Nikkin’s Hat-Trick help India in beating World Champions Australia

Riding on Nikkin Thimmaiah’s hat-trick, Asian Champions India handed over the world number one Kookaburras their first defeat of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015. The World Champions went down 4-2 in their fifth and final round-robin match on Saturday. Deniel Beale and Matt Gohdes scored for Australia, while VR Raghunath opened the scoring for India.

Nikkin Thimmaiah (Indian Hockey Player)

Nikkin Thimmaiah scored a hat-trick against Australia in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015

Kookaburras Captain Mark Knowles played his 250th match for Australia but his hope for positive results in landmark match were done by Indian early goals in the first and third quarters. Kookaburras, who were level, 1-1, at the first break through Daniel Beale’s equaliser shortly before quarter time. Having fallen two goals down in the third quarter, Matt Gohdes gave Australia hope of a comeback seven minutes from time but Nikkin’s hat-trick goal in the final minute completed the result in favor of India.

Australia’s men had already qualified for Sunday’s final against either New Zealand or Korea before the defeat, which marked their first loss at the annual Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament since May 2010, when they also went down to the Indians, 4-3. While India will play for Bronze Medal on Sunday. Continue reading →

With win over Black Sticks, Kookaburras reach the final of Azlan Shah Cup 2015

The Kookaburras advanced into the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Thursday night with a game in hand courtesy of a gritty 3-1 victory over trans-Tasman rivals, the Black Sticks.

Jeremy Hayward celebrates a goal for the Kookaburras in the Semi Final of Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 against Argentina (Credits: Grant Treeby / Treeby Images)

File Photo: Jeremy Hayward celebrates a goal (Credits: Grant Treeby / Treeby Images)

Australia are on top of points table with 12 points from 4 wins in as many matches, followed by New Zealand at 9 points and Korea at 7 Points. Winner of Korea and New Zealand league match on Saturday will advance to final against Australia, however, draw is good enough for Kiwis to reach the final.

Earlier in the day, Korea defeated the hosts Malaysia by 3-2 to keep their chances alive for finals and India defeated Canada by 5-3 to earn their first win of the tournament.

Three goals in a clinical nine minute period of the second quarter was enough to earn victory as Dylan Wotherspoon, Jamie Dwyer and Jeremy Hayward struck. Black Sticks Andy Hayward pulled one back from the penalty spot shortly after half time but the world champions maintained the two goal deficit. Continue reading →

First Win for India in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, Beat Canada 5-3

Playing their fourth match of the tournament, India clashed against Canada today wherein they claimed a their win during the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015 in Ipoh, Malaysia as they overcame the opponents by 5-3. The last quarter of the game proved to be an action packed session as it rained goals for both the teams. With this win, India is sitting at Fourth place in points table, ahead of hosts Malaysia and Canada.

Indian Players Nikkin Thimmaiah, Gurbaj Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh Celebrate a goal during Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015

Indian Players Nikkin Thimmaiah, Gurbaj Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Akashdeep Singh Celebrate a goal during Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015

The first quarter saw valuable efforts from both the teams as they produced a neck-to-neck fight as they aimed at ball possession and did not give away any chance to each other to score. While India was seen embarking on scoring opportunities from the onset, Canada earned two penalty corners but failed to capitalize it. Retaliating Canada’s attempts to score, India made full use of the awarded penalty corner through Rupinder Pal Singh and convert it in the 13th minute of the game. By the end of the first quarter, India took the lead 1-0. Continue reading →

Yet Again! India conceded in dying minute, defeated by Malaysia in Azlan Shah Cup 2015

India faced the hosts Malaysia today in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015 in a must win match to stay in contention for a place in final. The problem of conceding goals in dying minutes continues to haunt India, as they gave a tough fight to Malaysia but went down 2-3 owing to a late goal by the hosts in front of packed crowd. Earlier in the tournament, India lost to New Zealand in similar fashion and who can forget the Semi Finals of 2010 Asian Games against Malaysia and 2008 Olympic Qualifiers.

Ramandeep Singh of India is being shadowed by Baljit Singh of Malaysia during Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015

Ramandeep Singh of India is being shadowed by Baljit Singh of Malaysia during Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015

The game started with India taking immediate possession of the ball and attacking the D of the Malaysians. India with majority of the possession of the ball kept the pressure on the opponents. In the 12th minute India saw hope as Satbir Singh took possession of the ball and ran solely towards the D, beating two defenders of the opponents, but unfortunately he failed to capitalise. The next minute Akashdeep Singh had a half chance as he received a pass from Raghunath which he passed to Ramandeep who missed on the crucial touch. With both teams unable to open their individual accounts the first quarter proved to be a dry run and scores stood at 0-0. Continue reading →

Black Sticks continue winning streak in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015

The Black Sticks Men have continued their winning streak with an emphatic 5-0 rout over Canada at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015 in Malaysia. Black Sticks started the campaign with a 4-2 win over hosts Malaysia, followed by a 2-1 win over India.

Hugo Inglis in action for Black Sticks against Canada at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015

Hugo Inglis in action for Black Sticks against Canada at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015

Leading by one goal at halftime, the Kiwis put together a highlight reel of hockey late in the third quarter with three goals in four minutes. A double from man of the match Hugo Inglis and another strike from captain Simon Child took Canada out of contention in a matter of minutes.

The result sees the Black Sticks solidify second spot with three wins from three matches behind Australia on goal difference with two round robin games still to play against Australia and Korea. Continue reading →

Dwyer’s Hat-Trick make it 3 off 3 for Kookaburras in Azlan Shah Cup 2015

Jamie Dwyer continued his good form in front of goal as his hat-trick led the Kookaburras to a 5-2 victory over Korea at the 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015 on Wednesday. The three-time Olympian, later named Man of the Match, was joined on the score sheet by fellow Olympic gold medallist, captain Mark Knowles, and Eddie Ockenden, who struck his 60th goal for Australia.

Jamie Dwyer - Kookaburras / Australian Hockey Player

Jamie Dwyer is back in Kookaburras team after a long break from international hockey (Photo Credit : Raghu Prasad R V)

After his record-breaking 322nd appearance for Australia’s Kookaburras in the opening game, Jamie Dwyer is in red-hot form. He is still as hungry as ever and have scored 6 goals in 3 matches played in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015 taking his personal goal tally to 212 in the green and gold. He has now overtaken Jay Stacy, who retired following the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, as Australia’s most capped hockey player ever.

The result keeps the Kookaburras top of the standings after three matches, ahead of second place New Zealand Black Sticks on goal difference .The trans-Tasman rivals meet on Thursday evening. In earlier matches Australia defeated Canada by 7-0 on opening day and edged past hosts Malaysia by 3-2 on second day of the tournament.

It was a performance of which Head Coach Graham Reid declared he “couldn’t fault their attitude and endeavour”, although he cautioned “we can’t expect to win tournaments giving away 11 corners [in a match]. That’s something to work on. Continue reading →