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Cyclone Titli triggers flood-like situation in Odisha

Heavy rains triggered by the severe cyclonic storm Titli have caused flood-like situations in several districts of Odisha on Friday.

 
Cyclone Titli makes landfall in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh
Heavy rains triggered by the severe cyclonic storm Titli have caused flood-like situations in several districts of Odisha on Friday.
 
The situation remains vulnerable, especially in Ganjam, Rayagada and Gajapati districts where the remote areas have been cut off due to the incessant rains after Titli hit the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast on Thursday morning.
 
During a review meeting via video conferencing, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday directed the three district collectors to closely monitor the situation and shift the people living in vulnerable areas to safer places.
 
He directed them to focus on early restoration of power supply and emergency services.
 
The Chief Minister has also asked the collectors to submit crop and house damage assessment reports within seven days.
 
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said two Indian Navy choppers from Vishakapatnam will be pressed into action in Ganjam district to expedite the relief and rescue operations.
 
"The two choppers are on their way to Ganjam. They will carry out relief and rescue operations in Aska and Puroshotam areas," said Padhi.
 
He said 14 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 12 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) have been deployed in various districts.
 
Road and electricity restoration works were also in full swing in the affected districts.
 
Reacting to casualty reports, the Chief Secretary said: "We have seen media reports of the deaths of two or three persons in these districts. We are verifying it."
 
The water is flowing above danger level in Vansadhara, Rusikulya and Jalaka rivers. 
 
A total of 16 blocks have received about 200-300 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours while 60 blocks received 100-200 mm rainfall in the state. 
 
Some blocks received more than 300 mm of rainfall.
 
IANS

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Finance Commission lauds women empowerment in Odisha’s local government bodies

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Odisha was a shining example of women's empowerment with 10 of 16 representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) being women - actual representation going even beyond the legislated 50%, the 15th Finance Commission said today.
 
The Commission’s visit to Odisha began with a meeting with the PRI and ULB representatives. The Commission was unanimous that all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions must get a part of the financial devolution. 
 
It was felt that enhancing revenue capabilities was essential to their viability. The Commission was concerned that levying of property tax was still not allowed -- it deserved priority along with other measures to make the PRIs and ULBs self-sufficient.
 
The Commission headed by N K Singh held a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Also present were the Ministers of Finance, Parliamentary Affairs & Rural Development, Health & Family Welfare of Odisha along with senior officials of the State. 
 
The Commission expressed appreciation for the steps taken by the State Government for Odisha’s progress. On the health sector, the Chairman said while Odisha was doing well in IMR and MMR, the ratio of the number of doctors to population was well below the acceptable level. 
 
He said there was a need for more medical colleges and institutes to improve the quality of health care, especially in rural Odisha.
 
In the sphere of education, the Commission felt that Odisha required to put more emphasis on the sphere of R&D and also in HRD. Multi-pronged development is required in the primary, secondary and higher secondary education sector.
 
The Commission, while complimenting Odisha for the reduction in poverty across the State, felt that it still had some distance to cover to level with the national standards.
 
It assured the State Government of support in the issue of clean energy cess to be spent on coal mine areas. The Commission also promised to give its full consideration on the State’s proposals on disaster management and other matters.
 
The Commission has appreciated the State Government for its project ‘Kalia’, for the handling of the natural disasters and for Women Empowerment. It expressed the hope that identification of intended beneficiaries would meet the benchmark of transparency and credibility.
 
Earlier, the Chairman and members of the 15th Finance Commission had what was described to be “a most productive and enriching interaction” with representatives of the various political parties in the state.
 
There was an exchange of ideas and opinions, some familiar and some innovative. Both sides expressed unanimity in bringing cess and surcharge within the divisible pool. Most importantly, the Commission felt that if there is constructive impediment, Finance Commission must take this into account in its vertical devolution. 
 
The idea of a heritage university and disaster management institute was discussed. The Commission felt that given the proneness of the state to disaster, such management institutions are constitutional impairment and deserve careful consideration. Political parties shared the concern on progressive erosion of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution.
 
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Centre committed to Odisha's development: Modi

 
Modi inaugurates several development projects in Odisha
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said his government is fully committed to Odisha's development as he dedicated a slew of projects worth thousands of crores to the public here.
 
"Starting from infrastructure to development of the Odisha people -- all steps are being taken. I assure you that this work will continue," said the Prime Minister.
 
Modi inaugurated the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar built at a cost of Rs 1,260 crore and said "I got the opportunity to dedicate IIT Bhubaneswar to the youth, for which Rs 1,260 crores have been spent. 
 
"This grand campus will not only be a centre of dreams for the youth of Odisha but will also provide employment opportunities." 
 
"The central government is fully committed to the overall development of Odisha," he told a gathering here as he also laid foundation stones and unveiled various projects worth Rs 14,000 crore. 
 
He appealed to the people to move ahead together and make efforts for the state's development.
 
He also inaugurated an archaeological museum at Lalitgiri, which provides evidence of the 2000-year-old early Buddhist settlements in the region and a 100-bed upgraded ward of the ESI Hospital in Bhubaneswar.
 
The Prime Minister said the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Yojna is moving fast towards providing gas through a pipeline in eastern India as he laid the foundation of the Paradip-Hyderabad Pipeline Project (PHPL) by the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and the Bokaro-Angul section pipeline project (Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga) by Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL).
 
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of a six-lane stretch Chandikhol-Bhadrak of National Highway-16, a four-lane stretch of National Highway-16 between Cuttack and Angul, 6 laning of the Tangi-Puintola section of NH-16 and Kandagiri flyover on NH-16.
 
The Prime Minister released a commemorative coin, stamp and Buxi Jagabandhu chair (research laboratory) at Utkal University to celebrate 200 years of the Paika Rebellion against British rule.
 
"Besides honouring the heroes of Paika, the government is working to show the rich spiritual heritage of Odisha to the world," said the Prime Minister.
 
Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan were also present on the occasion.
 
Patnaik reiterated the demand to declare the Paika Rebellion against the British Raj in 1817 as the first freedom movement of the country and to run a new train for Odisha in honour of Buxi Jagabandhu.
 
With the Union Government proposing to set up a memorial on the Paika Rebellion, he assured to provide land free of cost and all necessary support.
 
IANS

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KCR, Naveen for unification of regional parties to counter BJP, Cong

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TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Sunday said there was a need for unifying regional parties in the country, as he met BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
 
Both the leaders met at Naveen Niwas, residence of Naveen Patnaik, to build a consensus on brining regional parties together.
 
"There is a dire need for the unification of regional parties in the country. We strongly believe that there has to be an alternative to BJP and Congress," said Rao.
 
He said they have just begun the dialogue.
 
"It is certain that the country needs a change, qualitative change for which dialogue has begun. We are making our efforts. However, nothing has come out concrete now," said the TRS president.
 
"We have just begun the dialogue. We need to talk with more leaders. We just started the dialogue and we will meet again to discuss how to take things forward. There is a need to talk to some more people," said Rao.
 
On allegations that he is the B-team of BJP, the TRS president said that it is the big joke of the country.
 
"Narendra Modi in Hyderabad said I am the B-team of Congress while Sonia and Rahul (Gandhi) alleged me as the B-team of BJP," said the Telangana Chief Minister.
 
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, "We discussed several things including friendship among the like-minded parties."
 
Telangana Chief Minister said he supports the move of Odisha Chief Minister on 33% reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies.
 
He also praised Naveen Patnaik for his recent KALIA scheme for farmers and other social welfare schemes.
 
IANS
 

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N-capable Agni-IV successfully test-fired off Odisha coast

File photo of Agni-IV missile
File photo of Agni-IV missile
Nuclear-capable strategic ballistic missile Agni-IV was successfully test fired from APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast on Sunday.
 
The Strategic Forces Command of Indian Army successfully test fired the surface-to-surface intermediate range ballistic missile from launchpad number-4 of the integrated test range at 8.30 a.m.
 
The missile was test-fired as a part of user training exercise, said defence sources.
 
The missile, which has the latest features to correct and guide itself for in-flight disturbances, is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, 5th generation onboard computer and distributed architecture.
 
Earlier in December, Agni-V was successfully test fired from APJ Abdul Kalam Island.
 
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Lack of consistency and self-belief led to India’s failure in the World Cup

The 14th edition  of the Men’s Hockey World cup  produced a new champion in Belgium, thus ending the hegemony of  Australia, The Netherlands and Germany - who have been  dominating it for the last  two decades.
 
For India, hosting the World Cup for the third time (after 1982 and 2010) this time also turned out to be a frustrating experience.
 
The Indian performance at the World Cup can be best described as two-toned. They exhibited some flair and fluency against lower ranked teams but lacked self belief and conviction when pitted against superior ranked ones.
 
They   overran South Africa 5-0 in clinical fashion in their opener, thus laying the foundation of a good show in the quadrennial tournament.
 
It was number three Belgium in their next pool match. India ranked two places behind the Rio Olympics silver medalists were hopeful of bagging three points as were their rivals, too, as the top team of each group would make a direct entry to the quarter final.
 
However, they fell in arrears midway in the first quarter with Alexander Hendrickx's penalty corner strike. Even though the Belgians had better ball possession and pass accuracy, India fought back tenaciously not only equalising through a penalty stroke conversion by Harmanpreet Singh but taking the lead eight minutes later with a splendid finish by Simranjeet Singh. 
 
The Red Lions thereafter played full press with 3D skills deploying pops and jinks in and around the Indian striking circle to draw level four minutes to the final hooter.
 
Canada was the opponent in their last pool game and India needed a win to top the pool. After taking the lead off Harmanpreet's flick, they lost the initiative in the third quarter after conceding the parity. However It was a possessed India in the final quarter as they mesmerized their opponents, pumping in four strikes in twelve minutes. It was surely their best encore and now were being tagged as one of the teams that could go all the way.
 
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However, their fourth fixture, the quarter-final against three-time champions the Netherlands was  their last in the quest for glory in this World Cup. They failed to cope with the high pressure situation of a World Cup quarter-final with the full-throated houseful crowd having an overwhelming effect.
 
The difference between good teams and very good ones is that the latter do not fall into the noise trap. They adapt to such situations making it advantageous as extra gas and not as handbrakes on their mental machines.
 
The Dutch played with short passes and hurt India on the turnarounds. India tried to rush things in the match after taking the lead but played into the hands of their more seasoned opponents.
 
While the Dutch managed to hold the ball getting it past their opponents' first line of defence, India's inability to do the same highlighted their inexperience, particularly in the central midfield. 
 
Coach Harendra Singh had talked about  his squad's attacking mindset but, for most part in their last-eight fixture, India resorted to overhead passes to get the ball out of their own half. Eventually the Dutch came out trumps winning 2-1 to keep their all-win record intact against India in the World Cup. This was the end for India with the only consolation that they finished sixth in the overall standings, three spots higher than in the last edition at The Hague in 2014.
 
According to veteran hockey writer Prabhjot Singh, “One probable reason for this big match inconsistency is poor or knee-jerk planning. Indian teams, both men and women, had maximum exposure in the year 2018. They played more international games than any other Asian nation. Did it help?"
 
“I think  neither the Hockey India nor the team management knew when they want our teams to peak - in Commonwealth Games,  Champions Trophy , Asian Games or World Cup for men.
 
“After ten months of training and competition, each player tends to burn out. Though some minor changes were made in Indian teams for different events but the bulk of the team remained the same.
 
"Could not we plan to prepare our teams for each and every tournament in a manner that fatigue and burnouts are avoided?” he asked.
 
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Belgium win their maiden World Cup title, Netherlands miss history and cup

Playing to the script, Belgium held their nerves and downed favourite The Netherlands 3-2 in a penalty shootout sudden death to win their maiden Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here this evening.
 
In the process, Belgium became the sixth -- and third European -- team to win this prestigious title while the Netherlands ended runners-up for the second time running. 
 
Three-time champions Netherlands and Olympic silver medallists Belgium played an engrossing 60-minute regulation period in which they failed to score, leading to penalty shoot-out.
 
In the shoot-out, Dutch led 2-0 but Belgium made it 2-2 to end the deadlock. Sudden death was applied and Florent Van Aubel beat Dutch goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak to put his side ahead 3-2.
 
However luck eluded experienced Dutch striker Jeoran Hartzberger at the crucial moment. He beat the goalkeeper but his reverse flick was wide of the target.
 
With that, the Netherlands hopes of regaining the title for the fourth time after a gap of two decade and equalising Pakistan’s record of four wins, went up in a smoke on the blue turf of Kalinga Stadium.
 
Belgium, playing in their sixth World Cup, their previous best being 5th in 2014, had meticulously planned for this game. The Shane McLeod-coached team stuck to a script and same was the case with Netherlands.
 
The two teams dished out a classical, well-paced European hockey. The teams took no chances, and gave no quarter to each other.
 
Both teams looked tentative as the title contest opened, as one was seeking its maiden title, other wanted to regain it for the fourth time. 
 
The game was a closely marked affair. The teams marked each other’s players tightly. There was also a zonal marking, so the flourish was missing but the teams obviously were not playing for the galleries but for title.
 
In the 60-minute regulation period, the Dutch earned two penalty corners in the 29th and 30th minutes but both were wasted. After that it was a keen affair with teams trying to keep possession of the ball with them.
 
 As there were no gaps, no space, it became difficult to make tearaway moves, though there were some moves from the flanks, but they were aborted by the alert defenders from both the sides.
 
As time ticked away, Belgium started dominating and Artur van Doren made moves from the flank but fumbled inside or near the circle. Dutch striker 32-year-old Hertberger tried some solo dashes but he could not get past the rivals' crowded defence.
 
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There was some excitement in the last quarter of the game as goalkeepers of both the sides brought off a few good saves.
 
In the shootout, Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch outmatched his Dutch counterpart Pirmin Blaak by making four saves to hand his side their maiden World Cup title. While Hertzberger and Jonas de Geus scored for Netherlands, Florent van Aubel and Victor Wegnez were on target for Belgium.
 
However, the shoot-out was full of drama as Belgium needed Arthur de Sloover to score from their fifth and last attempt to win the game and he did so, sending the Red Lions bench into wild celebrations.
 
But Dutch goalkeeper rushed to the umpire seeking referral for a foot and the goal was later withdrawn after TV replays showed the ball indeed touch De Sloover’s feet .
 
The reversal meant the match went into sudden death and Van Aubel was given the responsibility by Belgium to take the first opportunity and he duly converted it.
 
Now it was Netherlands turn to score and continue the sudden death but Hertzberger faltered this time as Belgium goalkeeper Vanasch came up with another brilliant save to hand his teammates the biggest win of their careers.
 
Belgium goal keeper Vincent Vanasch was declared Man of the Match while their young striker Artur van Dornen was named player of the tournament. Spain won the fair play trophy.
 
 A jubilant Belgium coach Shane Mcleod said, “We are deserving winners, the boys have been working hard for the last four years and their dedication paid off today. My salute to my boys."
 
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Australia humiliates England 8-1 to claim Hockey World Cup bronze

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A rampaging Australia pumped out all their pent up frustration on helpless England, handing them an 8-1 humiliation to clinch the bronze medal in the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.
 
Australia, who failed in their chase to create history as they lost to the Netherlands in the semi-finals, vent their fury on England whom they blew to smithereens to claim their fifth bronze in the World Cup.
 
For the Australians, who led 3-0 at half time, the goalscorers were Blake Govers (8th), Tom Craig (9th, 19th, 34th), Trent Mitton (32nd), Tim Brand (34th) and Jeremy Hayward (57th, 60th) while for England Barry Middleton (45th) reduced the margin.
 
In the pool stage of the tournament, Australia had beaten England 3-0. With this, the two teams have faced each other 29 times, with the team from Down Under winning 22 times and England only four times.
 
It was the second successive nightmarish encounter for England, who lost to Belgium 0-6, in the semi-finals on Saturday.
 
Australia took some tome to settle down but once they got into their groove they launched a frontal assault that sent the rivals scurrying for cover.
 
In fact, the 8-1 score line is not a real indicator of the dominance the Aussies enjoyed over their rivals. The former champions should have won by double digit margin but for the missed chances and poor marksmanship. 
 
Australia opened their attack that fetched them the first penalty corner in the sixth minute but Govers’ flick was deflected well over the post. However two minutes later the Aussies surged ahead with Govers scoring the goal, his seventh of the tournament, with a reverse hit after receiving a through ball.
 
A minute later, the three-time champions doubled their lead when Craig scored from close range after rebound from Brand’s pass (2-0). England retaliated but Australia keeper Tyler Lovell made a good save to frustrate Liam Ansell from close quarters.
 
Australia went up 3-0 four minutes into the second quarter through Craig who was set up Jake Harvie and Govers.
 
Just seconds into the third quarter, England secured a penalty corner but Luke Taylor’s attempt was easily saved by Charter.
 
It was 4-0 in the second minute of the second half when Trent Mitton scored off a rebound after Hayward’s try from a penalty corner was saved by Gibson.
 
Even before England could settle down from the setback, Australia pumped in two more goals within a minute to reduce the contest to a one-sided affair. Brand scored off a fine Mitton pass for the fifth and then Craig made it 6-0 for his side and completed his three-goal tally with another super goal.
 
England scored a consolation goal just seconds from the end of the third quarter with Middleton finishing on an empty goal from Phil Roper pass. Australia scored their seventh goal in the 57th minute when Hayward converted a penalty corner.
 
As if that was not enough, Australia secured back-to-back penalty corners in the final minute, the second of which was converted by Hayward to seal off a convincing win.
 
“We played the game, they way we wanted and won,” coach Colin Batch said. “It is good to have podium finish at this level of competition.”
 
England finished the last two matches conceding 14 goals while scoring one. This was England’s third straight loss in the bronze medal contest, having earlier finished fourth in 2010 in Delhi and in 2014 at the Hague.
 
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FIH reprimands Indian coach Harendra for his outburst against umpires

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The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Sunday officially reprimanded India’s chief coach Harendra Singh for his vitriolic outburst against on-field umpires after the hosts lost to Netherlands in the hockey World Cup here.
 
The reprimand was handed to Harendra after he and India’s analytical coach Chris Ciriello were called for an official hearing by the FIH on Saturday.
 
India lost 1-2 to Netherlands in the fourth and last quarter-final to crash out of the tournament on Thursday. Soon after the defeat, Harendra lashed out at the umpires squarely, blaming them for India’s loss.
 
He went on to say that it was time for the FIH to seriously address the issue (umpiring) as his side (India) had been at the receiving end of poor on-field decisions twice this year.
 
However, his fiery remarks did not go down well with the FIH, with its technical delegate Christian Deckenbrock terming the coach’s outburst as “inappropriate” and “unacceptable”.
 
“The FIH Technical Delegate has decided that India’s coach Harendra Singh committed a breach of the Code of Conduct (Level 1.2.k: Public criticism of, or inappropriate public comment in relation to an incident at the press conference following the match between India vs Netherlands,” the FIH said in a statement on Sunday.
 
“As of result of this breach, Harendra Singh received an official reprimand. The FIH Technical delegate asserted that the statements from the coach at the press conference regarding umpires were unacceptable.
 
This reprimand means that the Indian coach has to be very careful in his utterances regarding the umpires or other FIH officials or he will face serious consequences.
 
The FIH made it clear that the official reprimand will be recorded by the FIH and can be taken into account if Harendra breaches the Code of Conduct again at a future event.
 
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FIH slaps two-match suspension on Indian striker Akashdeep

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After coach Harendra Singh, it was the turn of striker Akashdeep Singh to face the ire of the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
 
The FIH slapped Akashdeep with a two-match suspension for breaching the Code of Conduct at the end of India’s quarter-final loss against the Netherlands in the ongoing World Cup.
 
According to a statement from the world body, the International Hockey Federation’s technical delegate had recommended Akashdeep’s case to FIH’s disciplinary commission.
 
As per the recommendation, Akashdeep faces a possible two-match suspension at the next top FIH event.
 
The striker had allegedly “used foul language or gesture(s) that was seriously obscene and offensive or having a ‘seriously insulting nature to another participant or any other third person at the conclusion of India’s quarter-final against the Netherlands on Thursday”.
 
In his decision, FIH technical delegate Christian Deckenbrock indicated that if India had still been in the competition, he would have suspended Akashdeep for the next two matches.
 
However, in accordance with tournament regulations, Deckenbrock decided to give written notice of his decision to FIH CEO Thierry Weil and to recommend him to refer the case to the FIH disciplinary commission..
 
“Furthermore, the delegate stated that he will recommend that a suspension should apply for the next FIH top-tier competition (including FIH Series Final) at which India will participate and that it should also be considered whether the number of players which India may use in these matches will be limited according to 5.1 of the FIH tournament regulations,” the statement further added.
 
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Hockey: Netherlands oust Australia to enter final after two decades

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Amid nerve-wracking tension and high drama, The Netherlands knocked out defending champions Australia  4-3 in penalty shootout via sudden death after the two teams were levelled 2-2 at the end of the regulation period to storm into the final of the 14th Hockey World Cup after two decades  at Kalinga Stadium here this evening.
 
In the process, Netherlands took sweet revenge for the 1-6  defeat they had suffered at the hands of Australia in the  final of the 2014 edition of the World Cup.
 
Three-time champions The Netherlands will take on Belgium in an  all-European final  after two decades. In 1998,  the Netherlands had beaten Spain in an all-European contest. Before that, in 1975, it was an Asian affair with India beating Pakistan in Kuala Lumpur.
 
This will also be for the first time since 2002 that Australia will not figure in the final of the Cup.
 
In an edge-of-the-seat affair, Australia proved nothing is over till it is over.  Trailing 1-2 till the last minute, the outgoing champions came alive from the death with Eddie Ockenden scoring a stunning equaliser in the last 24 seconds of the game to take the match into penalty shoot out.
 
In the regular period, Gleen Schuurman (9th) and Seve Van Ass (20th) scored a goal each for Belgium while for Australia Tim Howard (45th) and Eddie Ockenden (60th) were the goalgetters.
 
However, in the shootout, the teams were levelled at three each when sudden death was applied and here luck deserted the Aussies as Daniel Beale failed to convert after Jeroen Hertzberger had put the Dutch ahead.
 
In the shootout, Daniel Beale, Tom Craig and Jake Whetton converted for Australia while Aran Zalweski and Tim Brand failed. For the winners, Jeoran Hertzberger, Deeve Van ass and Thjis Van Dam scored while  Mirco  Pruijse and Robbert Kemperman  failed.
 
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This is the match Australia had a edge, they attacked relentlessly and after conceding two goals in the space of 11 minutes virtually laid siege around the Dutch goal. Time and again, the Aussies attacked created opening and set up their strikers but all their efforts were in vain. It was simply not their day.
 
Dutch goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak was their hero. He brought off some stunning saves and in the  sudden death kept his nerve to see his team through to final, denying the Aussies a chance to create history by becoming the first team to win a hat trick of titles.
 
"I am proud of my boys, they kept their nerves, they remained focused," said Dutch Coach  Max Caldas. “We played well."
 
Australian coach Colin Batch offered no excuses. "We had our chances, many chances but then we could not convert them.  We dominated the  game but they won. This is what sport is all about."
 
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Belgium midfielder Simon Gougnard gets news of father's demise on morning of match

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Though Belgium's thrashing of England looked like a thoroughly professional job, there was a lot of emotion behind it. The joy of reaching their first World Cup final was tinged by a sadness. 
 
Midfielder Simon Gougnard got the news at 2 am in the morning that he had lost his father to cancer. But the professional player that he is he focussed on what lay ahead -- a chance to create some sporting history for his country. The team took the field wearing black arm bands.
 
In the 22nd minute, Gougnard scored the second goal for Belgium. There were not  any gestures, just hugs all round as his teammates egged him on.
 
“It was difficult. His father was pretty sick, not really well. It is a shame he couldn't be there with his father but he really wanted to play. So we dedicate the victory to his father. Today our memories are with him, especially with Simon and his father. He (Simon) was really close to his father. You always hoped that he passed away when Simon was there but he couldn't be there with his family, that's a hard part,”said Thomas Briels, captain of the Belgium team.
 
Coach Shane Mcleod described the sombre but determined mood in the team on the morning of the match. “We had words, we spoke and he shared the news with the group. If anything, it brought the group closer together. It's something you may not wish upon any one,, circle of life and so on. He played for his father today and played a fantastic game.”
 
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FIH makes Junior World Cup biennial event, Senior World Cup to remain 16-team tourney

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Asserting that it does not want to lose out a generation, the FIH on Saturday announced that the Junior World Cup will be held every two years henceforth.
 
“The Junior World Cup will be held every second year from now on. We need to support youth in sport and give every generation a chance to participate in the Junior World Cup. If we don't, we lose a generation of players,” FIH CEO Thierry Weil told mediapersons.
 
However the FIH has yet to decide about the venue and year regarding the next edition of the event . The decision was taken in its Executive Board meeting only on Friday, but they are yet to figure out the host nation and exact timing of the next edition.
 
Asked about when and where the next edition of the Junior World Cup and Senior World Cup will be held, Weil said “I think it is in 2021, but please let us confirm that you before putting out a wrong message,” Weil said.
 
“We had already presented the plan for selection (of venues) for the 2022 World Cup. We have launched the (invitation of) bids. We have set two windows in July 2022 and in January 2013. The bidding process will finish in February. Then we will collect all the documents,” he said.
 
“We will start bids for potential candidates for the Junior World Cup soon. This decision will also have to be taken in 2019.”
 
He, however, made it clear that from now on the World Cup will be a 16-team affair but said they will work on curtailing the duration of the tournament.
 
“There is no intention to increase but maintain the number of teams in the World Cup. We will definitely stick to it (16 teams). It's long for some people. We will listen to the national associations who are participating. I cannot tell you now, how will it exactly work. Potentially more games in one day,” Weil said.
 
He also said that there will be no title sponsor and broadcaster for the upcoming Pro League and it will be known as FIH Pro League.
 
Besides, the FIH also took a few important decisions on the launch of Hockey 5s, a new upgraded ranking system and international calendar during its meeting on Friday.
 
“By the end of February 2019, we will take a decision how we want to conduct Hockey 5s. It's nothing new. It's just that FIH has decided to bring it to a new level, in areas where people are, to showcase the beauty of hockey. There are a lot of people out there who have never seen the game. The short format will allow us to go in areas where 11-a-side cannot be played,” he said.
 
“We will also work on a new ranking system that is simple and allows every country to collect points. That's quite important," he added.
 
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Coach Harendra Singh in trouble as FIH hints at action for his attack on umpires

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Coach Harendra Singh’s vitriolic attack on the umpires after India lost to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the Hockey World Cup is going to cost him dear, FIH hinted on Saturday.
 
Taking a tough stand, International Hockey Federation (FIH) CEO Weil Thierry told mediapersons that the federation has taken a very serious view of the outburst. "We will not review anything, what we will review is complaints made against the umpires. That is not acceptable.”
 
The coach after the defeat had squarely held the umpires responsible for the defeat and to that Thierry’s reaction was that “If you lose, you have to accept it and look forward”.
 
“I think the beauty of sports, in principle, is that you have a winner and a loser. The day you win, you are happy. The day you lose, you are sad, which I understand. Even Argentina team cried on the bench," he said.
 
"When you lose, what you have to do? You have to look forward to play better and win next time. To blame umpires is not the hockey style. I would just recommend (that) and definitely say umpires have a tough job, decision to be made within seconds. It (questioning umpires) is not acceptable," he said.
 
FIH president Narinder Batra who was present at the press conference fully supported his CEO and said “They (umpires) have only two eyes...what Thierry already said is they are doing a job, a thankless job. Be graceful whether you win or lose. You have to accept their decision.
 
“Being the FIH President I have to follow certain protocols and I have my strong reservations against this kind of behaviour. A sport has to be played in the right spirit,” he added. 
 
Harendra’s job has been under the scanner ever since India failed to defend its Asian Games title in Jakarta and the World Cup was his last opportunity.
 
Batra, who also heads the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and was former chief of Hockey India, further indicated that some radical changes are on the offing.
 
“I am here till the 17th December and then I will return to Delhi. After 17th I will give my statement on the issue as NOC (National Olympic Committee) President,” he said.
 
Batra was visibly pleased with the conduct of the World Cup at Bhubaneswar, saying “From the feedback we at FIH have received so far, it has been a fantastic tournament. There has been an all-round appreciation about the way crowd has behaved and about the superb Infrastructure."
 
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We were done in by the umpires: Indian coach Harendra Singh

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A furious and fuming Indian coach Harendra Singh lashed out at the umpires, squarely blaming them for the hosts' defeat at the hands of The Netherlands in the Hockey World Cup on Thursday.
 
"We have been done in. We were pitted against 13 players, 11 players and two umpires,” Harendra, trembling with anger, told mediapersons.
 
"Can anyone define Amit Rohidas' 10-minute yellow card? What about this gentleman (Manpreet), when he was pushed from behind? Why not yellow card there? We have lost two major tournaments (Asian Games the other) this year (because of umpiring)," he said, raising his voice.
 
However, the Dutch coach Max Caldas who was also present at the briefing took a different position. “In the end, the umpires didn't play the game. The team with most chances wins the game. We won the game. That's the bottom line."
 
“We never discuss umpires. I think we always talk about it, playing as good as we can, to make sure that the ball goes the other way and can't cost us the game. In the end, the umpires didn't play the game."
 
Harendra, on the other hand, continued with umpire bashing. “Two times we got a card when we hadn't done anything. But when it happened against us, he (umpire) said nothing. They need to improve. We have lost two major tournaments. People ask, why Indian hockey is not improving."
 
He said he would like to tender his apologies, “We could not do what we had to. I am not going to stop today. If they (umpires) don't improve, we will face this type of results."
 
Talking about his team, he said, “In patches, I am satisfied (with the team's performance). Overall, I say that Holland played their game. If you are not there to score goals, it's another thing but we created the chances."
 
About the way his team played, the coach tried to explain saying, “When we don't have the ball, all players are defenders. We were there, tackling, not handing back and giving space.
 
"We have improved in one-to-one tackling. It's a mix of attack, midfield and defence . When your structure is good, you can do that and create pressure. So credit goes to the entire team."
 
Skipper Manpreet said, “We lost. We are out of the tournament" and added that the team put in all the effort. "I am happy that all boys gave their 100% and were not short on confidence."
 
Dutch coach Caldas explained that “in my team’s thinking, 'You might have', 'You should have', 'You could have' do not exit. We review games, not umpires. We review our own performance."
 
“It happened at the Champions Trophy when the call went against us and we had a draw against India. Umpires do their job. It's a very fast-paced game."
 
“I told my boys to just play the game. I knew it was going to be a battle. Sometimes we win, you lose, we are happy the way we could change things and keep our cool," he added.
 
Dutch skipper Billy Baker said, “I think we are pretty happy with the officials. In the end, India were asking for penalty corner. It doesn't matter if they had the referral. Sometimes in sports things don't go like you want. That's something you have to deal with."
 
“In my opinion, we are a really good team, also adapt to those situations. Of course, it is difficult. But we also have those moments sometimes. But I think the referees did a good job.
 
“Good positioning is one of the really important things to win games. India have a lot of young players, lot of potential but they are also vulnerable getting into good positions. In my opinion, we did that better. For us, the result only counts. That was the right decision for us to play this way."
 
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India go down 1-2 to Netherlands and out of World Cup

At the end it was a heart break as India bade a tearful adieu to the World Cup.
 
India missed a chance to script a new chapter as they went down 1-2 to The Netherlands in an edge-of-the-seat quarter-final of the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here on Thursday evening.
 
With this, the last-four line-up of the World Cup was completed; England will take on Belgium, while The Netherlands will face defending champions Australia in the semi-finals on Saturday.
 
India had a chance to get into the semi-finals of this competition after 43 years but the Dutch upped the ante in the last quarter and came out with a winner in the 50th minute off a penalty corner and held tenaciously to that slender lead.
 
Thierry Brinkman (15th) and Mink van der Weerden (50th) scored a goal each for the winners while Akashdeep Singh scored first for hosts in the 12th minute.
 
The Indians gave the formidable Dutch a run for their money as they matched them move for move, attack for attack. In fact, in the second and third quarters,  the hosts enjoyed an edge over their rivals. But it all boiled down to converting even half chances.
 
The teams opened the game under different kinds of pressure. There was a packed stadium expecting India to dominate, while the Netherlands, thrice winner, had their reputation at stake.
 
It was a tentative start to the tense last quarter-final and the teams were not willing to take risks and kept probing each other for six or seven minutes. The ball was confined in the middle with midfielders playing their role feeding their strikers but the defence of both sides making some good saves.
 
The Dutch, after warding off afew Indian moves, made an incisive move through Jeroen Hetrzberger but Kothajit and Surender combined well to foil the attack. Another attack this time, again from left, saw Mirco Pruijser into action but he too failed to cut through the defence.
 
India generated a counter move which unsettled the Dutch defence and they conceded the penalty corner. Harmanpreet’s flick was cleared but on the rebound Akashdeep sent the ball home, leaving the defenders bewildered (1-0) and the stadium erupted.
 
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The jubilation lasted barely a minute as the Dutch made a furious counter and caught the Indian defence off guard as unmarked Thierry Brinkman inside the circle deflected a shot from the middle into the net (1-1) and silence descended on the stadium.
 
The Indians started the second quarter on an aggressive note with Simranjeet Singh and Lalit Upadhyay creating good moves while Akashdeep and Nilakanta Sharma in the middle kept the flanks moving with good distribution.
 
The Dutch, surprisingly, were edgy. Their interceptions were not as clean and time and again they fumbled inside the Indian circle. It was very unlike the three-time winners who looked a bit off colour
 
Towards the end of the third quarter, Thierry Brinkman made a dangerous but abortive move as Indian defenders closed on him to take the ball away.
 
Three minutes into the last quarter, Simranjeet made a fantastic run into the circle but his shot went abegging in front of the goal. It was a sitter for his teammates but no one could get their stick to turn it in. In hindsight, this was the missed chance that cost India the match
 
Two minutes later, the Dutch countered and they won a penalty corner and Mink van der Weerden converted it (2-1) to the dismay of the packed stadium.
 
The crowd came alive when a couple of minutes later Chinglensana Singh earned a penalty corner after Sander Baart felled him. But Harmanpreet Singh could not beat Pirmin Blaak who pulled of a good save. Four minute to go, coach Harendra Singh took out the goalkeeper and the Indians went on  an all-out attack for the equaliser but that was not to be. The Dutch managed to ride roughshod in the remaining period to make their 10th entry into the semi-final in this tournament.
 
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Hockey: Belgium upstage Germany 2-1 to book semi-final berth in World Cup

Playing with clinical precision, Belgium upstaged two-time winner Germany 2-1 to make their maiden entry in the semi-finals of the Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here on Thursday.
 
Germany, looking a pale shadow of the team of yore, took the lead through Diieter Linnekogel (14th). Belgium, silver medallist at Rio Olympics equalised through Alexander Hendrickx (18th) and Tom Boon (50th) gave them the winner.
 
Germany, who have made the semi-finals 11 times till date but finished only sixth in 2014, again failed to cross the quarter-final hurdle as Belgium set up a semi-final clash with England slated for December 15.
 
The Germans took the initiative to open up the game and in the third minute Christopher Rhur intercepted a ball and set up an opening but the Red sticks not only foiled the move but launched a counter-attack .
 
The two-time winners kept pressing and the Belgians were forced to fall back to defend their citadel. Having some of the game's best attackers, the Germans gained control of the midfield and pushed rivals on the backfoot .
 
Belgium regrouped themselves and launched the counter which created some commotion in German defence who however warded off the challenge. Another Belgium attack followed and they earned a penalty corner from that.
 
Alexander Hendrickx‘s flick was deflected for a long corner. Germans retaliated with Tom Grambusch making a super run down into the Belgium circle and tried to set up fellow striker but his cross was well intercepted by defender Sebastien Dockier.
 
The former champions kept up the pressure and the Belgium defence finally collapsed in the 14th minute when a counter move created panic in the defence and Dieter Linnekogel, taking advantage of the chaos, slammed the ball home to give Germany the lead (1-0).
 
Belgium hit back strongly and earned a penalty corner in the final minute of the quarter. It led to a second penalty corner, which was superbly saved by Tobias Walter but that led to a third penalty corner and Walter made another save.
 
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Belgium started the second quarter strongly and made two good attacks from right flanks through Simon Gougnard and were rewarded with a penalty corner and this time Alexander Hendrickx flicked the ball home. (1-1).
 
Buoyed by this equaliser, the Belgians started raiding the German citadel and forced five more penalty corners but each time they found Tobias Walter a tough nut to crack.
 
The Germans suddenly looked stressed out. They seemed to have lost steam and the will to fight back for which they were once so famous.
 
As the Belgians stepped up the pressure, the Germans became panic-ridden and clueless. Their attacks lacked cohesion and they hardly looked threatening.
 
The Red Sticks upped their ante and in the 49th minute they earned their ninth penalty corner. Hendrickx’s shot was cleared by the goalkeeper.
 
The Belgians earned the crucial breakthrough in the 50th minute. Belgium skipper Thomas Briels made a good move but Walter again came to his side’s rescue but on a rebound Tom Boons intercepted the ball and slammed it into the cage, and that turned out to be the winner.
 
Belgium deserved to win and they won.
 
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Bhubaneswar to host one of Hockey Series Finals from June 6-16 next year

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Bhubaneswar, the venue of the ongoing World Cup, will host one of the three Hockey Series Finals to be held from June 6 to 16 next year.
 
This was announced by Odisha Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera in the presence of International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Narinder Batra here on Wednesday.
 
"After the successful hosting of World Cup, Bhubaneswar will once again welcome international hockey when it will host the Hockey Series Finals from June 6 to 16 next year. It is a privilege for us to be recognised as one of the sought-after destinations for hockey,” Behera said.
 
The Hockey Series is open to national teams that are not playing in the Hockey Pro League. The Hockey Series takes place in two rounds, the Open and the Finals. The nine highest ranked teams in the FIH World Rankings (as of 9 June 2017) skip the Open and advance directly to the Finals. 
 
All other countries play in the Hockey Series Open, which features eight regional events with up to six teams each. Fifteen teams will qualify from the Hockey Series Open to the Hockey Series Finals, for a total of 24 teams in the Finals.
 
Those teams will play in three events, with eight teams per event (three automatic qualifiers and five that advanced from the Open).
 
The top two placed teams in each of the Finals events will qualify for the Olympic qualification events. In this qualification event, they will be joined by the top four placed teams from the Pro League, and the four highest ranked teams not already qualified. The teams will be drawn and play a two-legged tie to determine seven qualified nations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
 
While India will host the second of the Hockey Series Finals, Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur will host the first event from April 23 to May 1.
 
The last Hockey Series Final will be hosted by Le Touquet, France from June 15 to 23.
 
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Australia oust France 3-0 for record 11th successive entry in World Cup semi-finals

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Defending champions Australia outpaced France 3-0 for their record 11th successive semi-finals entry in the Hockey World cup at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.
 
Three –time winners Australia have been in the semi-finals of every World Cup since 1978. They have been topper thrice, runners-up twice, bronze medallist four times and fourth placer once.
 
Australia, who are eyeing to create history by becoming the first team to win the World Cup three times in a row, were hardly tested by the French forwards who though managed three penalty corners but never looked threatening.
 
Returning to the World Cup after a gap of 20 years, only for the third time, France however did well to restrict their famed rivals to only a three-goal margin.
 
For the winners, Jeremy Hayward (4th), Blake Govers (19th) and Aran Zalewski (38th) were the goalscorers.They scored in each of the first three quarters but the French resolutely denied them the fourth goal in the last quarter.
 
The defending champions, who entered the field having already scored 16 goals in three league matches while conceding only one, surged ahead in the fourth minute when, off the first penalty corner, Jeremy Hayward found space between two players and the goalkeeper to sweep home the opening goal (1-0).
 
The French did not cave in like some others teams did but they fought back and forced the Aussies defenders to take note of them.
 
The Aussies were bit surprised by the dour resistance put by the French but they breached the crowded defence for the second time in the 19th minute. The champions forced their second penalty corner and Blake Grovers converted it cleanly (2-0).
 
Having converted two penalty corners, Austrlia looked like making it three in a row but France foiled their third penalty corner.
 
Seven minutes into the third quarter, Australia scored a goal from its fourth penalty corner  when captain Aran Zakerski dispatched the ball home after two players relayed it to him (3-0).
 
Australia kept up the pressure but the strikers played a patient game, content with rotating possession among themselves. One pass cut through the French defence and Daniel Beale earned the fifth penalty corner for his side. However, this time the scoop was wide over the bar. 
 
Though Australia's share of possession increased and they controlled the game, they ut failed to increase the lead.
 
Against the run of play, the French got a chance but Pieter van Straaten’s defence splitting pass was cleared by the defenders.
 
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England scrape past Argentina 3-2 to move into the semi-finals

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A tentative England survived a scare and scraped past Olympic champions Argentina 3-2 to become the first team to make it to the semi- finals of the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here this evening.
 
England, who conceded the lead to their rivals in the 17th minute, staged a remarkable comeback to make their third successive semi-final entry in this tournament.
 
For England, Barry Middleton (27th), Will Calnan (45th) and Harry Martin (49th) were the goal getters, while Gonzalo Peillat (17th, 48th) scored both the goals for the losers.
 
Argentina, bronze medallist in 2014, had themselves to blame for the defeat as they missed chances galore and got into panic mode after conceding the third goal.
 
The teams were level at 1-1 till the 45th minute but three goals in the last quarter changed the whole scenario. Calnan made it 2-1 for England, Peillat made it 2-2 but a minute later Martin struck and that turned out to be the winner.
 
The first half turned out to be an engrossing affair with both the teams after settling down attacked each other trying to take the lead. The ball moved furiously from one end to the other.
 
England had more share in the first quarter and that gave them leeway to probe the spaces in Argentina's defence. Initially England deliberately slowed down the pace of the game but these tactics suited the South American side.
 
Realizing that slow pace is not helping them, the Englishmen raised the tempo of the match and that paid dividends as they earned their first penalty corner in the 11th minute. Luke Taylor’s effort earned the team another penalty corner immediately. However, Argentina defended the second one. Of the 30 penalty corners England has received in this tournament so far, they have been able to convert only two. They desperately need to improve in this area.
 
The Olympic champions made a tearaway counter but England defenders managed to thwart the attack.
 
England strikers found it tough to breach the crowded Argentina defence. A counter move by Argentina fetched them their first penalty corner in the 17th minute and drag flick expert Peillat, with a powerful flick, beat goalkeeper George Pinner all ends up (1-0).
 
While Argentina players were celebrating, England strikers raced down the other end and almost equalised but David Condon muffed a sitter.
 
The Argentineans became a bit defensive after taking the lead and they left big gaps in the middle and the Englishmen took advantage of that.
 
After keeping the possession of the ball in the centre Mark Gleghorne made a fine run down from the right flank but his powerful hit was cleared by the defenders but on rebound unmarked Barry Middleton intercepted the ball and found the space inside the circle and with a powerful crack sent the ball past goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi into the Argentine cage to draw parity (1-1).
 
Buoyed by this equalizer, England went on the offensive but time and again could not get past the crowded defence. Argentina adopted wait and watch tactics. They beefed up the defence and waited for an interception or a loose ball to launch a counter attack.
 
England striker Zachary Wallace made an opening as he moved into the Argentine circle but he was brought down in the circle which earned them back-to-back penalty corners which were not converted. Argentina almost got away with a counter attack but could not translate that into the goal.
 
The last quarter turned the match in favour of England as they scored two more as against one by Argentina.
 
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History beckons India as they take on Netherlands in World Cup quarter-final

History beckons Indian hockey. It has been 43 years since India made it to the semi-finals and went on to win the title.
 
Now as they take on the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the 14th Hockey World cup at Kalinga Stadium here on Thursday, the question being asked is whether Harendra Singh’s boys will be able to break the jinx.
 
The pressure will be on the Indians. The packed stadium will be “our 12th man” as coach put it but with expectations so high the blue shirts will have to demonstrate nerves to withstand the pressure on and off the field.
 
Going by the records, the Dutchmen have an edge as India has never beaten Netherlands in the history of the World Cup. In the six meetings at the quadrennial event so far, the three-time winners have defeated the hosts India five times while one ended in a draw.
 
"The past is for the record, it has no meaning for this match” Harendra Singh told mediapersons. “You have yourself seen that how teams like China, France and others played."
 
“This is a new tournament, new match and new venue," he said. “No team can survive if it keeps looking at the past," he  said.
 
Going by present form and rankings, there is hardly anything to differentiate between the two sides. While Netherlands are placed fourth in the current world rankings, India are a rung below in the fifth position. The last time the two teams faced each other in the Champions Trophy earlier this year, it ended in a 1-1 draw.
 
However, the  head-to-head record belongs to Netherlands. In the 105 games played between the two sides so far, the Dutch have won 48, India 33, while the rest ended in draws.
 
“We will play an attacking game, as we have done so far, there will be no compromise on that issue. The boys are focused and they have proved that they can hold on against any team on the Astro Turf," the coach said.
 
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Harendra was confident of his boys living up to the expectations of the people. "Every home crowd wants their team to win. Crowds here are very passionate about the game. They understand it and obviously they will give their full throttle support to Indian team," he said.
 
"What gives hope to the home fans is that since last five years , the two sides have faced each other nine times both, winning four matches each while one was a draw. Since 2013 , we have played well against them recently. We have also beaten them, drew against them at the Champions Trophy,” said captain Manpreet.
 
The quarter-final between the two teams is expected to be a fast attacking encounter with both the teams heavily relying on their goal-scoring abilities. They have scored heavily in the pool stages. The Dutch have pumped in 18 goals and conceded five, while India has scored 12 goals and conceded three.
 
“This will be not the first time. We have played in front of big crowds in pool games and in the past as well. We are used to playing in front of big crowds,” Netherlands coach Max Caldas said.
 
“We always try to play in our own pace, whether it is fast or slow. We like to dictate. We are not concerned about India because we can’t influence what India will do.”
 
Netherlands skipper Bakker added: “The Indian team also has lot of pressure. They need to perform in front of their home crowd. So I feel the pressure is more on the Indian team than us.”
 
The Indians will be relying on their strikers – Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Akashdeep Singh – to deliver.
 
The Dutch have in their ranks captain Billy Bakker, Seve van Ass, Jeroen Hertzberger, Mirco Pruijser, Robbert Kemperman and Thiery Brinkman. They have a solid midfield and their strike force is lethal, and it will be a real test for the Indian defence.
 
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Hockey: Netherlands swamp Canada 5-0, set up quarter-final clash with India in World Cup

Three-time winners The Netherlands gave yet another awe-inspiring display as they hammered Canada out of the tournament with a 5-0 thrashing in the last cross over fixture to complete the quarter-final line-up of the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here this evening.
 
The Dutch will take on hosts India in the quarter-finals on  December 13.
 
For The Netherlands, who led 2-0 at the half-time, Lars Balk (16th),  Robbert Kemperman (20th), Thijs van Dam (40th, 58th) and Thierry Brinkman (41st) were the goalscorers.
 
This was the third time in this tournament that Netherlands beat their rivals by five or more goals. The title contenders had beaten Malaysia (7-0) and Pakistan (5-1). In between, they lost to Germany (1-4) in the league.
 
In the initial phase of the match, it was not as easy as fancied Netherlands might have hoped. The Canadians came into the game as clear underdogs and that tag suited them as it put pressure on their rivals and three-time winners.
 
The Dutch strikers, who had overrun Malaysia and Pakistan in the league matches, found it tough to cut through the rival defence with the same impunity,  especially in the first half, as the Canadians defended their citadel well. 
 
Canadian goalkeeper David Carter also frustrated the rival attackers as he brought off some stunning saves including a stroke.
 
Four minutes into the game, the Dutch made a searching foray into the rival circle and set up captain Billy Bakker, who surprisingly fumbled while taking the shot and the chance was missed. Another attack  followed immediately and this time Bob de Vooged intercepted a ball near the circle and took a direct crack but David Carter moved swiftly and blocked the shot.
 
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In the 9th minute, the Dutch had another good chance but they found Carter in the cage a tough nut to crack. The Canadian defence also intercepted the Dutch attackers very effectively and that frustrated the title contenders. Repeated assaults by the Dutch led to a penalty corner in the 15th minute but Mink can der Weerden's powerful drag flick sailed over the goal. 
 
A minute into the second quarter, the Dutch breached the rival defence when Glenn Schuurman ran down the right flank and set up Lars Balk who smashed the ball into the goal (1-0)). Two minutes later,  Netherlands earned a penalty stroke as Canadian captain Scott Tupper blocked a penalty corner hit with his left foot.
 
However, Jeroen Hertzberger, normally so reliable, failed to beat goalkeeper Carter. But the Canadian jubilation was short-lived as in the next minute their citadel collapsed. Thijs van Dam created an opening for Robbert Kemperman who slammed the ball home (2-0) and that had a demoralising impact on the Canadians.
 
Three goals followed in the next session but the Canadians should be thankful to their custodian because but for him the margin would have been much higher.
 
Four of the five previous title winners  -- Australia, Holland, Germany and India have made it to the last eight while the  fifth, Pakistan, crashed out.
 
In the quarter-finals, Olympic gold medallist Argentina will face England and defending champions Australia will take on France on Wednesday.
 
India will meet The Netherlands and Germany will clash with Belgium on Thursday.
 
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Hockey: Belgium thrash Pakistan 5-0 for place in quarter-finals in World Cup

Title contenders Belgium sent incoherent Pakistan packing out of the tournament as they hammered the four-time champions 5-0 in a cross over match to storm into the quarter-finals of the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here on Tuesday.
 
Belgium will take on two-time champions Germany in the last quarter- final on December 13.
 
For the winners, who led 3-0 at half time, the goalscorers were Alexander Hendrickx (10th), Thomas Briels (13th), Cedric Charlier (27th), Sébastien Dockier (35th) and Tom Boon (53rd).
 
Six-time finalists Pakistan put up a very disappointing show and, barring for seven or eight minutes in the second quarter, they were hardly in the match. It was indeed sad to see the one-time hockey power house dishing out such a poor game.
 
The match started ominously for the Pakistan, who, for the second time in tournament were not in their famed green shirts, as they conceded a penalty corner in the 30th second but the defence did well to clear the danger.
 
The Pakistanis, in white shirts, made counter moves and had controlled the midfield for some time but the world number three Belgium soon regained the initiative and started looking threatening. They kept the pressure on the four-time champions from both the flanks, forcing the Asian side to beef up their defence.
 
Pakistan changed tactics and stated playing from the back but they lacked the speed and their crosses were a bit slow and the rivals had no difficulty in intercepting them.
 
After playing in the middle for acouple of minutes, Belgium made an incisive move as Victor Wegnez made a dash towards the goal and his hit across the face of the goal, which fetched the Red Sticks a penalty corner. Though the Pakistanis defended it, they conceded the third penalty corner and this time Hendrickx with a low smash sent the ball home, giving no chance to Imran Butt in the goal (1-0 ).
 
Before Pakistan defenders could recover from this jolt, Belgium breached their citadel for the second time and this time Thomas Briels captalized on the defensive lapse to send the ball into the cage (2-0).
 
The Pakistanis tried to take off the pressure from their defence and made a very good move which got them a penalty corner. However the strikers delayed taking the crack and the threat was averted.
 
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Pakistan went flat out on the attack and Mouhammed Irfan (Jr) and Umar Bhutta created good openings from the left flanks but failed to get support from the team mates as their measured crosses went abegging.
 
Then Shan Ali tried solo moves but he held on to the ball too long and the rival midfielders cleared him without any fuss. As it looked like the Pakistanis were getting into their rhythm, the defence committed a blunder and unmarked Cedric Charlier with a reverse sweep sent the ball home to the surprise of the goal keeper Butt (3-0). This goal coming from nowhere dealt a body blow to Pakistani resistance.
 
Five minutes into the second half, the Pakistani defence against collapsed with Simon Gougnard making a fine run down his flank and creating an opening for Sebastien Dockier who side-stepped a player and smashed the ball into the net (4-0).
 
Taking virtually an unbeatable lead, the Belgians slowed down their game. It looked like, assured of their quarter-final berth, they wanted to save their energies for the quarter-finals. The Pakistanis were so demoralised that they could not take advantage of the situation.
 
Belgians should have pumped in three more goals in the third quarter but for the missed chance and poor shooting by their forwards. Seven minutes before the final whistle, Belgium earned their 7th penalty corner which led to a stroke and Tom Boon made no mistake in converting it to complete the rout (5-0).
 
The final whistle must have come as a relief for the former champions who had a very unimpressive run in this edition of the tournament.
 
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(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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Lowest ranked France pip China 1-0 for quarter final berth in World Cup

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Riding on Timothee Clement’s opportunistic goal, lowest-ranked France pipped debutants China 1-0 in the second cross over match to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 14th World Hockey Cup at Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar on Monday.
 
20th-ranked France, back in the World Cup after two decades, waged a grim battle to oust spirited China to become the sixth team to reach the quarter-finals.
 
The Chinese, who battled it out till the end, bade adieu to the World Cup with their heads held high.
 
Full credit to Kim Sang Ryul-coached 17th-ranked Chinese side as they put behind the 11-0 thumping they had received at the hands of Australia in their last league match and nearly pulled off a win against France but for missed chances.
 
France, who in their two previous appearances in the World Cup in 1971 and 1990 had finished 7th, will now face three-time winner and defending champions Australia in the second quarter-final on December 12.
 
France got into action straight away as they earned a penalty corner in the 2nd minute but Victor Charlet's drag flick through the centre was blocked thrice leading to four penalty corners in a row for Les Blues. However, they muffed the chances.
 
Another good chance came France’s way in the 12th minute but the Chinese custodian brought off a superb save. The Chinese counter came in the next minute but it was foiled midway by the French midfielders.
 
France had another opening as Blaise Rogeau was put through by Tom Genestet, but the forward's attempt was foiled by agile Chinese defenders.
 
Next minute, the French goal just survived when E Wenhui intercepted a cross from Ao Suozhu in the circle but he fumbled and defenders had enough time to clear the threat.
 
The Chinese displayed remarkable agility to fall back and they frustrated a counter by Genestet' when Guo Jin deflected his flick towards the far post.
 
A couple of seconds later Wang Caiyu made another superb save to deny France an opener. 
 
However, the repeated attacks led to the fall of the Chinese citadel in the 36th minute when Viktor Lockwood ran down the left flank and passed the ball to Maximilien Branicki in the centre. Branicki unleashed a reverse stick at the far post which was deflected by Timothee Clement into the net (1-0).
 
The next 24 minutes saw the Chinese making a spirited effort to equalize but the French team comprising seven players from a side which won the silver medal at the Junior Hockey World Cup in 2013, crowded their defence making it impossible for the rivals to breach it 
 
In the dying moments, the Chinese forced a couple of penalty corners but they could not beat the alert French defenders.
 
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England oust New Zealand 2-0 to book quarter final berth in the World Cup

Scoring once in each half, England ousted New Zealand 2-0 in the first cross over match to become the fifth team to make it to the quarter-finals of the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here on Monday.
 
Argentina, Australia, India and Germany, having topped their respective pools, have already made it to the last eight.
 
Will Calnan gave England the lead in the 25th minute and Luke Taylor doubled it in the 44th minute. England will face Olympic champions Argentina in the first quarter-final of the tournament on December 12.
 
England dominated the match most of the time but missed chances galore to make it look a close affair which it was not.
 
The match opened on a tentative note with both teams aware that it could be the last match for one of them in the tournament. The Kiwis were burdened by the fact that they had not beaten the English team in their three previous encounters in this tournament.
 
In their nine appearances in the World Cup, the Kiwis have finished 7th four times, that has been their best showing so far, while England in 12 showings in the Cup have finished runners-up once and fourth twice.
 
The teams took some time to settle down and New Zealand made their first move in the third minute through Kane Russell who ran from the centre but his cross went a abegging as there was no Kiwi striker in the circle to intercept it.
 
As expected, England made their incisive counter move in the 5th minute through Liam Ansell which earned them their first penalty corner. Mark Gleghorne’ s drag flick was palmed away by goal keeper Richard Joyce.
 
England midfielders retained the possession of the ball and tried to keep their flanks alive by feeding the wingers but the Black Sticks, having beefed up their defence, foiled the attacks.
 
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Though the Kiwis were able to frustrate their rivals by effectively blocking them outside their circle, they were not able to make any counter moves to put pressure on the English defence. 
 
New Zealand tried to shed their defensive tactics and opened up the game but Stephen Jenness' run from the middle was aborted by Liam Sanford who regained the ball for England' strikers.
 
The England forwards then resumed their attacks on the Kiwis' citadel but were not able to cut through the crowded defence. Skipper Phil Roper tried to make a solo effort but his attempt was disrupted by Kiwi defender Nic Woods.
 
It took 25 minutes for England to get their first breakthrough. Roper dodged past three defenders on the right and goalkeeper Richard Joyce rushed towards him. Roper moved to the baseline and relayed the ball to unmarked Calnan who made no mistake in deflecting the ball home (1-0).
 
England did not relax their pressure in the second session and their tiki-taka hockey stretched the Black Sticks' defence to its limits. England took control of the midfield and launched forays from the left flank. However, despite having three attackers inside the area. they were not able to increase the lead.
 
After several misses and near misses, England breached the Kiwis' citadel once again in the 44th minute when, following the fourth penalty, goalkeeper Richard Joyce blocked David Condon’s shot but Luke Taylor scored off a rebound (2-0) to seal the match and last eight berth for his side.
 
The Kiwis, for the fourth time, failed to break their English jinx in the World Cup.
 
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