16 Oct 2014

India put themselves in a good position to make the final of the SOJC by defeating Malaysia 4-2.

The win gives India 9 points from four matches and a win over Australia in Saturday will seal their place in the final.

But the win was not easily obtained as Malaysia overcome a 2-0 deficit to draw level only for India to score twice in the final minutes.

The Malaysians have only themselves to blame as they failed to hold on to the ball, often losing possession at crucial areas of the pitch.

"We only have ourselves to blame as yet again we gave away soft goals and really should have got at least a point," said Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj.

"We have players who lack confidence and we need to get a mental trainer for the team fast."

Malaysia went on the offensive early on and forced a penalty corner in the 12th minute but it came to nought.

And in the very next minute India too wasted a penalty corner of their own.

India then forced three successive penalty corners and of the third Hermanpreet Singh scored India's opening goal in the 25th minute.

And two minutes later Hermanpreet punished Malaysia again with another drag flick into the roof of the net.

Malaysia reduced the deficit in the 37th minute as Sufi Ismat Rohulmin jinxed past two defenders and sent a reverse stick shot into goal to make it India 2 Malaysia 1.

That goal put more life into the Malaysians and in the 42nd minute Azril Misron put the finishing touches to a cross from the right by Norsyafiq Sumantri for the second goal.

Hermanpreet proved his ability in penalty corners as he scored India's third and his hattrick in the 55th minute to give India a 3-2 lead.

India were awarded a penalty stroke in the 65th minute and Varun Kumar put the result beyond doubt by scoring to make it 4-2.

New Zealand registered their first win of the tournament when they defeated Pakistan 3-2.

Both teams only had one point to show prior to this match.

Pakistan had held Australia to a 1-1 draw while New Zealand drew hosts Malaysia, with a similar score line.

This a win would have put the winner in contention for a bronze medal playoff on Sunday.

New Zealand took the lead in the 6th minute as Harry Miskimmnim scored from the top of the semi circle after picking up a rebound.

The Kiwis doubled their advantage in the 19th minute as Nick Woods converted a penalty corner.

Graig Jones got into the scoring act in the 44th minute to make it 3-0 via a penalty corner.

Pakistan staged a fightback as Abu Mahmood converted penalty corners in the 56th and 66th minutes but it was a little too late to salvage a point.

Great Britain maintained their perfect winning record as they edged Malaysia 3-2 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

The home team put up a fight despite going down 2-0 in the opening few minutes.

"We made silly mistakes and that resulted us being two goals down early in the match.

"It is a question of playing consistently and this takes time to build up."

Great Britain had won their two prior matches, 5-0 against Pakistan and 2-0 against India.

As for the home side they lost 2-1 to Australia and drew 1-1 against New Zealand.

The lack of concentration in defense allowed Benjamin James Brignull to score in the fifth minute.

Malaysia looked rattled and it was no surprise the visitors increased their lead in the 6th minute as David Goodfield scored via a deflection.

Malaysia pulled a goal back in the first minute of the second half through Sufi Ismat Rohulmin.

Malaysia were awarded their first penalty corner in the 49th minute but Harry Gibson in the GB goal pulled of a diving save to deny Shahril Saabah the chance to score.

Shahril broke through in the 58th minute and provided a defense splitting pass to Sufi who was denied by the keeper.

Luke Taylor restored the two goal advantage by converting a penalty corner in the 62nd minute.

But Malaysia reduced the deficit as Shahril scored from a direct penalty corner drag flick three minutes later.

However time ran out for Malaysia to salvage a point.

India bounced back Monday's 2-0 loss to Great Britain with an emphatic 6-0 win over arch rival Pakistans in the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium.

"It's good win but there's still lot of areas to improve," said India coach Harendra Singh.

"I'm happy we didnt lose our emotions. The input given to the players were well excuted by them.

"I have to give credit to my players. They switch from fast play to holding the ball very well. It was a display of maturity."

Things were balanced in the opening 15 minutes but India threatened to score from their fast breaks.

India's persistence in putting their rivals under pressure and quick moves forward paid off in the 21st minute as Imran converted a penalty corner after Pakistan goalkeeper Muhammad Khalid had initially saved the flick but had no answers for the rebound.

India doubled their lead through Parvinder Singh from open play in the 34th minute. He deflected in Gurinder Singh's cross.

Armaan Qureshi continued India's potency in front of goal through another field goal in the 49th minute.

India struck the board again just four minutes later, this time through Harmanpreet Singh from a penalty corner. Varun Kumar converted another penalty corner in the 67th minute.

India were not done though. Armaan bagged his second of the game from a penalty corner to make it 6-0 to India


Australia staged a magnificent fightback as they came from three goals down to defeat New Zealand 4-3 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

It was a display of clinical finishing and tremendous team spirit that saw the Aussies bagging all three points and have seven points after 3 matches.

New Zealand lost their opener 2-1 to India and got a point off hosts Malaysia in a 1-1 draw.

Australia had defeated Malaysia 2-1 in their opener and were held by Pakistan 1-1.


Both showed good play. For us we had to make some strategy changes to save the match and more importantly we executed better then on.

" A situation like this match will help their development,  which is why we are here, said Australian coach Ben Bishop.

It took New Zealand only two minutes to find the mark as Nick Woods coolly completed a well worked penalty corner to make it 1-0.

Australia stepped up the pressure and were rewarded with three penalty corners but could not get a decent shot on target.

At the stroke of halftime New Zealand were awarded their fifth penalty corner and this time Danial Panchia took a direct hit that sailed into goal to make it 2-0 at the break.

The Kiwis went 3-0 ahead in the 41st minute through Kim Kingstone.

The Auusie fightback started in the 51st minute as Andrew Scanlon converted a penalty corner.

Three minutes later as Joshua Brethern scored to reduce the deficit to 3-2.

Australia were on level terms in the 57th minute as Oliver Crane scored an opportunistic goal.

Max Hendry put Australia in the lead with a goal from an acute angle.

And New Zealand never recovered from it as the Aussies celebrated at the final whistle. 

Malaysia and New Zealand played to a 1-1 draw at the Teaman Daya Stadium.

Both the teams had lost their opening matches on Sunday.

Malaysia were beaten 2-1 by Australia while New Zeland lost by the same score line to India.

"Some players did not deliver what they were supposed to and I need to sort some players are in a comfort zone," said Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj.

" We really should have got all three points today and need to improve certain aspects of our play."

Thus it was understandable both teams were a bit apprehensive in the first few minutes of the match.

Malaysia came close in the 6th minute but the attempt by Norsyafiq Sumantri bounced off the upright.

But the home team were not to be denied as Mohd Najmi Jazlan converted a penalty corner with a clever set- piece in the 12th minute to give Malaysia the lead.

Although New Zealand were awarded two penalty corners, they failed to capitalize on them and at halftime Malaysia led 1-0.

However the Kiwis increased the match tempo and deservingly were level in the 49th minute through an opportunistic strike by Ben Radovonich.

The Kiwis forced another two penalty corners in the 60th and 65th minutes but could not get a shot on target.

In the end the draw was a fair reflection of the match.

13 Oct 2014

Australia and Pakistan played a 1-1 draw in their second Sultan of Johor Cup match at the Taman Daya Stadium.

The teams got off a slow start in the opening half as they struggled to find an opening.

The Australians enjoyed a larger share of the possession, literally camping in Pakistan's half but the Asians held their nerves at the back.

Pakistan showed more intent in the second half and they put the Australians on the back foot from the start of the second half.

Mohsin Sabir saw his attempt roll across the goal line in the 49th minute but two minutes later Naveed Muhammad dribbled past several defenders before slotting home for the lead.

But the Australian refused to sit back. They went forward in search of an equaliser. Their penalty corner effort in the 60th minute saw India concede a penalty stroke, which Andrew Scanlon duly converted.

Pakistan had to endure a late Aussie onslaught but goalkeeper Muhammad Khalid was at the top of his game.

The custodian also picked up the man of the match award.

Great Britain registered their second consecutive win of the SOJC when they defeated India 2-0 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

Having blanked Pakistan 5-0 in the first match on Sunday, Great Britain played a good tactical game to take all three points and are early favorites to make next Sunday's final.

"We are obviously delighted with the win and importantly the players are growing in confidence," said Great Britain team manager Stephen Floyd.

The start of the match was delayed for an hour due to adverse weather conditions.

And the king wait somewhat affected the play of both sides as they hardly created moves that could create goals.

Play picked up in the closing stages of the first half as Great Britain had more possession and used the width of the pitch to maximum advantage.

Great Britain took the lead in the 29th minute as Benjamin Boon scored with a reverse stick hit.

And in the 49th minute Samuel French doubled the advantage for Great Britain with a snap shot that beat Indian custodian Abhinav Pandey all the way.

"We need to work on our finishing as well as penalty corners," said Indian coach Harendra Singh.

Australia edged Malaysia 2-1 in their opening match at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

The match failed to live up to its billing as both teams were scrappy and were guilty of making basic errors.

And in the end two fatal mistakes by the Malaysian defense cost them the match on a day the Aussies somehow forgot how to score from penalty corners.

With Taman Daya Stadium packed to the brim, the home team were not short of support.

"We played well but lacked the finesse in the final quarter of the pitch," said Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj.

"That coupled with defensive lapses cost us the match."

And they had a great start when they were awarded a penalty stroke which was duly converted by skipper Hazriq Shamsul in the 4th minute.

But Australia were undeterred and were on level terms four minutes later as Will Gilmour was unchallenged as he waltzed past a static defense to score.

And it was another moment of hesitation by the Malaysian defenders who allowed Joshua Bheterton to score with relative ease.

Malaysia also survived five Australian penalty corners in the first half as the teams trooped off at the breather with Australia leading 2-1.

Malaysia were awarded their first penalty corner in the 44th minute but with ace Shahril Saabah off the pitch, it went to waste.

With Australia contend to hold on to their lead, all they did was to slow the match and frustrate the home team.

Despite the win the Aussies will surely go back to the drawing board as they muffed seven penalty corners in the match.

India held off a late challenge from New Zealand to win 2-1 in their Sultan of Johor Cup opener at the Taman Daya Stadium.

Both teams struggled to settle down in the match and will have to raise their game tomorrow.

India took an early lead through Parvinder Singh's field goal just five minutes into the match.

They doubled their lead after Varun Kumar hit the board from a penalty corner in the 43rd minute. 

The Kiwis struck back ten minutes later as it was Nic Woods turn to score from the penalty corner. New Zealand had another penalty corner after the hooter but could not convert.

"India deserved the credit. They played well and made it very challenging," said New Zealand coach Bryce Collins.

"We will look at the Malaysia match on television and need to prepare well. It's always tough playing Malaysia at home."

New Zealand play Malaysia at 8.05pm tonight.

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