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Indian men's hockey team

Asiad 2018: Spirited Indian men's hockey team thrash Japan

Asiad 2018: Spirited Indian men’s hockey team thrash Japan

Jakarta, Aug 24: Reigning Champions India continued their winning streak at the 18th Asian Games as the men’s team notched up a spirited 8-0 victory against Japan in their third Pool A match here on Friday.

With yet another high-scoring victory margin, India has taken their total goals scored in the tournament to a record 51 goals after winning 17-0 against Indonesia followed by 26-0 against Hong-Kong China in their first two matches.

S.V. Sunil (7th minute), Dilpreet Singh (12th), Rupinder Pal Singh (17th, 38th), Mandeep Singh (32th, 57th), Akashdeep Singh (46th) and Vivek Sagar Prasad (47th) scored in India’s fine win.

India converted eight of the 23 shots on goal. Six of them were field goals including one PC and one penalty stroke.

Though Japan put up a fighting front with their defense, Indian attack was a top class right from the word go.

India’s first goal came through a brilliant pass by Harmanpreet Singh to Akashdeep Singh who further assisted S.V. Sunil to make a perfect deflection into the goal.

In the 12th minute, Dilpreet Singh converted India’s second goal which was an excellent display of one-touch hockey with Manpreet Singh’s fierce pass into the striking circle which was picked up well by Dilpreet who took a successful perfect reverse shot on goal.

Only minutes prior, Lalit Upadhyay’s assist to Akashdeep Singh, who took a shot on goal, was padded away by Japanese goalkeeper.

Another great goal came in the 32nd minute when a fine dribble by Amit Rohidas into the striking circle made a cross-pass to Mandeep Singh who took a quick-fire shot on goal.

Even as Indian forward line led the attack with aplomb, the team’s defense stood firm not allowing Japan to make any successful forays into the striking area.

The only real attempt on goal came when Kenta Tanaka took a strong shot in the 8th minute but was brilliantly blocked by India’s ace goalkeeper PR Sreejesh who is yet to be tested in this tournament. Kentaro Fukuda too took a shot on goal in the 36th minute but was saved by the Indian goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Japanese goalkeeper Yusuke Takano made brave saves that kept Indian scoreline from racing ahead.

“This was an important win for us to keep up the momentum in the tournament. I am happy with the way the team is taking this tournament one-match-at-a-time. Japan is a good team with excellent defensive abilities and we wanted to keep them from making counter attacks as it is one of their strong points,” India coach Harendra Singh said.

“Our aim is to keep winning all our matches in the Pool Stage and make it to the Semi Final. That is our first hurdle and we will need to rest well and pay attention to recovery now ahead of our next match against Korea,” he added.

India will now face South Korea on August 26 in their fourth Pool A match.

Indian men's hockey team jumps one spot to 5th in FIH rankings

Indian men’s hockey team jumps one spot to 5th in FIH rankings

New Delhi, Aug 7: An impressive silver-medal finish at the Champions Trophy has helped the Indian men’s hockey team jump one spot to fifth in the latest FIH rankings chart released today.

India had lost to Australia via penalty shootout in the summit clash of the Champions Trophy after the two sides were locked 1-1 in regulation time in the Netherlands last month.

India, which is defending its title at the upcoming Asian Games, is the only team which registered an upward movement among the top 10 teams. The Indian team, which now has 1484 points in its kitty, is above the likes of 2012 Olympic champions Germany, England and Spain.

World champion Australia maintained its top spot with 1906 points, ahead of Olympic champion Argentina (1883), Belgium (1709), the Netherlands (1654) and India. Germany, England, Spain, New Zealand and Ireland complete the top 10.

The second best Asian team is Malaysia at number 12th and is followed by Pakistan and Korea.

In the women’s rankings also, the Indian team gained one spot to rise to ninth. The team had lost to eventual runners-up Ireland in the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup via penalty shootout on August 2.

The Indian women’s team is the ranked highest in Asia, ahead of the likes of Korea (10th), China (11th) and Japan (14th).

World champions Netherlands remained on top, ahead of England, Australia, Argentina and Germany. The Irish team, which surprised one and all by reaching the final of the World Cup, jumped eight places to be at eighth spot.

Indian men's hockey team to round off Asiad preparation with 11-day camp

Indian men’s hockey team to round off Asiad preparation with 11-day camp

New Delhi, July 31: The Indian men’s hockey team will round its preparations for the upcoming Asian Games with an 11-day camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru starting tomorrow.

The camp will include seven standby players besides the 18-member selected squad.

After a hectic 21 days where the national campers played back-to-back matches against Bangladesh, South Korea and New Zealand as part of their preparations for the upcoming tournament, the players were given a much-needed break to recover and return fresh for the national camp which concludes on August 11.

“We will be starting high-intensity training after a gap of almost one week. The rest was much-needed after a hectic and busy schedule where the players played high-tempo matches against Bangladesh, South Korea and New Zealand,” chief coach Harendra Singh said in a statement.

India, who are the defending champions, have been grouped in Pool A along side South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong China and Indonesia.

“This break was essential because now the players will report with a fresh mind and fresh legs for the final preparatory camp before heading for the most important Asian Games where we want to seal the Olympic qualification by winning gold,” Hiarendra said.

“In the camp, we will continue working on all aspects of the game with specific focus on converting opportunities in the striking circle. We will work on the short comings noticed during the New Zealand matches,” he added.

The chief coach is confident of his team’s prospects at the quadrennial event, which according to him will be a stepping stone towards the season-ending World Cup in Bhubaneswar.

“We are confident the team will take to the training sessions with high energy and they are aware that a successful Asian Games will be the right stepping stone for the season’s most-awaited Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar,” Haredndra said.

Indian squad:

Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan B Pathak, Suraj Karkera

Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar, Rupinder Pal Singh, Amit Rohidas, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Jarmanpreet Singh

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Simranjeet Singh, Sardar Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit.

Forwards: S V Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh, Sumit Kumar, Shilanand Lakra.

India beat New Zealand, take unassailable 2-0 lead in Test series

India beat New Zealand, take unassailable 2-0 lead in Test series

Bengaluru, July 21: The Indian men’s hockey team registered its second successive victory against New Zealand, beating the visitors 3-1 to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series at the Sports Authority of India’s Bengaluru Campus here.

India began the opening quarter with a structured attack. It was striker SV Sunil who took the team’s first potential shot on goal in the opening minute but was well defended by New Zealand goalkeeper Richard Joyce.

India dominated the quarter as the team’s attack won two PC opportunities, however, the home team could not convert and the two teams ended the first quarter in a stalemate.

The second quarter saw India showcase an improvised attack. They won three back-to-back PCs in the 18th minute and Rupinder Pal Singh was third-time lucky after two of his previous flicks were blocked by New Zealand’s first rusher.

It was Manpreet Singh who made a perfect injection that was powerfully picked up by Rupinder to fire it past Joyce, fetching India their first breakthrough. Almost a minute later, the experienced forward Sunil fetched India another PC, however, this time the variation did not work.

In the 24th minute, Stephen Jenness caught the Indian defence off guard when he pierced through the striking circle, beating PR Sreejesh, who had run up to block him and found an open goal to put the ball into the post for an equaliser.

India retorted back with a splendid field goal in the 27th minute through striker Sunil, who worked in tandem with Simranjeet Singh. This brilliant goal won back India their lead and ended the second quarter with the scoreboard reading 2-1 in favour of the hosts.

New Zealand stitched together an improvised defence in the third quarter but their attack remained jaded.

India upped the ante in the final quarter as they made enthralling forays into the striking circle. One such attempt, Sunil made a brilliant pass from the right flank to Mandeep Singh, who swiftly deflected into the post, taking India’s lead to 3-1 in the 56th minute. The defence held strong to keep up the lead till the end.

India jump one place to 5th in latest FIH rankings

India jump one place to 5th in latest FIH rankings

New Delhi, Jul 17: India have jumped a rung to fifth position in the men’s hockey world rankings issued by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) today.

India has made the jump by virtue of its second consecutive runner-up finish at the Champions Trophy in Breda, Netherlands earlier this month.

Champions Trophy winners Australia remained on top of the chart, thanks to title its victory.

The Kookaburras claimed their 15th Champions Trophy by defeating India in a shoot-out in the final, ensuring that the reigning world champions held on to the top spot in the rankings table.

Australia (1906 points) sit 23 points ahead of second-ranked Argentina (1883) and are followed by Belgium (1709) and Netherlands (1654).

With 1484 points, India have pushed Germany (1456) to sixth from the fifth spot.

Most of the teams in the top 20 are non-movers, although 18th placed Austria and 19th ranked Egypt have climbed ahead of France, who now sit in 20th position.

We must be cautious in Asiad title defence: hockey coach Harendra

We must be cautious in Asiad title defence: hockey coach Harendra

New Delhi, Jul 17: 
The Indian men’s hockey coach Harendra Singh feels his defending champion side cannot afford to take things easy in next month’s Asian Games even though it is a gold medal favourite owing to its highest-ranked status in the draw.

World no. 6 India have been placed in Pool A alongside Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong China, while Pool B comprises Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Oman, Thailand and hosts Indonesia.

India will open its title defence against minnows Hong Kong China on August 22 followed by games against Japan (August 24), Korea (August 26) and Sri Lanka (August 28).

“Though we are the defending champions, we cannot take any team 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,” Harendra said after the schedule was announced yesterday.

“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.” 

India defeated Pakistan in the final of the 2014 Asian Games to win the gold and with the 2020 Olympics berth at stake, Harendra and his men would be eager to book their direct ticket to Tokyo here.

“I expect the team to be hungry to win the gold again and get direct qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games. I want to make it clear that there will be no room for complacency,” the chief coach asserted.

The Indian women’s team, meanwhile, has been placed in Pool B alongside title holders Korea, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Indonesia. Pool A features China, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong China and Chinese Taipei.

The Indian women’s team will open its campaign against hosts Indonesia on August 19, followed by games against Kazakhstan (August 21), Korea (August 25) and Thailand (August 27).

Like his counterpart of the men’s team, Indian women’s hockey team chief coach Sjoerd Marijne is also eying a gold in the Asian Games but feels Korea will give them a tough fight in their pursuit.

The Indian women’s team had to settled for the bronze medal in the 2014 Asian Games.

“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,” Marijne said.

“The only thing I would like to 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, he added.

Indian men's hockey team to open Asian Games title defence against Hong Kong China

Indian men’s hockey team to open Asian Games title defence against Hong Kong China

New Delhi, Jul 16: India will open its title defence against minnows Hong Kong China on August 22 in the men’s hockey competition of the Asian Games to be held in Indonesia.

India have been clubbed in Pool A in the men’s competition alongside Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong China, while Pool B consists of Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Oman, Thailand and hosts Indonesia.

After Hong Kong China, the Indians will next play Japan on August 24 followed by matches against Korea (August 26) and Sri Lanka (August 28).

The Indian women’s team, meanwhile, has been placed in Pool B alongside title holders Korea, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Indonesia. Pool A features China, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong China and Chinese Taipei.

The Indian women’s team will open its campaign against hosts Indonesia on August 19, followed by games against Kazakhstan (August 21), Korea (August 25) and Thailand (August 27).

The 18th edition of the Asian Games will see the highest ever number of participating teams in the history of hockey competitions at the continental event.

21 teams from 14 countries will 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 categories will book their places in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

All matches will be played in the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Sports Complex in Jakarta.

After 25 men’s and 20 women’s matches, the classification stage will begin on the August 29. Women’s final is scheduled to be played on August 31 while the men’s final will be played on the September 1.

This edition of the Asian Games will also witness the debut of Video Referral System in the continental event.

Indian hockey teams in finals of Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers

Bangkok, April 28:The junior Indian mens and womens hockey teams continued their fine form at the Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers as they on Saturday advanced to the finals here.

While the boys crushed Bangladesh 9-2 in their semi-final encounter, the girls came out 4-2 winners overs Malaysia 4-2 in the five-a-side contests.

The men’s semi-final saw Shivam Anand (fifth, eighth, 15th and 24th minutes) scored four goals. India’s other goal-scorers in the match included Rahul Kumar Rajbhar (22nd and 23rd), Maninder Singh (22nd), skipper Vivek Sagar Prasad (24th) and Mohammad Alishan (26th).

Bangladesh only managed to score twice, getting their goals through Sobuj Shohanur (23rd and 29th).

The women’s semif-final was a close encounter. Chetna gave India the lead in the 6th minute. Malaysia got their equaliser three minutes later through Nor Isahhidun.

However, India pulled up their socks in the second period and scored two goals through Ishika Chaudhary (14th) and Salima Tete (20th) to regain control of the match.

Another goal for India towards the start of the third period meant that the team took a 4-1 lead. The fourth goal for India was scored by Sangita Kumari in the 23rd minute and assured India of a place in the final match as Malaysia could only score once in the final seven minutes, the goal coming from Siti Hussain in the 27th minute.

The women’s team will now face a strong China team in the final on Sunday.

CWG: India stun England to top Pool B

Gold Coast (Australia), April 11: The Indian men’s hockey team scored two goals in the final three minutes to overcome England 4-3 in a thrilling match to top Pool B and enter the semi-finals of the 21st Commonwealth Games here on Wednesday.

Manpreet Singh (32nd), Rupinder Pal Singh (51st), Varun Kumar (58th) and Mandeep Singh (59th) scored for India while England got their goals from David Condon (17th minute), Liam Ansell (52nd) and Sam Ward (56th).

Following the win in their final Pool B game, India have 10 points — three more than second-placed England.

CWG: Looking at nothing less than gold, says Manpreet

New Delhi, March 28: Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh expects nothing less than a gold medal as the team on Tuesday departed for the Gold Coast, where the 2018 Commonwealth Games will take place from April 4.

The men’s team was accompanied by their women counterparts led by Rani Rampal, and were given a warm send-off by Hockey India officials, friends and family members of the players.

Both the teams were based out of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Bengaluru for the national camp where the teams under their respective coaching staff underwent rigorous preparations for the quadrennial event.

With the Commonwealth Games being the first of the many major tournaments this year, both the teams are looking to set the momentum for the rest of the year and are hopeful to achieve their targets in Australia.

“We are looking at nothing less than a gold medal at the CWG. We have lost two consecutive finals in the previous editions to Australia but this time we want to aim for a better colour of medal,” Manpreet said.

“The team went through an intense preparation camp with focus on specific areas that required improvement. Now it will be all about executing the plans we have against each team to perfection and remain consistent throughout the tournament,” asserted the 25-year-old midfielder.

The men’s team is grouped in Pool B along with Pakistan, Malaysia, Wales and England.

While the men’s team begin their campaign on April 7 against arch-rivals Pakistan, the women’s team will take on Wales on April 5.

“I don’t think any team is easy to beat. Every match will be challenging but to begin with a victory will be ideal. We are going for the CWG as serious contenders for a medal,” skipper Rani said.

“We are hungry to win and build on our reputation as Asian Champions. We have left no stone unturned in our preparations and have worked on every area that has bothered us in the past,” added Rani.

The women’s team is grouped in Pool A along with Wales, Malaysia, England and South Africa.

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