13th June 2016: Following yesterday’s rest day, we had a quick look at the update on what’s happening at the Men’s Hero Hockey Champions Trophy in London. With 3 of the 6 teams coming from Europe, there’ plenty to whet the appetite of hockey fans in Europe!

After 2 games, the European teams occupy 4th (Germany) 5th (GB) and 6th (Belgium) in the Pool, but with the interesting line-up today, all that could change!

12:00 Korea v GB

14:00 Germany v Australia

16:00 Belgium v India

Match 1: Germany 3, India 3.

Olympic and World League champions Germany began their Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 title defence with a 3-3 draw against India, fighting back from 3-1 down to claim a point in the opening match of the event.

Germany youngster Tom Grambusch made his mark on the game with two goals before a late penalty stroke from Jonas Gomoll claimed a draw. VR Raghunath, Mandeep Singh and Harmanpreet Singh were all on target for a confident India team that were exceptional at times.

“We had our opportunities and we could have finished the match earlier, but we missed some really good chances in the last quarter”, said India’s Raghunath after the match. “It’s ok, a draw is a good thing against Germany, but we want to do even better going forward.”

Germany’s Oskar Deecke was reasonably satisfied with a draw, but hinted that there is more to come from his Germany team. “It was a good start against a good team, and we fought back well I think. It was a fair result, but we want to come back stronger for tomorrow’s match against Belgium.”

Match 2: Belgium 0, Korea 2

2014 Champions Challenge winners Korea (WR: 9) upset the Hero FIH World Rankings with a surprise 2-0 win over Belgium’s Red Lions (WR: 5) thanks to strikes from Yang Jihun and Jung Manjae. Although the Koreans will be justifiably delighted with the result, Belgium will rue the absence of injured penalty corner stars Tom Boon and Loïck Luypaert, with the team failing to convert any of their nine penalty corner attempts while Korea scored from their only penalty corner opportunity of the match.

Korean veteran Seo Jongho, who made his Champions Trophy debut way back in 1999 and has returned to international duty after an absence of three years, said:  “Before the match, we were a little bit worried, as we have so many young players who are playing their first tournament, and the Champions Trophy is a big tournament. Today’s match was very hard, but hopefully after the game we can start feeling better and our young players can learn from this good experience today. I want them to enjoy this tournament.”

Match 3: Great Britain 0, Australia 0

Host nation Great Britain claimed a point against reigning world champions Australia, holding the top ranked Kookaburras to a 0-0 draw in the final match of day one.  Despite surviving a barrage of penalty corners in the first quarter, the home favourites gave a fine performance in front of their fans but could not reward their excellent support with goal.

“It was so cagey, one of the most unusual matches between Great Britain and Australia imaginable”, said Great Britain Head Coach Bobby Crutchley after the match. “We defended pretty well, we had to for periods, particularly in the first half. Not a bad start to the event, and certainly some good individual performances but we want to improve from here on in.”

Kookaburras Head Coach Graham Reid said: “We created a lot of opportunities, we had a lot of corners that we unfortunately didn’t put away. It was a mix perhaps of execution issues, but also perhaps that Great Britain defended very well and we just have to work a little bit harder on different variations. A lot of today was getting used to the conditions here, and we did play very nicely.”

Match 4: Germany 4, Belgium 4

Title holders and reigning Olympic champions Germany overturned a two goal deficit for the second time in two days to snatch a 4-4 draw against Belgium in a rain-affected opening match of the day.

Belgium’s Red Lions fell behind to their European rivals twice before the half time break, with Sebastian Dockier and Arthur van Doren cancelling out strikes from Germany’s Tobias Hauke and Marco Miltkau. Another four goals arrived after the half time break – which started over 30 minutes late due to a torrential rainstorm – with Belgium moving 4-2 ahead thanks to Alexandre de Paeuw and a brilliant individual effort from Florent van Aubel, who ensured his 150th international appearance was one that everyone would remember. Just when it seemed that a Red Lions victory was on the cards, Die Honamas hit back with two goals in three minutes with Miltkau grabbing his second before Oli Korn secured a second successive draw for his team.

“It was good that we got a draw in the end, coming back from two goals down is good to see and shows that we can come back”, said Germany goalkeeper Nico Jacobi, who alongside compatriot Benedikt Fürk played his 100th senior international match. “The first half was really positive ahead of our next games and in terms of our progress towards Rio. I think we are in a good way.”

Match 5: India 2, Great Britain 1

Goals from Mandeep Singh and Harmanpreet Singh earned Asian champions India a 2-1 win over home favourites Great Britain in the second match of day two.

For the second match in two days, SV Sunil turned supplier for 21-year-old Mandeep, with the former bursting down the right to supply the latter with a perfect pass for a tap-in two minutes into the second quarter. The advantage was doubled early in the third quarter by another youngster, with 20-year-old Harmanpreet Singh dispatching a penalty stroke. An Ashley Jackson penalty corner rocket reduced the deficit but it was not enough to save his side from defeat.

“I’ve been in India three years now and I hope that people see that we are improving”, said a delighted India Head Coach Roelant Oltmans. “That for me is the most important thing, that the team is getting better and in the end they showed a good performance today. We didn’t start too well, and in the first quarter we were struggling but after that we took control of the game. But overall, we saw some great performances from some young players. The team are surprising me.”

Television / Live Streaming
Numerous broadcasters will be showing the action from London. To find out which broadcasters will be showing which games, visit the below links:
Men’s: click here
The FIH You Tube channel will be extremely active during the event, with match highlights and much more being posted as soon as they become available. In some territories, live matches may also be shown. To visit our You Tube channel, click the link below.
www.youtube.com/hockey

#HCT2016 #BestOfTheBest

Source information: FIH.CH

Photograph: Germany and Belgium play out a 4-4 draw in tough weather conditions (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)