Tuesday, 29 Nov 2022 About Us Privacy policy TERMS AND CONDITIONS Contact Us
HOCKEY - FIH Pro League News
Venues and timings confirmed for FIH Pro League 2022-23
Sports Bulletin Report Lausanne (Switzerland):-The International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the FIH Hockey Pro League participating nations have confirmed the venues for the season 2022-23. According to a press release of FIH, the timing and venues for the Season 2022-23 of FIH’s global league for national teams  ‘Hockey at its Best’ have been confirmed, which will run from 28 October 2022 to 5 July 2023. Australian city Newcastle Hobart, Mendoza, Santiago del Estero (Argentine), Belgium: Antwerp (Belgium), London (England), Bhubaneswar, Rourkela (India), Eindhoven, Amsterdam (Holland) and Christchurch, Wellington (New Zealand) will stage the pro-hockey league’s fixtures. As already announced in March, a new schedule - based on a series of “mini-tournaments” where several teams will gather in one venue to play two matches against each other - will come into force for this new Pro League season. This format will have a major positive impact on players’ welfare and the environment, thanks to a substantial reduction in the amount of travel needed for each team and the officials. Another great advantage of this revised format is that it increases the number of dates available for athletes to compete in their domestic leagues and club competitions. Furthermore, this season will see the implementation of a promotion-relegation principle for the very first time, with the team finishing last being relegated, while the team winning the 2022 FIH Hockey Nations Cup – a new event – being promoted for the 2023-2024 Pro League season. FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: “The integration of the promotion-relegation principle will substantially add to the excitement around Pro League. Also, the new format is beneficial to everyone, athletes, National Associations, clubs and fans in particular. We’re glad to welcome some new venues for this season; this is great for the growth of our sport! We’re very much looking forward to the fourth edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League”. 
Netherlands hit super six against China and India finish campaign on a high against USA
Sports Bulletin Report Lausanne (Switzerland):-It was a bitter sweet moment for USA's Lauren Moyer as she celebrated 100 international caps for her team but then suffered a 4-0 loss at the hands of an impressive India team. For the Eves this was a great result as it meant they finished their first season in the FIH Pro League in third place. United States v India (women) – HC Rotterdam, Rotterdam (NED) The first quarter was goalless although Devi Shamila had a golden opportunity to score when she received the ball with only goalkeeper Kelsey Bing to beat. Shamila scuffed the shot and USA breathed a sigh of relief. For their part, USA won two penalty corners were unable to convert. The second quarter also remained goalless although India created a number of chances, mainly in the form of penalty corners. Three penalty corners in quick succession were all wasted as either the injection or the trap were not good enough to provide Gurjit Kaur with a clean shooting opportunity. The breakthrough came in the 39th minute when Katariya Vandana was on the scoresheet for the second consecutive day. She got the slightest deflection to a Gurjit Kaur penalty corner strike. The shot was hard and on target and the touch from Vandana was just enough to send the ball home past Kelsey Bing. That goal opened the door for India. There were two more goals in quick succession, firstly from Vandana and then Sonika. In both cases, the ball was played swiftly from player to player and the final pass put the striker in front of the goal. The fourth goal came courtesy of a fabulous surging run down the Indian left hand side of the pitch by Nikki Pradhan. Her pass found Kumari Sangita, who only had the goalkeeper to beat. A good advantage by the umpire Bruce Bale, meant Sangita was able to continue the move and slot the ball home. Player of the Match,  Tete Salima (IND), said: 'That was a tough game. Today was our last [FIH Pro League] match so we wanted to finish well. The second half we played much better and the result was four goals.' China v Netherlands (women) - HC Rotterdam, Rotterdam (NED) The first half of the match between China and Netherlands was all about the Netherlands as they romped to a 3-0 lead. China were far less solid in defence compared to the previous day and they added to the pressure by repeatedly losing possession, often in their own defensive quarter. The opening goal was scored by Maria Verschoor, adding to her goal from the previous day. That was followed just three minutes later when Felice Albers picked up the ball on the Netherlands' defensive 25 and then ran the length of the pitch before firing past Li Xinhuan who was starting in the China goal. Frederique Matla scored the next three goals. The first was a fierce penalty corner in the second half and then the tall striker sent two beautifully taken penalty strokes into the goal at the start of the third quarter. The pressure from the Dutch was unrelenting for the remainder of the third quarter. Only some great running at penalty corners by Li Hong prevented a stream of goals. Just before the final break China's woes were increased when the goalkeeper made the decision to try to challenge Lidewij Welten outside the circle. Welten inevitably nicked the ball, before rounding the stranded 'keeper and scoring an easy goal. Player of the Match Felice Albers (NED) said: 'It was a great performance, we scored some nice goals. We discussed about defending on the right and we did that well today. Eva de Goede is a great player and we are very happy that she is back.' Result: Women’s Match #70 USA 0, India 4 Player of the Match: Tete Salima (IND) Umpires: Liu Xiaoying (CHN), Bruce Bale (ENG) Laurine Delforge (BEL -video) Result: Women’s Match #69 China 0, Netherlands 6 Player of the Match: Felice Albers (NED) Umpires: Laurine Delforge (BEL), Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL), Bruce Bale (ENG-video), Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL)
Dutch men secure Pro League title, Leonas sweeten their title going undefeated
Sports Bulletin Report Lausanne (Switzerland):-Argentina became the first women’s team to go undefeated in Pro League play after their 3-2 win over India today. Meanwhile, the USA showed the result of their constant improvement with a 2-1 win over China, also the Americans’ first win in the season. The Belgian women also dropped England 4-1 to overcome yesterday’s result. The standings are set as a 2-1 win for the Dutch men over India secured them the top of the FIH Pro League, while Belgium sit second and India finish third. Belgium had a convincing 5-0 win over England in today’s match after scoring three goals in the final minutes on an untended English goal. Results (FIH Pro League June 19, 2022)  HC Rotterdam, Rotterdam (NED) Result: Women’s Match #65 China 1, USA 2 Player of the Match: Lauren Moyer (USA) Umpires: Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL), Ivona Makar (CRO), Jakub Mejzlik (CZE-video) Result: Women’s Match #64 India 2, Argentina 3 Player of the Match: Eugenia Trinchinetti (ARG) Umpires: Liu Xiaoying (CHN), Laurine Delforge (BEL), Ivana Makar (CRO-video) Result: Men’s Match #69 Netherlands 2, India 1 Player of the Match: Lars Balk (NED) Umpires: Jakub Mejzlik (CZE), Bruce Bale (ENG), Laurine Delforge (BEL-video) Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London (ENG) Result: Women’s Match #66 England 1, Belgium 4 Player of the Match: Stephanie vanden Borre (BEL) Umpires: Alison Keogh (IRL), Michelle Meister (GER), Coen van Bunge (NED-video) Result: Men’s Match #70 England 0, Belgium 5 Player of the Match: Victor Wegnez (BEL) Umpires: Coen van Bunge (NED), Alison Keogh (IRL), Michelle Meister (GER-video)
Shootout victories favour India women and Netherlands, England men
Sports Bulletin Report Lausanne (Switzerland):-It was a busy day of FIH Pro League action both at HC Rotterdam and the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London. In women’s competition, two goals from Hong Li propelled China 3-2 over the USA on neutral soil, while the Indian women charged back to take the Argentina Leonas to a 2-2 tie and ultimately earn a 2-1 shootout victory. The England women rallied back with an exciting second half to beat Belgium 2-1. On the men’s side both games of the day needed a shootout to decide the winner. Netherlands and India went to a 2-2 tie after a last second Harmanpreet drag flick forced the tie. Four-straight shootout goals gave the Dutch the 4-1 shootout win and extra point. In London, England drew 2-2 with Belgium and then the home side put on a classy shootout performance to score three and take the bonus point. FIH Pro League – 18 June 2022 HC Rotterdam, Rotterdam (NED) Result: Women’s Match #62 China 3, USA 2 Player of the Match: Hong Li (CHN) Umpires: Laurine Delforge (BEL), Ivona Makar (CRO), Bruce Bale (ENG-video) Result: Women’s Match #61 India 3, Argentina 3 (2-1 shootout) Player of the Match: Lalremsiani (IND) Umpires: Liu Xiaoying (CHN), Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL), Ivona Makar (CRO-video) Result: Men’s Match #67 Netherlands 2, India 2 (4-1 Shootout) Player of the Match: Thijs van Dam (NED) Umpires: Jakub Mejzlik (CZE), Bruce Bale (ENG), Laurine Delforge (BEL-video) Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London (ENG) Result: Women’s Match #63 England 2, Belgium 1 Player of the Match: Fiona Crackles (ENG) Umpires: Alison Keogh (IRL), Michelle Meister (GER), Coen van Bunge (NED-video) Result: Men’s Match #68 England 2, Belgium 2 (3-0 shootout) Player of the Match: David Goodfield (ENG) Umpires: Paul Walker (ENG), Coen van Bunge (NED), Michelle Meister (GER-video)
Germany men finish on a high; Belgium men and women do double over India
Sports Bulletin Report Lausanne, Switzerland:-It was a day of drama, late goals, sublime skills, mesmerising teamwork and magnificent individual performances. As the FIH Hockey Pro League nears its final stages, the hockey action on offer has reached extraordinary levels. Whether it is the sheer power of a Stephanie vanden Borre penalty corner, the precision of a Xan de Waard pass or the teamwork that led to the India men's opening goal, the choice of best moments runs long following this weekend of hockey. Spain kicked things off by overcoming a spirited and resolute USA team. Netherlands women looked ominously good as they outplayed Germany, while Germany men turned the tables on the Netherlands when they grabbed the momentum and all three points after a sparkling second half performance. Belgium men and women both found success against India, albeit in very different ways. Belgium Red Panthers seemed to hit a new gear as they strode to a comprehensive 5-0 victory. The men had to battle to the final seconds of a game that was full of everything that is good about hockey – pace, skill, teamwork and the courage to take risks. FIH Pro League (Results): Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein-Antwerp (BEL) Result: Men’s Match 65 Belgium 3, India 2 Player of the Match: Arthur de Sloover (BEL) Umpires: David Tomlinson (NZL), Coen van Bunge (NED) Caroline van de Leur (BEL) Result: Men’s Match 64 Germany 4, Netherlands 1 Player of the Match: Teo Hinrichs (GER) Umpires: Bruce Bale (ENG), Jakob Mejzlik (CZE), Ivona Makar (CRO - Video) Result: Women’s Match 58 Spain 3, USA 2 Player of the Match: Georgina Oliva (ESP) Umpires: Laurine Delforge (BEL), Liu Xiaoying (CHN), David Tomlinson (NZL -video) Result: Women’s Match 59 Germany 1, Netherlands 3 Player of the Match: Laurien Leurink (NED) Umpires: Celine Martin-Schmets (BEL), Ivona Makar (CRO),  Jakub Mejzlik (CZE-video) Result: Women's Match 60 Belgium 5, India 0 Player of the Match: Umpires: Hannah Harrison (ENG) Liu Xiaoying (CHN) Michelle Meister (GER- video)
Boon strikes again as Belgium men continue to climb league table
Sports Bulletin Report Lausanne (Switzerland):-It was another two goals for Tom Boon as Belgium beat South Africa 4-2 and inched ever closer to the top of the FIH Pro League. Their rivals for the second place in the league, India, who play Belgium on Saturday were watching in the stands. Boon's brace means he is four goals behind Harmanpreet Singh at the top of the goalscoring table. In the women's match between Belgium and China, umpire Celine Martin-Schmets won her golden whistle as she took charge of her 100th senior international match. The match itself was a tepid affair with both teams playing cagey hockey. A 1-1 draw was a fair reflection of the match. China's recent experiences and wins in the shoot-out against England and Spain gave the team the edge in this shoot-out, which they won 2-0. . Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein-Antwerp (BEL) Result: Men’s Match 61 Belgium beat South Africa 4-2 Player of the Match: Florent van Aubel (BEL) Umpires: David Tomlinson (NZL), Coen van Bunge (NED) Liu Xiaoying (CHN-video) Result: Women’s Match 54 Belgium 1, China 1 (China won shoot-out 2-0) Player of the Match: Zhang Zindan (CHN) Umpires: Celine Martin-Schmets (BEL), Liu Xiaoying (CHN), David Tomlinson (NZL -video)  
Argentina fall to Netherland's three minute goal-fest
Sports Bulletin Report Lausanne (Switzerland):-A three minute, three goal burst by the Netherlands turned the second match against Argentina on its head after the South American team had taken an early lead. Argentina took the lead after Agustin Mazilli played a lovely ball into the circle and Martin Ferreira was able to send a reverse shot past Pirmin Blaak in the Dutch goal. Going into the half-time break, Argentina looked the more comfortable. Unlike the previous day’s encounter, their defence had looked strong and in control and the goal from Ferreira had given the team a cushion. However, the Dutch team that trooped off the pitch at half-time came back with a renewed vigour and a sense of attacking purpose that swiftly paid dividends. First, Jonas de Geus was able to deflect home a penalty corner. This gave the host nation attacking momentum and 60 seconds later Steijn van Heijningen scored his first international goal. It is one that will be long remembered by both the player and the spectators. Van Heijningen took the ball wide to the left and at the very edge of the Argentina circle, before unleashing a shot that flew past Tomas Santiago’s left shoulder. The third goal was tame in comparison but vital to give the host nation a comfortable lead. Koen Bijen latched onto a ball that was threaded into the circle. He then dinked it over the keeper to give his team a 3-1 lead. That lead deserved to be extended in the final minute of the third quarter as Terrance Pieters and Derck de Vilder wove their way through the Argentina defence with a neat series of passes that showed a level of understanding between the two players that belied their relatively few number of caps. No further goals were scored although Argentina's Nicolas della Torre will rue some missed penalty corner opportunities as Argentina really piled on the pressure in the final quarter. Player of the Match Joep de Mol (NED) said: 'The win was good but the three points were more important. We played well but went 1-0 down. We picked it up in the second half. We attacked the circle far more and with far more aggression in the second half.' Result: Men’s Match 56 Netherlands 3, Argentina 1 Player of the Match: Joep de Mol (NED) Umpires: Dan Barstow (ENG), Christian Blasch (GER) Jonas van t'Hek (NED-video)
Early high tempo from Netherlands shuts door on Argentina
Sports Bulletin Report Lausanne (Switzerland):-The Netherlands returned to FIH Hockey Pro League action with a scintillating first half performance against Argentina. The host nation were unable to sustain the tempo but by the time they ran out of steam, the game was beyond Argentina's reach. It is four months since the Dutch last played FIH Pro League hockey; on that occasion they beat France 5-1, but the men in orange started with an energy and flow that immediately put Argentina on the back foot. For their part, Argentina are on the verge of completing their FIH Pro League matches, with tomorrow’s (2 June) match their final fixture. They currently sit in third place in the league and will now be relying on other team’s to decide their final position. Jair van der Horst and Bram van Battum both scored on debut. Van der Horst’s goal was within three minutes of the start of the game and the newcomer’s first touch on the ball. Van Battum’s goal was a perfect example of how a squaerial (an aerial that goes cross pitch) can change the angle of attack. Van Battum was in the perfect position to receive a pass and shoot home. Jip Janssen completed a trio of goals in the first half with a powerful penalty corner strike that went through Tomas Santiago’s legs in the Argentina goal. Netherlands started the second half in much the same fashion. Two quick goals from Koen Bijen and Tjep Hoedemakers gave the team a seemingly indomitable 5-0 lead. Bijen’s goal was a well struck shot from the edge of the D and then Bijens turned provider as he laid on a perfect pass for Hoedemakers to run onto. A yellow card for Stein van Heijningen was the catalyst for a change in momentum and Argentina took full advantage. First Nicolas della Torre whipped home a penalty corner that left Pirmin Blaak just watching it go past him and then Martin Ferreiro was on hand to send a second goal past Blaak. Argentina piled on the pressure in the final 20 minutes of the match and were unfortunate not to find more reward for their efforts. After such a scintillating start, Jeroen Delmee will be seeking to understand how his team looked to have so rapidly drained of energy and ideas on the pitch. Player of the Match, Derck de Vilder (NED) said:  'The feeling of being voted Player of the Match is great. I am very happy that we won. The first half we played man to man and it went well. In the second half, we switched to zonal marking and we had trouble with that and couldn't find each other.’ Nicolas della Torre (ARG) said:  ‘The first quarter was very uncomfortable for us and we made a lot of mistakes. After that, getting back into the game was difficult. But, we have come a long way and we want to get a good result for our final match, so we will look to improve tomorrow.’ Result: Men’s Match 55 Netherlands 5, Argentina 2 Player of the Match: Derck de Vilder Umpires: Dan Barstow (ENG) Jonas van t'Hek (NED), Christian Blasch (GER-video)
Hosts victorious as Dutch women, Belgian men and England teams earn points
Sports Bulletin Report Lausanne (Switzerland):-An always the highly-anticipated match up between the Netherlands women and Argentina did not disappoint. A penalty corner goal from each side sent the game to a shootout. The brilliant Dutch scored four straight and thanks to two saves from keeper Josine Koning the Netherlands earned the bonus point. Over in London, the hosts, England, powered their way to a 3-1 win over the always tenacious Spanish side. Netherlands beat Argentina 1-1 (4-2) (women) – HC Union, Nijmegen (NED) As expected, it was an energetic match from start to finish between the Netherlands and Argentina. There were plenty of penalty corner chances on both sides, while stellar goalkeeping and stingy defence made chances of a field goal a stiff feat. Penalty corner finishes from Dutch flicker Frédérique Matla and Argentina’s ace deflector Maria Granatto left the game level 1-1. Four-straight shootout finishes and two saves from the Netherlands secured the home team the extra point. In the opening quarter Argentina had a pair of penalty corner chances. Agustina Gorzelany, the league’s current top goal scorer, ricocheted a rocket flick off the cross bar forcing the Dutch to scramble to clear the ball. Lidewij Welten expertly ran down Gorzelany’s second attempt minutes later and the teams settled for a scoreless quarter. Frédérique Matla showed great composure in the circle in the 29th minute to find the foot of Argentine defender Victoria Sauze. Matla was the beneficiary of her own hard work as her drag flick beat Belen Succi stick side to give the Netherlands a 1-0 lead heading into half time. The Leonas continued to hunt down a response despite lots of opportunity in the Netherlands circle. A back-hand cross from Agustina Albertarrio appeared to beat Josine Koning in the Dutch goal but Maria Granatto couldn’t get the finishing touch. Quality defence kept both teams off the scoresheet in the third quarter. Argentina finally found their equalizer in the final minutes of the game. A textbook finish on a penalty corner delivery from Gorzelany found the stick of Maria Granatto for an expert deflection to draw the game 1-1. Agustina Albertarrio forced a penalty corner with 55 seconds to go but Gorzelany’s flick was brilliantly steered away by Netherlands post-player Sanne Koolen. In the shootout, Netherlands keeper Koning steered Victoria Granatto wide for the opening shot and from there the Dutch went four-for-four to secure the extra point. Matla’s spin, Yibbi Jansen’s patient back-hand, Kyra Fortuin’s flick and Xan deWaard’s calm finish were enough to overcome the skilled Leonas. Argentina did notch finishes from Albertarrio on the back-hand and Gorzelany on a penalty stroke after Trinchinetti’s attempt but the Leonas were left to settle for the single point. England beat South Africa (men) 4-2 at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London England came out with a solid 4-2 victory over the always-unpredictable South African side who rallied for two fourth-quarter goals. The opening quarter saw skipper David Condon unmarked at the top of the circle but his high shot blasted wide of the South African cage. Then, the right foot of keeper Siyavuya Nolutshungu denied a low Sam Ward flick booked for the corner. In the 10th minute Nick Bandurak put away a penalty corner flick with power and precision, beating Nolutshungu glove side just above the back board. A solid second quarter from England gave the home side a 3-0 edge by half time. Bandurak scored his second of the game in the 19th minute as his flick ricocheted off defender Jesthro Eustice to make it 2-0. South African keeper Gowan Jones denied Ward on yet another penalty corner flick but a low drag flick from Christopher Griffiths gave England their third penalty corner goal. It was nearly 4-0 as Condon had a goal disallowed and then Jones denied Condon on a one-timer from close range. England did find their fourth goal as Griffiths fed a perfectly weighted ball into the South African circle. A full sprawled Ward beautifully deflected the ball up and over Jones to make it 4-0 for England. Despite the England scoring showcase, South Africa are never to be counted out. A superb 3D skill performance on the baseline from Bradley Sherwood gave South Africa a penalty corner late in the fourth. Ace flicker Matthew Guise-Brown unleashed a deceptive shot down the middle to break James Mazarelo’s chance at a shutout. South Africa capitalized on the momentum shift when Keenan Horne weathered a tough challenge from English defender Timothy Nurse and blasted a shot far post to give the visitors their second goal. A yellow card to Sherwood in the 55th minute made it tough for South Africa to salvage the full comeback. England beat Spain (women) 3-1 at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London The England women earned three points over Spain in a 3-1 victory at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. England proved to be in control through the majority of the game but Spain did have several quality chances to get back in to it. Giselle Ansley opened the scoring in the 22nd minute off a low penalty corner flick that deflected in off the foot of Spain post player Xantal Gine. Before half time England doubled their lead. A well-worked free hit allowed a quick release from Flora Peel into the circle. The ball found the stick of Holly Hunt, who was jumped on by the Spanish defence, but fantastic advantage from Scottish umpire Sarah Wilson allowed play to continue. A calm, cool Lily Owsley drew around the sliding pads of Jana Martínez to make it 2-0 for England. Spain’s Xantal Gine blasted a shot off a penalty corner in the 41th minute to bring Spain within one. It was a sigh of relief for coach Adrian Lock who had watched his team fall short on earlier penalty corners. Despite their hard work Spain couldn’t keep England at bay for long and five minutes later Grace Balsdon released a penalty corner flick that went off the toe of keeper Melanie Garcia to make it 3-1. Spain nearly closed the lead when a ball from Beatriz Perez into the English circle popped up for Begoña Garcia to deflect down. The ball rolled past the open goal line for Florencia Amundson, who was tangled amongst two defenders, and couldn’t put it in. With Spain pulling their keeper in the final moments, Sophie Hamilton shot one wide of the empty cage but the damage had already been done. England celebrated the three points and the recovery after a pair of losses to China a week ago at the same venue.  Belgium beat France (men) 2-1 at Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein, Antwerp It was a game of penalty corner finishes as Belgium buried two in the game to France’s one to take the first three points of the double-header weekend. It was a level opening quarter as both teams had to weather periods of frantic defence. Belgium did have a lot of territory and possession but were unable to really test French keeper Arthur Thieffry. France’s Etienne Tynevez had the most quality attempt at goal but his back-hand was challenged well by a sliding Loic van Doren, in goal for Belgium. Tom Boon thought he might be the one to provide the opening goal heroics but he didn’t get his usual power behind the shot and the out-stretched toe of Thieffry steered the ball wide. France’s stingy defence was put to work and it was not until the 24th minute that Belgium broke the deadlock. A penalty corner finish from Tanguy Cosyns flew off the glove of Thieffry and under the crossbar to make it 1-0 for Belgium heading into halftime. Belgium found their game-winner on a penalty corner rebound. Tom Boon’s flick went straight down the pipe and the rebound came back to the top. Cedric Charlier made no mistake burying a rocket back-hander to make it 2-0. France were able to find a consolation goal in the final seconds of the game as Victor Charlet made his penalty corner drag look easy, finding the bottom corner glove side and breaking van Doren’s shutout.
Sole goal for Spain means double defeat for France; Argentina women top table with perfect 10
Sports Bulletin Report Lausanne, Switzerland: After the six-goal thriller the previous day, Spain and France men's side confounded spectators and each other with an equally fast-paced match but with only one goal to show for their efforts. It took until the final moments of the game for Red Sticks' Joaquin Menini to finally find a way past the excellent Arthur Thieffry in the French goal. Argentina women continued winning ways, making it 10 wins from 10 matches after a second 3-1 victory over China. The FIH Pro League leaders were made to work for their win after China took the lead through a Gu Bingfeng penalty corner strike. Spain beat France (men) 1-0 The host nation were the dominant force in this second match between Spain and France but, despite 31 circle entries, 12 shots and six penalty corner attempts, it was a sole, scrambled goal in the dying seconds of the match that finally separated the teams and gave Spain their third win of this season’s Pro League. The opening quarter saw both teams continue at the same high pace they had employed in the previous day’s encounter. While both sides created chances, there was no breakthrough for either team. Spain had the greater share of possession and won a series of four penalty corners but the French defence, led by goalkeeper Arthur Thieffry, stood strong. The second quarter followed much the same traits. There were a lot of fast, direct attacking runs by both teams but these were met by well-structured defensive units. Spain again were the marginally better team but there was really very little to choose between the sides. At the half-time break, Max Caldas called for his team to up the ante, and play faster but simple hockey. His counterpart, the French Head Coach Fred Soyez said he was relatively pleased with the way his team were performing, particularly with the way they were soaking up the pressure from Spain. Despite an even higher playing tempo and a number of penalty corners, particularly in the case of Spain, the goals remained elusive. Arthur Thieffry was in fine form in the French goal but Spain’s lack of variation at penalty corners did make the task somewhat easier. Andreas Rafi almost carved out a solo goal but again Thieffry was there to halt his progress. The match had all the makings of a draw but, as so often happens when Spain are on the pitch, there was late drama. The ball was played into the French circle and despite the best efforts of Thieffry to clear it, the final touch came from Joaquin Menini, who scrambled the ball over the line to give his team the lead. Argentina beat China 3-1 (women)   As in the first encounter between these two teams, it was a goalless first quarter. At this point however, all comparison ceases as China played with far more intent and attacking force than the previous day, asking many questions of their higher ranked opposition. At the end of 15 minutes, the two teams had both had penalty corner attempts and the game was expansive, unlike the previous encounter when China had set up a half court press and sat behind it. It was four minutes into the second quarter when China’s attacking ambitions paid dividends. Gu Bingfeng stepped up to send home a fantastic drag flick to give her side the lead. Where the Asian side could have then been forgiven if they had sat back to defend the lead, they instead continued to play attacking hockey that both challenged Argentina and asked more questions of them. The scores were levelled in the third quarter through a neat piece of work from Julieta Jankunas. The striker latched onto a perfectly placed pass from Maria Granatto and the ball flew between the goalkeeper Lui Ping and the post. China nearly took the lead again when a superb aerial pass from midfield was picked up in the Argentina circle but Argentina’s Clara Barbieri was on hand to smother that and save the subsequent penalty corner strike. Argentina finally found their groove and put together some impressive passing patterns to put China on the back foot. In the fourth quarter, Agustina Gorzelany stepped up to send home a penalty corner and then Eugenia Trincihnetti was on hand to touch home a jinking pass from Maria Granatto. Although the 3-1 scoreline is a repeat of the first match between the two sides, new Head Coach Alyson Annan will be pleased by the improvements all over the pitch that China has made from one game to the next.