick counter attacks, but the experienced Belgian midfield kept stopping any attempts they made at getting out on the break. Belgium scored a second goal in the first minute of the second quarter as great work from the right by Boccard led to a cross that was finished off by Florent van Aubel, to increase the size of task ahead of New Zealand if they wanted to keep their World Cup campaign alive. New Zealand tried their best to spark a comeback before the half time, as they had done just 48 hours ago against India, but Belgium’s defence was resolute. Belgium continued to stifle New Zealand, despite switching from a high press to a midfield press. John-John Dohmen was particularly impressive in the middle, swarming any Kiwi player who tried to carry the ball out from the back. With their counter attacking abilities curbed, New Zealand tried to build from the back and did manage to create a couple of shooting opportunities in the Belgian circle, but Belgium always got back in numbers and the shots were blocked off before they could get to Vanasch in the goal. Belgium ended the 3rd quarter with the best scoring opportunity as a high ball by Denayer found Charlier alone in the circle, but his attempt at foxing Hayward at the near post was thwarted by the alert Kiwi shot-stopper.

HOCKEY - Int News24 Jan 2023

Smooth sailing for Honamas against France as Korea win 10-goal thriller
Sports Bulletin Report Bhubaneswar (India): The second day of crossovers at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 saw Germany and Korea seal their quarterfinal berths with wins over France and Argentina respectively. Germany will now take on England in the quarterfinals, while Korea will face Netherlands, with both matches to be played in Bhubaneswar. France and Argentina head into the 9-16 classification matches, which will take place in Rourkela.  Germany beat France (5-1): The start of the game looked to set up an even contest as France and Germany both traded opportunities in the first half of the opening quarter. Germany had the first big chance through a penalty corner, but Peillat’s flick was at a comfortable height for Thieffry to save. France then got a big chance to grab the lead as a great run into the circle by Gaspard Baumgarten led to the ball hitting a German foot. It was young star Clement who received the opportunity to score from the corner, but he dragged his effort low and wide. Germany ended the quarter on the front foot and finally found the opening goal through Marco Miltkau, who had been searching for his first goal in the tournament. Germany blew the doors open in the second quarter scoring thrice to take a huge lead into the halftime break. Their first goal of the second quarter came via a brilliant counter attacking move started by Hinrichs that allowed Germany to go 2 on 1 in the French circle and while the pass to Wellen was initially intercepted by Thieffry, the rebound fell to the German forward who kept his impressive form going, by scoring his 5th goal of the tournament. Captain Mats Grambusch then latched onto a loose ball in the French circle in the 24th minute, to score his second goal of the tournament, and Trompertz made it 4 for the Honamas, just a minute later, by deflecting a low drag flick by Tom Grambusch, over Thieffry and into the French goal. The best chance early in the 4th quarter also fell France’s way, with Masson’s run and piercing pass finding van Straaten in the circle and his cross nearly found Clement open at the far post, but Hinrich positioned himself perfectly to intercept the pass and clear the danger. France did finally manage to get a consolation goal with 2 minutes left on the clock as a low drag flick by Clement was deflected over Stadler by a diving Goyet, to give France a goal they deserved for the attacking intent they showed throughout the second half. Germany got the final goal of the game to put the cherry on top of a great performance, as a quick penalty corner routine caught the French defence unaware and Peillat’s low drag flick met no resistance sealing a 5-1 win for Germany and a spot in the quarterfinals against England. Argentina vs Korea 5-5 (SO: 2-3) Argentina made a good start to the crossover game, dominating possession and territory, pinning Korea into their own defensive half. The opening goal came rather fortuitously for the Argentines as a deflected ball into the circle was not handled well by the keeper and the ball fell to Maico Casella whose diving shot looped over the keeper and into the goal. Korea settled into the game after the goal and won a penalty corner late in the first quarter, but Jang’s attempted drag flick did not get the height he wanted and was easily saved. Korea had a much better start to the second quarter and they turned defence into attack with Jang Jonghyun intercepting a cross in his own circle and bursting out to launch a counter-attack that deflected off a Argentine stick and fell to Sunghyun Kim who had an empty goal to tap the ball into. Korea then quickly added a second goal to grab the lead as a messed penalty corner routine saw the ball ping across the circle and fall to Junwoo who tapped it into the goal. Argentina were back level inside a minute as Nicolas Keenan scored from the right after his first deflected shot attempt was saved, but the rebound fell kindly back to him. The goals continued to flow as Argentina scored from a penalty corner through Nicolas della Torre, whose powerful flick dissected the keeper and the post defender to perfection. Argentina started the second half looking to increase their lead but Korea absorbed the early pressure well, not giving away any penalty corners despite multiple circle penetrations by the Argentines. Finally Korea had the opportunity to attack 10 minutes into the half and they quickly won a penalty corner that was scored by star drag flicker Jang Jonghyun. Once again one goal brought another as Argentina won a penalty corner of their own within a minute of conceding and Nicolas della Torre scored once again, going to his right and beating the post defender for pace, restoring their lead. Argentina finally managed to double their lead early in the 4th quarter, as a speculative shot into the Korean circle was deflected by Casella and once again the save by Kim fell right to Keenan, who put the ball through the goalkeeper's legs to give Argentina some breathing room. Korea would not go away however and a penalty corner in the 50th minute saw Jang score his second goal to half his team’s deficit. 5 minutes later, Korea were back level as a penalty corner variation allowed Namyong Lee, the injector, to deflect the low shot by Jang into an empty goal.

HOCKEY - Int News20 Jan 2023

Dutch joined by England as the first teams to reach in quarterfinals
Sports Bulletin Report Odisha (India): Malaysia and New Zealand played the first game with Malaysia needing a win to overtake New Zealand for the second spot in the group, while New Zealand just needed a draw to stay ahead of Malaysia on goal difference. What unfolded was an enthralling contest with Malaysia grabbing the first two goals of the game, but the Kiwis responded with two quickfire goals in the 4th quarter to level the scores. Malaysia had the last laugh however, scoring with 2 minutes left on the clock to seal the win and grab the second spot in Pool C, with New Zealand finishing 3rd. Malaysia beat New Zealand (3-2): New Zealand started the game stronger and nearly got themselves an early goal with a 3 on 1 attack in the Malaysian circle, but Kingstone’s shot was rather tame in the end. Kane Russell and Razie Rahim were off target from the first penalty corners for both sides as the game started to open up. Malaysia were the first to score as Faizal Saari got a slight touch on a ball into the circle that took it past an onrushing Dixon giving Malaysia a crucial lead. Malaysia had fewer circle penetrations by half time, but they had the better chances to score the second goal of the game through Shello Silverius and Marhan Jalil, with both missing great chances, to keep the score at 1-0 at the break. Second half followed the same pattern as New Zealand kept possession and territory but were well kept out by the Malaysian deep defence, while everytime Malaysia went into attack, they created great scoring opportunities. They added the second goal from their 6th penalty corner as Razie Rahim buried a low drag flick into the bottom left corner of the goal. The final quarter provided pulsating hockey as New Zealand scored twice early in the quarter through Phillips and Lane to temporarily move into the 2nd place on the Pool table, but Malaysia grabbed the lead back with less than 3 minutes left, as Faizal Saari scored his second of the game to get Malaysia the 3 points and 2nd place in Pool C. Netherlands beat Chile (14-0): Netherlands came into the final pool game with 2 near perfect wins, while Chile came in with 2 closely fought contests where they ended up on the losing side. On paper it was an uphill task for Chile to take much from the game and the first half proved that as the Dutch played incredible attacking hockey to score five times in the first half, with Vilder, Thijs and Brinkman scoring once, while Jansen added two from penalty corners. The second half saw Netherlands turn up the pressure to 100 as they scored 6 goals in the 3rd quarter and 3 more in the final quarter. In the process Netherlands broke the record for the biggest win in the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup history, previously held by Australia, when they scored 12 unanswered goals against South Africa in the 2010 Men’s World Cup. For the Dutch, Jip Janssen top scored with 4 penalty corner goals, with captain Thierry Brinkman also grabbing a hattrick in the 59th minute. In total, 8 Dutch players got themselves on the scoresheet as they moved into the quarterfinals in red hot form! England beat Spain (4-0): Spain and England came into the encounter with 3 and 4 points respectively with all positions from 1-4 undecided in Pool D so a win was crucial for both teams. The teams started the first half on even footing, with Spain dominating possession and territory but failing to create any goalscoring opportunity at the end of their moves. England though used their limited opportunities to perfection converting their first penalty corner opportunity through a rebound shot by Phil Roper and adding a second through a David Condon field goal. Spanish players’ shoulders started to drop in the second half as they kept missing from great scoring opportunities and when they got shots on target, English keeper Oliver Payne showed why he is one of the best in the business pulling off a string of impressive saves to maintain England’s run of clean sheets at the World Cup. England then capitalised in the final quarter scoring twice in quick succession to take their goal difference up to 9, with India requiring an 8-goal victory to usurp them and top the table for a direct spot in the quarterfinals. India beat Wales (4-2): India had a mountain to climb if they wanted to earn the top spot in Pool D and qualify for the quarterfinals without having to go through the crossovers, needing to win the game by 8 goals to overtake England in the standings. But Wales were no pushovers and competed well in the first half, keeping India at bay till the 22nd minute. Shamsher finally found the back of the goal for India with a thundering strike after Harmanpreet’s attempted drag flick was run down by the Welsh first rusher. That would be the only goal India would score in the first half as hopes of topping the group faded for the hosts.

HOCKEY - Int News17 Jan 2023

Belgium and Germany end draw: Korea earn big win against Japan
Sports Bulletin Report Odisha (India): First up were Japan and Korea who were searching for their first points having lost their opening encounters against Germany and Belgium respectively. Japan were quick off the block, scoring inside 70 seconds, but Korea stormed back into the game, scoring twice through Lee Jungjun to take the lead inside the half that they would hold on till the end to win 2-1. The result takes Korea to 3 points, while Japan are still in search of their first. Korea beat Japan 2-1 Korea and Japan are two teams known for their defence-first approaches, but it only took Japan 70 seconds to get on the board, as they won an early penalty corner which was powerfully deposited into the right corner of the net by Ken Nagayoshi. Korea would not trail for long though as Lee Jungjun was sent through on the goal by Jang and smartly lifted the ball over the keeper and into the goal. Lee then pounced on a loose ball in the circle in the second quarter to give Korea the lead. Japan had two huge chances to level the score before the end of the half. Koji Yamasaki was the first to miss a gilt-edged chance when he skied his shot with just the keeper to beat. Captain Seren Tanaka then struck the post with a little over a minute left in the half, but the rebound could not be struck in by the Japanese players who had flocked the Korean circle. The second half produced plenty of attacking opportunities but it was the goalkeepers who had the biggest say in the game. Takashi Yoshikawa for Japan and Jaehyeon Kim for Korea were outstanding in the goal. Kim in particular was huge for Korea as Japan mounted attack after attack on the Korean goal in search of an equaliser. Japan earned a penalty corner with 2 seconds left on the clock, but a failed trap at the top of the circle ended Japan’s chances of equalising and Korea walked away from the game with all 3 points. Germany vs Belgium 2-2 Germany and Belgium promised to be a cracking contest and the first quarter delivered on the promise. Belgium earned the first penalty corner of the game and it was nearly scored by Alex Hendrickx, but for a goal line clearance by post defender Müller. Germany then had a glorious chance as a cross from the right fell to Ruhr, but his snap-shot was well saved by Vanasch. Belgium did end up scoring the opener as Charlier dribbled his way through three German defenders and his powerful hit snuck into the bottom left corner of the goal. Belgium continued to dominate possession and territory in the second quarter, but it was Germany who found the goal, with Wellen taking a free hit quickly and smashing a powerful shot from the right that beat Vanasch on the far post and went in to keep the score tied at half-time. The second half remained equally competitive as both teams created plenty of chances but a combination of great keeping by Stadler and some off target shots by German forwards kept the score at 1-1 until the 52nd minute when a push inside the Belgian circle earned Germany a penalty stroke that was dispatched with ease by Tom Grambusch to give Germany a crucial lead. Belgium were back level inside 2 minutes from conceding as an unselfish pass by Denayer presented Wegnez with a great scoring opportunity and he sent his shot into the bottom left corner perfectly. Stadler was once again called upon to make a big save in the 59th minute as Belgium made one final push, but he was up to the task and the teams ended up taking 1 point each from the encounter.

HOCKEY - Int News17 Jan 2023

World Cup: Malaysia, Netherlands and France earn important wins
Sports Bulletin Report Odisha (India): Malaysia were the first team to get on the board, coming back from a goal down twice to beat Chile 3-2. France would replicate them later in the day winning another close contest against South Africa to register their first points in Pool A. Malaysia beat Chile 3-2 Malaysia and Chile came into the opening contest of day 4 knowing it was crucial to get a win, with both teams having faced losses in their opening encounters against Netherlands and New Zealand respectively. Both teams played the contest with an open attacking flair that they had been unable to express in their opening contests. Chile were the first to score from a penalty corner as Juan Amoroso’s drag flick went through the rushing Malaysian defenders and thumped the backboard. Malaysia then struck back as Razie Rahim scored from a penalty stroke. But Chile got their lead back before the half through a smashing reverse shot by Martin Rodriguez. Malaysia had their work cut out if they wanted to win the game in the second half, but they got their act together quickly, scoring twice in the third quarter. Ashran Hamsani got the leveller, acrobatically deflecting a high ball from over his head, into the goal. Norsyafiq Sumantri then put Malaysia in the lead, smartly passing the ball under the keeper on the reverse, after a Malaysian penalty corner attempt was deflected by the first rusher. Chile threatened to pull level in the very last second as they earned a penalty corner, but two massive saves from Malaysian keeper Hafizuddin Othman got Malaysia the win and all 3 points! Netherlands beat New Zealand 4-0 Netherlands were handed a big break inside the first 5 minutes of the game as a poor backward pass from Kane Russell was easily intercepted by Tjep Hoedemakers and he squared up the ball to captain Thierry Brinkman, who had just the keeper to beat, and his powerful shot did jus that. Netherlands added another goal in the first quarter as New Zealand substituted their keeper for an outfield player in a surprising move, which allowed Netherlands to attack the circle and find Koen Bijen who had an open goal to tap the ball into. Thierry Brinkman then added a second goal of his own before the half, as a smart deflection at the top of the circle managed to sneak past the Kiwi keeper who was brought back on in the second quarter. New Zealand were much more composed in defence in the second half, making it a fairly even battle. But the Netherlands would not be denied. They first had the ball in the back of the goal in the final minute of quarter 3, but it was taken away for a foul in the build up. The scoreline wouldn't stay at 3-0 for long though, as Tjep Hoedemakers who was at his industrious best, got on the end of a cross by captain Brinkman to add a 4th goal in the final quarter and make it 6 points out of 6 for the Netherlands. France beat South Africa 2-1 France and South Africa have competed multiple times over the past year in the FIH Hockey Pro League as well as the recently concluded FIH Hockey Men’s Nations Cup. In the Pro League, it was France who got the better of South Africa twice, while South Africa gained the upper hand in the Nations Cup. With both teams facing opening day losses to Argentina and Australia, the head-to-head encounter was crucial for them both to try and win in order to avoid the bottom spot and try to make it to the quarterfinals or the crossovers. Both teams produced attacking hockey as most fans expected, but goals in the first half came through penalty corners for both sides. Victor Charlet was the first to score with a low flick that snuck in between the keeper and the post defender. Connor Beauchamp equalised for South Africa in the 15th minute with an absolute ripper of a drag flick that went over the head of the French keeper and into the goal. The second half followed a similar pattern, but it was Victor Charlet once again who made the difference, perfectly placing a low drag flick into the bottom corner to give France the lead with less than 4 minutes left, that won them the match. Argentina vs Australia 3-3 Australia were the form team of the tournament coming into the game, after winning the first game against France by a massive 8-0 margin. Argentina also came into the game with confidence off the back of a solid victory against South Africa. Argentina began the game on the front foot, forcing turnovers by Australia in their own half, creating shooting opportunities, while the Kookaburras looked tentative. Australia earned a penalty corner with their first foray into the Argentine circle and Jeremy Hayward scored his 4th penalty corner of the tournament to give his team the lead. Argentina struck back early in the second quarter through a Tomas Domene penalty corner but Australia restored their lead with 2 seconds left in the half as a moment of total chaos in the Argentine circle ended with a shot by Daniel Beale that brushed off the keeper's foot and lifted into the goal. Argentina levelled the score right at the start of the second half through the excellent Maico Casella, who scored in a second consecutive game for Argentina. Martin Ferreiro who looked menacing all evening broke the tie with 12 minutes to go, as he was afforded a lot of time and space in the circle and he picked the bottom corner from his reverse shot, with perfection.

HOCKEY - Int News15 Jan 2023

Red Sticks earn their first win as India and England play 0-0 draw
Sports Bulletin Report Bhubaneswar (India): Spain faced off against Wales in game one, with both teams looking for their first goals and first points of the tournament. Spain are the higher ranked side and proved it as they made the big moments count, scoring twice in the first half and thrice in the second half to take all three points. Marc Reyne and Marc Miralles were on the score-sheet twice for the Red Sticks, with captain Alvaro Iglesias adding a fifth. Wales, playing in just their second ever men’s World Cup game, scored their first ever goal through James Carson, to take some positives from the loss. England and India have a recent history of playing tough matches with very little to separate the two teams and that proved to be the case once again as the battle between the two top ranked teams of Pool D ended in a 0-0 draw. Both sides had chances aplenty to score but good defending and lack of composure from attackers in crucial moments kept the score tied and earned the teams a point each. Match 1: Spain beat Wales 5-1 Wales and Spain started off as a fairly even encounter with both teams trading possession and territory in the first quarter and creating scoring opportunities without managing to convert them. Spain gained control of the game in the second quarter and scored twice. Marc Reyne was the first to get on the board before a beautiful team move was finished off by captain Alvaro Iglesias. Wales kept their intent positive in the second half and continued their search for a first goal in the FIH Men’s World Cups, but Spain used the spaces left behind the Welsh defence to add two more goals. Marc Miralles scored the first penalty corner goal for Spain in this World Cup with a thundering low drag flick, before Marc Reyne scored his second goal of the game, to seal his team’s victory. Wales would go on to score their first ever World Cup goal through James Carson in the 53rd minute, but Spain would restore their 4-goal lead 4 minutes later, as Marc Miralles was afforded a lot of space and time on the right side of the Welsh circle, and picked his spot perfectly as Spain earned their first three points in the World Cup. Match 2: England vs India 0-0 England vs India was expected to be a battle for top spot in the Pool D and the first half of the game proved the expectations were accurate as an edgy half of hockey unfolded in the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela in front of a packed crowd, with neither team giving an edge, and neither gaining one. Despite a plethora of penalty corners and opportunities for both teams, there was no finishing touch to be found as teams went into the break at level footing. The second half saw India dominate possession and territory with midfielder Hardik Singh being the standout player, but once again there were no finishing touches to be found in the circle. Mandeep Singh did get the ball in the back of the goal towards the end of the 3rd quarter but the whistle had already been blown for a foul before the goal. Phil Roper was on the end of a great long pass, which just left him with the keeper to beat, but his attempt to lift the ball over Sreejesh went just wide and India breathed a sigh of relief. The final score-line remained 0-0, but a major concern for India will be the health of standout player Hardik Singh who appeared to pull up with a groin injury towards the end of the game.