Sunday, June 14, 2009


Australia gave Pakistan a lesson in hockey as they trashed the Asian giants 6-1 in a Group F match at the Junior World Cup in Johor Bahru.

The Aussie performance will undoubtedly make them strong favourites to march into the semi finals from a group that also comprises of New Zealand and South Korea.

Pakistan had no answer to the speed and precision of the Aussies as they sliced through their defence at will to hammer in five goals.

Although Pakistan had a dream start when Haseem Khan gave them the lead in the very first minute, they soon lost their plot as Australia dictated play.

Australia were back into the game when Timothy Bates equalized in the 15th minute and never looked back after that.

Pakistan could not cope with the pace of the Aussies and kept giving the ball away, but Australia did not capitalize.

Australia scored their second through Kieren Govers in the 20th minute before skipper Joshua White converted a penalty corner to give the Aussies a 3-1 lead four minutes later.

Australia were reduced to 10 men when Joshua Pollard was sent to the sin bin for playing the ball above his shoulder in the very next minute and this handed the initiative to the Pakistanis.

In the second half Australia added three more goals through Govers (41st minute), Matt Ghodes (64th minute) and Jacob Whetton (68th minute)

In Singapore, defending champions Argentina lost 3-1 to Germany despite taking the lead.

Argentina scored in the 28th minute through Augustin Mazzali with Germany netting the equalizer in the 33rd minute via Martin Hamer.

The Germans scored two late goals through Felix Oldhafer (63rd minute) and Patrick Schmidt (68h minute) to cast serious doubts on the ability of Argentina to retain the trophy.

In the 9th to 16th classification match at Johor Baru, hosts Malaysia w lost 2-1 to Poland.

The Malaysians looked jittery and were slow to adapt to the second pitch as this was the first time they played on that ground.

They kept conceding penalty corners and were guilty of giving the ball away to their opponents. And Poland took full advantage to score in the 28th minute through Piotr Baniewicz.

Faizal Saari scored the equalizer with his trade mark reverse stick from the top of the semi circle in the 33rd minute.

But Poland had the last say as Szymon Oszyjczyk scored five minutes from the end to give them full points and putting a dent to the Malaysian hopes of finishing 9th or 10th.

“We played our worst games today and the result is reflective of our performance,” said Malaysian coach K. Rajan.

“The defenders fell asleep and gave Poland so much of room so much so that we were laying out a red carpet to them to attack at will.

“It will be difficult but not impossible to finish 9th but our destiny is no longer in our hands as we have to hope some results go our way.

Their best ever achievement in world hockey was the Olympic gold medal in Montreal in 1976.

In the Junior World Cup they were not given a chance to make the second round but defied odds to edge out Asian giants India.

And their fairytale run continued at the Johor Bahru Hockey Stadium as New Zealand held Asian powerhuse South Korea to a 3-3 draw.

But New Zealand will be cursing their luck as they had taken a 2-0 lead only to hand the initiative to Korea who led 3-2 at one stage before the Kiwis rallied back to share the spoils.

The Black Sticks opened scoring in the 19th minute when Simon Childs scored. And they doubled their advantage through Stephen Jeness in the 26th minute.

But Korea fought back and in their second penalty corner, Jeong Yun Sang converted to reduce the deficit.

Korea stepped up the pressure but could not find a way past the Kiwi defence and the score at halftime stood at 2-1 in favour of New Zealand.

Korea found the equalizer in the 56th minute through Kang Moon Kweon before Jeong converted a penalty stroke I the 63rd minute to give them a 3-2 lead. But the Kiwis managed to equalize three minutes later through Joseph Barthmelow.

“ We were careless in midfield and let New Zealand take control and that is why we were 2-0 at one stage of the match,” said Korean coach Kim Jong Yi

“I had confidence in my players and instructed them to start pressing the Kiwis when they had possession.

“I am happy with the draw as it is one point rather then having none. Our game against Australia will determine our fate.”

In Singapore, Holland outclassed reigning European champion Spain 3-0 at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium.

It was sweet revenge for the Dutch as Spain had beaten them 1-0 in Euro U21 finals last year.

Hollad got their goals via Klaas Vermeulen (12th minute), Mink van der Weerden (33rd minute) and Valentin Verga (58th minute)

In a Group H classification match, Egypt showed their fighting capabilities as they came back from a 2-0 deficit to hold South Africa to a 2-2 draw thus keeping their hopes of a 9/10th placing very much alive.

Mohd Edris was the hero for Egypt as he converted a penalty corner in the 70th minute to earn hs team a draw.

South Africa had scored through Anthony Vervoot in the 21st minute and Brandon Panther in the 47th minute. Egypt reduced the deficit through Ahmed Abdelhakeen in the 52nd minute.

“ We look at it as two points lost rather than one gained. We are truly disappointed to have conceded a goal at that stage, “ said South African assistant coach Gareth Ewing.

But he was confident of handing hosts Malaysia a defeat when they square up against each other tomorrow night.

“We always play well against teams that are ranked higher then us and I expect it to be no different against Malaysia,” added Ewing.

“Having studied the videos of Malaysia, we have a good chance to get all three points.

In the matches played in the morning, USA defeated Russia 4-2 while Belgium beat England 2-0 in the placing matches to determine the 9-16th placings.

Singapore continued their losing streak, this time it was Chile who defeated them 5-3.