FIH Hockey Pro League Standings as of March 9
by USA Field Hockey
The 2020-21 FIH Hockey Pro League season resumed this past weekend with a handful of matches.
Here's a look where the women's competing countries stand.
March 6, 2021
Germany took a shocking lead against the home favorites before eventually succumbing to the league leader The Netherlands, who gave Alyson Annan her 100th win as head coach of the Oranje.
Lisa Altenburg put Die Danas ahead in the 12th minute of the contest, brilliantly controlling a pass into the circle on her reverse before squeezing her shot past Netherlands goalkeeper Anne Veenendaal. It was a lead that Germany held until the third quarter, with the Dutch scoring twice in five minutes to flip the match on its head. Frederique Matla levelled the scores by touching home a fierce cross-shot from Player of the Match Laura Nunnink, before Ireen van den Assem netted what proved to be the decisive goal with a low penalty corner drag flick.
"We needed to get used to [playing alongside] each other again, but I think we got more control during the game and I think we played really well”, said Nunnink, before commenting on Alyson Annan’s half-time assessment of the contest. “[She] said that we played well. We needed to score in the second half and be more efficient in the circle, and I think that worked out well."
Germany goal-scorer Lisa Altenburg offered her reflections on the contest, stating: "I think we played a really good first half, we defended very well. We scored a goal against the Netherlands, which is not normal! In the first half it was really good, but in the second half we did sleep a bit, so it was a tough match in the end.”
March 7, 2021
The Netherlands women produced a dominant display to claim their second triumph over Germany in two days, with Player of the Match Lidewij Welten scoring twice as the Oranje moved 12 points clear at the top of the FIH Hockey Pro League standings with a 3-0 score-line.
The hosts took a 1-0 lead after 65 seconds when Pien Dicke tapped home from close range after Welten had forced a save from Germany goalkeeper Julia Sonntag. Although Germany held their own for much of the first half, the Netherlands were simply outstanding in the second, with Welten scoring two wonderful open play strikes in the 34th and 36th minutes to put the match beyond the reach of Die Danas. The score-line could easily have been greater, with penalty corner expert Caia van Maasakker seeing a first half drag-flick rattle the post before hitting the crossbar in the second half.
When asked if it was the perfect match from the Netherlands, Welten said: "It was definitely close to it. I think we could have scored more goals. Yesterday was good, but today was better. That is what we wanted to do today, and I think in everything that we did, we did it better than yesterday. I think we played great as a team today, so that makes it easier for the individual to play good."
Germany captain Janne Müller-Wieland offered her thoughts on the contest, stating: “There is a lot of things we need to get into and develop. But in terms of things that happened [today], we weren't quick enough, and if Lidewij Welten gets a chance like that of course she is executes it. If you sleep for one second you get punished for it, so I think that is something we need to work on."
Per the FIH:
The following points will be awarded for each match:
- Three (3) points to the winner in normal time
- One (1) point to the winner of a shootout following a draw plus one (1) bonus point, making a total of two (2) points
- One (1) point to the loser of the shootout, in the event of a draw
- No points to the loser of a match in normal time
During the season up until the Grand Final, teams will be ranked in the FIH Pro League table by the percentage of points gained relative to the maximum number possible to have attained at any given time.
For example, a team who have played six matches can achieve a maximum of 18 points from winning all six matches. If they have achieved 9 points after six matches, they will be ranked in the league table based on a score of 50%. The aim of this system is to more easily illustrate team performances at the times in the season when different teams have played significantly different numbers of matches.
Update November 5: With the travel constraints governed by the regulations in place in Germany, Belgium and China due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) global health pandemic, the International Hockey Federation (FIH), on request of the traveling teams involved, decided to postpone the following FIH Hockey Pro League matches:
- Great Britain vs Germany (initially planned on November 14 and 15, 2020)
- China vs Belgium (initially planned on January 23 and 24, 2021)
FIH will keep on monitoring the evolution of the global health situation closely and define, together with the teams concerned and its broadcast partners, new dates for these matches when it will be possible to do so.
FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: “While it’s always a pity to have to take such decisions, we fully understand the situation and this is the most appropriate course of action to date. We do hope that the global health situation will improve soon and our thoughts are with all those who are affected at the moment. We’re looking forward to enjoying international hockey matches next year again!”
Season 2 of the FIH Hockey Pro League – the annual global League involving the world’s best international teams, both men and women – started in January 2020 and has been extended until May 2021 because of the pandemic.