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Hockey: Black Sticks beat India, Dutch down Aussies in World League Final

Hosts India (in white) lost 3-1 to New Zealand on the second day of the Hero World League Final. Photos: FIH.

Hosts India (in white) lost 3-1 to New Zealand on the second day of the Hero World League Final. Photos: FIH.

January 12, 2014: New Zealand beat India 3-1 on the second day of the inaugural Hero World League Final in New Delhi to leave the hosts bottom of Pool A, while England upset top-ranked Germany 2-1 to move to the top of the group.

 

Surprise package Argentina – the tournament’s lowest-ranked side – beat Belgium 3-2 in Saturday’s opening match to lead Pool B with six points, before the Netherlands bounced back from Friday’s shock defeat to Los Leones by edging Australia 1-0 in a hard-fought clash between the world’s second and third ranked sides.

 

India were looking to bounce back from their opening defeat to England, but it was the Black Sticks, hammered 6-1 by Germany, who led in the first minute when Shea McAleese scored through open play at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

 

In the second half, India played some quick, inventive hockey and Chandanda Thimmaiah was unlucky to see his shot fly over the crossbar, but it was New Zealand who again took their chance when a free hit found Stephen Jenness unmarked in the circle and he duly slotted the ball home in the 41st minute.

 

Jenness, 23, scored again 10 minutes later before 18-year-old Mandeep Singh seized on a loose ball and shot home in the 68th minute, although India coach Terry Walsh admitted the late consolation would do little for the team’s self-belief.

 

“The confidence levels are low and have to be rebuilt,” said the former Australia striker, appointed in October. “This environment makes a loss of self confidence even more difficult to deal with. This showed on the pitch. The players were slow, lethargic and made poor decisions. We have started to spiral and it’s my job to deal with that.”

 

England earlier secured their second straight victory with an impressive win over Olympic champions Germany, the world’s top-ranked side fresh from a 6-1 defeat of New Zealand.

 

England took a fourth-minute lead through Tom Carson, who won possession in the circle, turned and whipped in a shot past goalkeeper Nico Jacobi.

 

England (in red) battled to a 2-1 win over Olympic champions Germany to lead Pool A.

England (in red) battled to a 2-1 win over Olympic champions Germany to lead Pool A.

Germany struck struck in the 11th minute through Marko Miltkau after he stole the ball from an England defender. Bob Crutchley’s side chose to use their video referral, but the goal was confirmed, meaning English lost their referral at an early stage.

 

Ten minutes later, Ashley Jackson scored his 50th international goal to put England back in the lead, his penalty-corner flick deflected high into the net by first runner Tobias Matania. England defending well throughout the second half as Germany pushed hard for an equaliser, coming closest when a penalty corner hit the post.

 

Crutchley said: “I’m obviously pleased with the win, but our quality dropped when we came under pressure. We should have taken the chance to hurt them when they came at us, as they left spaces.”

 

Pool B

The day opened with Argentina, ranked 11th in the world, twice coming from behind to beat fifth-ranked Belgium, who suffered a second 3-2 defeat after losing out to Australia on Friday.

 

Belgium’s Tom Boon, who plays in the Dutch league, smashed a shot into the far corner of the goal for a sixth-minute opener.

 

However, Argentina roared back in the 11th minute through a stunning goal by Pedro Ibarra, who left several Belgium defenders trailing in his wake before beating keeper Vincent Vanash with a skilful backhand strike. Boon scored again in the 34th minute, his third of the tournament, to give the Red Lions a 2-1 lead at half-time.

 

Argentina equalised in the 50th minute when Juan Martin Lopez’s long pass was deflected in by Matias Paredes at the far post. Los Leones continued to attack and scored the winner in the 61st minute in the match when Facundo Callioni picked up a flick and managed to lift the ball over the Belgian keeper.

 

Argentina coach Carlos Retegui celebrates a 3-2 win over Belgium as the tournament’s lowest-ranked side continued their surprise start.

Argentina coach Carlos Retegui celebrates a 3-2 win over Belgium as the event’s lowest-ranked side continued their shock start.

Argentina coach Carlos Retegui was delighted with the win, but praised opposing boss Mark Lammers, Belgium’s Dutch coach, and his fast-improving side.

 

“Belgium have one of the best coaches in the game and we had to think very hard and very strategically about how to beat them,” Retegui said. “They are one of the most up and coming teams in the world.”

 

Lammers said: “Argentina deserved the win because they fought more. This was not a good game for us. We played well, but we never defended the lead.”

 

In the second Pool B match of the day, the Netherlands edged long-term rivals Australia through a goal by Billy Bakker.

 

The Netherlands, Olympic silver medallists in 2012, hit the post twice in the early minutes as both goalkeepers were forced to make important saves. Australia, the 2010 World Cup winners, then won a series of penalty corners, but Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockman made a series of great saves as both teams were uncharacteristically cagey for much of the match.

 

The Netherlands seized their chance just three minutes after the restart when a tremendous piece of skill by Bakker saw him jink through the defence and shoot past goalkeeper Tyler Lovell from a tight angle.

 

The Netherlands were reduced to 10 men when Bob de Voogd was sent off for a rash tackle and were then down to nine following the dismissal of Seve van Ass, son of head coach Paul. Stockmann pulled off saves from two late penalty corners as the Netherlands endured a torrid final few minutes of defending.

 

Netherlands (in orange) held on for a 1-0 win over Australia despite going down to nine men.

Netherlands (in orange) held on for a 1-0 win over Australia despite going down to nine men.

Paul van Ass said: “We defended with our hearts. The quality of chances was in favour of Australia, but in our team everybody fought for every inch.”

 

Australian coach Ric Charlesworth said: “We didn’t play as well as we would like for many reasons. Our basics were poor, but we still made enough chances to win the game and didn’t.

 

“We had seven or eight corners. That’s where we’re at, at the moment. You hope that you would play better and better each day, and we had the opportunities, but we couldn’t finish and that’s disappointing.”

 

On Monday, New Zealand will face England and India will face Germany, while in Pool B the Netherlands will play Belgium and Australia face Argentina.

 

For more information, visit: http://www.fih.ch

 

Source: FIH

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