Category: Hockey

Indian Women’s Hockey Team to take on hosts England on Saturday

London, 20 July 2018: The mood among the Indian Women’s Hockey Team is upbeat as they are set to take on hosts England in their opening match of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 on Saturday, 21 July 2018. India grouped in Pool B will take on World No.16 Ireland on 26 July followed by World No.7 USA on 29 July apart from facing the Olympic Champions England in their home ground on the opening day of the prestigious tournament.
“The pressure will be on England and not on us,” asserted Indian Team skipper Rani on the eve of the match. “Yes they will have the home ground advantage but we are not new to playing in front of big crowds. We have done well against England before and we will carry the confidence of doing well in our recent tournaments including the CWG where we had tasted victory against England in the Group Stage in Gold Coast. We will go into the match with the belief that we can beat them. We just need to make sure we don’t make silly mistakes like we did in the Bronze Medal match at the CWG which cost us the game,” added Rani.
India’s previous appearance at the FIH World Cup was in 2010 when the event was held in Argentina. Rani then was the cynosure of India’s ninth-place performance as she had scored maximum of seven goals for the team during the course of the tournament. While there will be a lot riding on Rani during the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 too, she has a unit that has shown confidence-inspiring performance over the past two years where India even climbed to a career-best ranking of World No.10. “The team, especially the forward-line does not depend on Rani alone anymore to score goals. We have young strikers including the experience of Vandana Katariya with 200 plus International Caps who have scored on multiple occasions for the team. I like to look at the positives we have and having a drag-flicker like Gurjit Kaur who is one of the best in the world is also an advantage we have,” stated Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.
After having arrived in London a week prior to the start of the tournament, the Indian Team has had good training sessions at the event venue Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Stadium including two practice matches against Australia and Belgium. “We have had good match practice against two of the top teams in the World. The team is upbeat and excited ahead of the first match and right now, our only focus is to do well against England. We have played USA and Ireland too in the past and have specific game plan against them. But for now, our focus is on the first match,” signed off Rani.
On 21st July India will take on England in their first match of Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 at 18:30 IST. All matches will be shown live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 2 and Hotstar and
DD Sports (Only India matches).

Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team play out a 1-1 draw against Belgium

Antwerp (Belgium), 18 July 2018The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team were held to a 1-1 draw by Belgium in their third round robin match of the U-23 Five Nations Tournament (Men) here on Tuesday.
The Indian Junior Men’s team had a mixed bag of results in their first two matches of the tournament as they beat Ireland 5-0 in their first match, but lost 1-3 to Great Britain in the second match. However, a strong performance against the hosts was needed and the Indian Forwards did not disappoint as they produced an attacking display in the first two quarters.
The Indian Junior team were rewarded for their constant pressure on Belgium when striker Mohammad Umar found space in the striking circle and put the ball into the back of the net at the stroke of half-time. The third quarter, however, saw the hosts produce a quick reply to India taking the lead, as Syril Frying cancelled out the lead in the 34th minute to level the scores.
Both the teams had their chances in the final quarter of the match, but neither could capitalise the chances and  the match ended in a draw, which means that India will need to win their last round robin match against the Netherlands to have a chance of qualifying for the Final match of the U-23 Five Nations Tournament.
On 20 July 2018, Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team will take on the Netherlands at 18.30 hours IST.

Surge in World Ranking is big motivation, says Indian Men’s Hockey Team Skipper PR Sreejesh

Bengaluru, 18 July 2018Following their stupendous Silver-Medal performance at the recently-held FIH Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2018 in Breda, the Netherlands, the Indian Men’s Hockey Team have have surged ahead in Men’s FIH Hero World Ranking from World No.6 to fifth place. The PR Sreejesh-led Indian team’s recent exploits has pushed Germany to sixth place.
According to the FIH Release on Tuesday, Australia (1906 points) sit 23 points ahead of second ranked Argentina (1883), with Belgium (1709) and Netherlands (1654) occupying the respective third and fourth positions.
“We are really happy and elated to see ourselves jump one step ahead in the World Rankings. The higher we go there is a lot more responsibility on our shoulders to do well and come up with consistent performance. The elevation in World Ranking gives us a big boost to do well in the upcoming 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta and the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 where we want to finish on the podium in front of our home crowd,” expressed Sreejesh on the sidelines of the ongoing National Camp at Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru.
The ace goalkeeper further added that the team needs to work hard to achieve their desirable goal of moving up to Top 3 in the World. “When you are going higher up the World Ranking, everyone (other teams) will take a close look at us and we will be in their radar constantly. We need to work really hard to maintain and improve our World Ranking. I believe we have the potential to go higher up to World No.3 but for that we need to do significantly well at the upcoming events and World Ranking has certainly added positive energy to our preparations,” stated Sreejesh, who was awarded the Goalkeeper of The Tournament title at the FIH Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2018.
Meanwhile, the team’s Chief Coach Harendra Singh congratulated his players for their efforts but was quick to add that they must remain persistent to climb further up. “My heartiest congratulations to all the players, support staff and Hockey India for their constant support. It is the hard work of the players that has paid dividends. I believe this team has the potential to do better and moving up to Top 3 is realistic if we finish on the podium at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. We must work harder now and take this as a big motivation to excel in forthcoming tournaments,” stated Chief Coach Harendra Singh.

‘Can’t take any team lightly at Asian Games,’ say Indian Hockey Men and Women’s Team Chief Coaches

New Delhi, 17 July 2018The Indian Men’s Hockey Team will begin their campaign at the 18th Asian Games 2018 Jakarta-Palembang against Hong Kong China on 22 August 2018 as per the fixtures that was announced on Monday. While the Men’s team led by PR Sreejesh will face Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong China in Pool A, the Indian Women’s team led by Rani will take on Indonesia on 19 August 2018 followed by matches against Kazakhstan, Korea and Thailand in Pool B as per the schedule announced on Monday.
“Though we are the Defending Champions, we cannot take any teams lightly. I don’t call this an easy group. We must be highly cautious against each of these teams as we have not played against teams like Hong Kong China and Sri Lanka. Japan is a rising team in Asia and are capable of surprising any team. They have done well in recent events while Korea too are a good team, play very defensive hockey and we have watched their game closely during the on-going practice matches in SAI, Bengaluru,” stated Indian Men’s Team Chief Coach Harendra Singh. The Indian Men’s Team had defeated Pakistan in the Final of the 2014 Asian Games to win Gold and qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The Chief Coach further stated that the team will go in with a must-win attitude if they wish to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. Harendra said, “I expect the team to be hungry to win the Gold again and get direct qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games and I want to make it clear that there will be no room for complacency.”
In Men’s Pool B, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Oman, Thailand, and Indonesia, will go head to head to secure top positions in the round robin stage.
Meanwhile, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team will be vying for a Gold too in order to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games and had previous settled for the Bronze in the 2014 Asian Games. “As we arrived in London on Sunday for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, our focus is on the current tournament. However, in the Asian Games Pool, Korea will be our toughest challenge and I am happy we have played quite a few matches against them this year and are aware of how they play. The only thing I would say to the team is that it does not matter who we play, if we want to win, we must win against everyone whether they are ranked lower than us or higher,” Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne stated.
In Pool A of the Women’s Category, China, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong China, and Chinese Taipei will take on each other to secure top positions in the round robin stage.
Hockey at the Asian Games will witness 21 Teams from 14 countries go head to head in the Men’s and Women’s categories in 60 matches over a course of 14 days. The winners of the Men’s and Women’s tournament will book their place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. All matches will be played in the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Sports Complex, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team leave for Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018

New Delhi, 15 July 2018: The excitement among the members of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team was palpable as they boarded the flight at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Sunday afternoon for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 to be held between 21 July and 5 August 2018.

This is the first time in eight years that the Indian Women’s Hockey Team will appear at the prestigious World Cup and no other player in the current squad apart from skipper Rani and Deepika have ever played at a World Cup before. “The team is extremely excited and we have waited for this moment ever since we won the Asia Cup last year. For almost everyone on the team, this will be a first-time experience to be playing at the World Cup,” expressed skipper Rani who was brimming with confidence ahead of the team’s departure.

Though this will be the first-appearance at the quadrennial event for most of them, the fact that the team consists of players who have more than 100 International Caps is an advantage feels Rani. She said, “It is a plus point for us that this team barring only three or four players have been playing together for over two years now and have had good international exposure with many of them having more than 100 or 150 plus International Caps for India. Every player in the team has grown from strength to strength and I am confident we will do well at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018.”

The Indian team is grouped in Pool B with Olympic Champions England, World No.7 USA and Ireland. In their first match on 21 July 2018, the Indian team will take on hosts England. Having beaten the team who are ranked World. No 2 at the recent Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Rani believes the pressure will be on England when they meet on the opening day. “The pressure is not on us but it will be on England because they know we are capable of doing well against them. Though they defeated us in the Bronze Medal match at the CWG, we made some silly errors that cost us the match that day. The Indian Women’s Team are no longer the underdogs and in our mind, we want to get off to a good start regardless of England having home support and advantage,” stated an assertive Rani.

On 21 July 2018, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team will take on hosts England at 18.30 hours IST.

Matches will be shown live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 2 and Hotstar.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team grouped with England, Ireland and USA for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018

New Delhi, 26 November 2017: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team will be grouped with England, Ireland and USA in Pool B for the prestigious Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 scheduled to begin on 21 July 2018.
The 16 national women’s teams qualified for the event now know who they will face in next year’s pinnacle event with the pools and schedule for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 officially released by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) today.
Fans can also get in on the action with all remaining tickets now released for general public sale via the official ticket website. A look at the schedule reveals some fantastic match-ups as the top teams in the world prepare to go head-to-head.
While in Pool A, the world number one side and current holders of the World Cup, Netherlands, await the challenge of Asian giants China and Korea as well as rising European stars Italy, Pool B is headed by the host nation and World No.2 England. They will face tough challenges from the Indian Women’s team who were recently crowned Asia Cup Champions which won them the World Cup berth. USA who won the 2017 Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg and Ireland also feature in Pool B.
India will face hosts England in their first match on July 21. “We look forward to the challenge in Pool B. England (World No.2) and USA (World No.7) are ranked above us but the Indian Women’s team is on the rise with confidence-boosting performances in the past few months. Every match at the World Cup is important and each match needs to be played like a Final. It will be crucial for us to have a good outing in the Commonwealth Games next year so we carry a winning momentum into the World Cup. We have set our sights on Mission 2018 and all our training will be focused on peaking at the prestigious tournament,” stated Indian Women’s Team Chief Coach Harendra Singh.
Argentina are ranked number three in the world, and they have European rivals Germany and Spain to contend with, along with African continental Champions South Africa in Pool C. Pool D sees Oceania rivals Australia and New Zealand go head to head along with Japan and 2017 Rabobank EuroHockey Championship runners-up Belgium.
There are some amazing games to look forward to in the Pool stages, with many matches guaranteed to have fans on the edge of their seats.
With England’s 10,000-seater Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park sold out for six sessions, including all England’s Pool matches – plus their potential quarter-final, the semi-finals and final, fans should not hesitate in snapping up the remaining tickets.
For those who can’t make it to the venue, this event will be broadcast to millions across the world in over 100 countries through FIH’s global broadcaster partners.
With eight months between now and the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 and today’s release of the match schedule, the countdown has really begun.

2nd edition of Hockey India 5-a-side Senior National Championship 2017 (Men and Women) starts tomorrow in Pune

Pune, 13th November 2017: After tasting success in their 1st edition last year, the futuristic Hockey India 5-a-side Senior Hockey National Championship 2017 (Men and Women) is back with its second edition starting in Pune, Maharashtra onTuesday, November 14 at the Shivaji Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, Boxing Hall.

The six-day domestic extravaganza will see teams vie for top honours in three categories – Men’s, Women’s and the all-new Combined Men & Women event which will see men and women play in a combined team on November 18.
Hosted by Hockey Maharashtra, the 2nd Hockey India 5-a-side Senior National Hockey Championship 2017 will see a star-studded line-up with members of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team, who recently created history by clinching the 2017 Asia Cup in Japan, turn up for their respective state teams.
The Combined event is pegged as the most exciting event of the tournament which will put both men and women on an equal pedestal to showcase their talent in the most exciting format. A team participating in this category will feature a minimum of either 4 men or women in their team of nine member 5-a-side team. In this category, Hockey Haryana, Uttar Pradesh Hockey, Hockey Odisha and Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu form Pool A whereas Hockey Maharashtra, Hockey Karnataka, Hockey Punjab and Hockey Jharkhand are in Pool B.
In the Men’s category, Hockey Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh Hockey, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu and defending Champions Hockey Maharashtra are placed in Pool A while Hockey Haryana, Hockey Odisha, Hockey Jharkhand and Hockey Punjab will lock horns in Pool B.
In the Women’s category, Hockey Haryana, Hockey Karnataka, Hockey Odisha and Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu will make up Pool A while Hockey Punjab, Hockey Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh Hockey and Hockey Jharkhand are in Pool B.
This exciting short format is played on a 38.5 meter x 22.5 meter size indoor court. In this format, each team consists of 9 members, out of which only 5 members can be present on the court at any given time of the match which includes one goalkeeper. The duration of the match is 30 minutes which is divided into three periods of 10 minutes each with an interval of 3 minutes between the periods.
The key differences from outdoor field hockey are in terms of the way the goals are scored and penalties are imposed. A goal is awarded when a goal is scored from anywhere on the court which is unlike traditional hockey where you cannot score directly from outside the circle. In addition, the ball is moved using a push, scoop or flick and no hitting is allowed as it is played in an indoor arena.
In terms of fouls, only free hits and challenges are awarded for respective offences by an attacker or defender. A Challenge is similar to the way shootouts are conducted in modern hockey. Free hits and fouls follow the same rules as modern hockey as well.

Rani’s golden goal ensures Indian Women’s Hockey Team win Asia Cup after 13 years

Kakamigahara (Japan)5 November 2017: Indian Women’s Hockey Team create history as they beat China in a tense shootout to lift the Women’s Asia Cup 2017 after 13 years and qualify for next year’s Women’s World Cup as Continental Champions here at Kakamigahara Kawasaki Stadium in Japan. It was India skipper Rani who scored the winning goal for India while Savita made a great save in sudden death to ensure India the 5-4 score in penalty shootout. Earlier, it was Navjot Kaur who scored India’s lone goal in the 25th minute. It was in 2004 when Indian Women’s Team lifted the Asia Cup after beating Japan 1-0 in the final.
It was advantage China right at the start as a stick check in the circle saw India concede a penalty corner in only the second minute of the game. However, Indian goalkeeper Savita was at her usual best to pad it away while an alert Deep Grace cleared the ball. Soon after, Indian forwards launched a swift attack with Navneet Kaur and Vandana working in tandem to find space in the Chinese D but an attentive Wang Na averted the danger. China, meanwhile, won their second PC but Savita was spot on yet again to pad away Meiyu Liang’s flick.
With the first quarter ending in a stalemate, India came back looking determined to find a breakthrough. The Indian forwards kept the pressure on China as they made brave forays into the striking circle. Navjot Kaur came close to converting a field goal in the 17th minute but her diving effort was blocked even as skipper Rani made a quick attempt to find a deflection. It was not until the 25th minute when India found its first breakthrough when Navneet Kaur and Rani played give-and-take before penetrating the circle only to assist Navjot who took a clear shot on goal. It was a much-needed 1-0 lead for India. Though China launched a counter attack soon after, Indian defenders were up to the task in denying success.
India began the third quarter rather positively as they stayed persistent with an aggressive attack. They dominated the ball possession with accurate passing, rotating the ball and testing China’s patience. Neha Goyal and Lilima Minz showcased good dribbling skills to steer past Chinese defenders but a second goal was not to come by even as the clock ticked away to the third hooter. On China’s part, they stayed disciplined in their defence to deny India a chance to score through a PC.
The final quarter was tense as China won a PC through successful video referral in the 47th minute. Tiantian Luo kept low as she improvised from the injection to find the right corner of the post, scoring a sensational equalizer for China. The following minutes saw both teams play on par with each other not allowing either of them to stay in control. With nine minutes left for the final hooter, India upped their attack desperately attempting to find a gap in the 15-yard mark but Chinese defenders were resolute not allowing any room for error.
Meanwhile China won their fourth PC of the match with little less than three minutes to go for the final whistle. But it was brilliantly saved by rusher Sunita Lakra and almost immediately, India launched a counter attack but only to send the ball wide off the target and complete the full-time in stalemate resulting in a shootout. In the penalty shootout Rani scored twice while Monica, Lilima Minz and Navjot scored a goal each to ensure India reclaimed the Asia Cup title after 13 years. Savita was adjudged Goalkeeper of the Tournament while Monica won Woman of the Match award.
It is a sweet double for both Indian Men and Women as they are crowned Asia Cup Champions this year.
The victorious Indian Women’s Team will arrive on 6 November 2017 at 9.00PM at the IGI Airport New Delhi.

Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team lose 3-4 to Australia in 7th Sultan of Johor Cup 2017

Johor Bahru, Malaysia, 26 October 2017: The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team lost 3-4 to Australia in a high scoring encounter in their fourth match of the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup 2017 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here today. Dilpreet Singh (30’, 47’) and Sanjay (9’) scored for India in the match but goals from Joel Rintala (3’), Coby Green (36’), Jonathan Bretherton (45’) and Nathan Ephraums (49’) were enough for Australia to secure the victory.

Australia dominated the proceedings in the initial stages of the first quarter as they attacked the Indian defence to start on a bright note. This resulted in the Australians winning a penalty corner in the 3rd minute of the match which was well converted by Joel Rintala to give his side the lead. However, after conceding an early goal, the Indian team stepped up their efforts in the latter half of the first quarter and won themselves a penalty corner in the 9th minute which was finished off by Sanjay to level the scores at 1-1.

The game was very well balanced between the two sides throughout the second quarter as both the defences showed resilience to keep out the efforts. However, in the last minute before the half-time hooter, a misplaced pass from the Australians led to beautiful counter-attacking play from the Indian side meant that Dilpreet Singh scored from just inside the circle with a fiercely struck shot to give India a 2-1 lead at half-time.

In the third quarter though, Australia focused on getting an equalizer by controlling the rhythm of the play and attacking the Indian defence with some fast-paced passing. This meant that the Australians finally managed to convert another penalty corner in the 36th minute when Coby Green found himself free in front of goal after the drag-flick was not successfully executed by his teammates. Australia then scored again in the 45th minute to take a 3-2 lead when another unsuccessfully executed penalty corner was followed up by a well taken shot on goal by Jonathan Bretherton.

In the last quarter, it was India who had to put pressure on the Australian defence to find an equalizer, and they did so successfully when a long pass to forward Dilpreet Singh was calmly finished off by him to level the scores in the 47th minute. However, India could only stay level at 3-3 for two minutes as Australia’s Nathan Ephraums converted a penalty corner in the 49th minute to give Australia a 4-3 lead. India tried to equalize yet again in the last ten minutes of the match, but their efforts were kept out by a resolute Australian defence which meant that Australia won the match by a score-line of 4-3.

India will now face Great Britain in their fifth match of 7th Sultan of Johor Cup 2017 on Saturday, 28th October 2017 at 13.35 hrs IST.

Indian Men’s Hockey team win the Hero Asia Cup 2017

Dhaka (Bangladesh), 22 October, 2017: Indian Men’s Hockey Team were crowned as the Hero Asia Cup 2017 Champions after they beat Malaysia 2-1 in the Final of the tournament here today at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium. Goals from Ramandeep Singh (3’) and Lalit Upadhyay (29’) secured the title for India as Malaysia failed to make an impact on the game in the early stages but came back with a solitary goal through Shahril Saabah (50’).
This is the third time that India have won the Asia Cup title and after a gap of 10 years. The team started the match aggressively, making clear that their intention was to win the title against the second highest ranked team in Asia. It was in the 3rd minute that the Indians found a gap in the Malaysian defence when SV Sunil played a pass from the right flank to find Ramandeep Singh inside the circle, who hit the target on his second attempt to give India the all-important lead in the Final.
India continued to dominate the possession in the first quarter as Malaysia failed to produce any good opportunities. The second quarter also saw India produce some outstanding attacking play as they looked to extend their lead. However, Malaysia held on and created some chances of their own as the Indian defence stood tall to deny Malaysia of any real opportunities to score. At the stroke of half-time, it was India was threatened again through the left flank as Akashdeep Singh found Sumit in an advance position with a long pass and the latter then found Lalit Upadhyay inside the circle, who then calmly tapped in the ball in the back of the net to make it 2-0 in India’s favour.
The third quarter was a balanced one where Malaysia started to open up spaces in the Indian defence but all their efforts were well kept out.
India on the other hand, had opportunities of their own in the latter part of the third quarter but could not produce a third goal to seal the deal. Malaysia took advantage of the same as they came back hard in the fourth quarter scoring a field goal in the 50th minute via Shahril Saabah as the Indian defence failed to stop the Malaysian attackers.
Malaysia kept up the pressure on the Indian defence in the final 10 minutes of the match, but India absorbed the attacking forays made. The Indian team showed some resolute defending in the last five minutes to keep their 2-1 lead intact. In the end, the defensive skills displayed by India were enough for them to clinch the title after a gap of 10 years.