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Hockey | FIH Hockey Nations Cup 2022/23: A statistical rewind

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Lausanne, Switzerland: The FIH Hockey Nations Cup 2023/24 is almost upon us! The men’s tournament begins in Gniezno, Poland on 31 May, while the women’s tournament will follow shortly after, starting on 3 June in Terrassa, Spain, with both events concluding on 9 June. With many teams from the inaugural edition returning to the competition, we are taking a look at the numbers behind the first edition of the competition, played in Potchefstroom, South Africa (men’s) and Valencia, Spain (women’s). 

If the men’s tournament in Potchefstroom had to be assigned a theme, it would be goals, goals and more goals! In the 20 matches played during the inaugural event, a total of 93 goals were scored by the 8 teams, for an average of 4.65 goals per game! A healthy 56% of the goals (53 goals) were scored from open play, with 38 penalty corner goals and 3 penalty stroke goals. 

Korea were the top-scoring team in the competition, beating the opposing keepers on 15 occasions in their 5 games. Korean captain Jang Jonghyun was also the leading scorer in the competition, accounting for nearly half of his team’s tally, scoring 7 goals, with all his goals coming from penalty corners! 

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Korea were also the best defending team in the tournament, conceding a mere 4 goals in the competition! Goalkeeper Jaehyeon Kim was in stellar form during the first edition, winning the best goalkeeper award, and will lead the way for the young Korean squad that will take the field in the FIH Hockey Nations Cup 2023/24.

France recorded the biggest win in the competition, securing a 7-1 win against Canada in their pool stage match. Victor Charlet, who finished as the second leading goal scorer in the competition, scored twice in that game, with Blaise Rogeau scoring a hat-trick. Both players will be back in the competition and hoping to fire France to the top spot this time. 

The women’s tournament was a stark contrast to the men’s tournament, with defence leading the way forward for the best teams. The final matches in both tournaments could not be more contrasting affairs, with the men’s game finishing in favour of South Africa in a 4-3 victory over Ireland, while the women’s final was a war of attrition, with India edging the contest 1-0 against hosts Spain.

In the 20 games played during the women’s tournament, a total of 50 goals were scored, at an average of 2.5 goals per game. Exactly half of the 50 goals (25) were scored from open play, with 23 goals coming from penalty corners and 2 goals scored from the penalty strokes. Kathryn Mullan, long-serving captain of Ireland, was the top scorer (3 goals in 5 games) in a tournament where teams spread their goals across the squads. Title winners India were the best scoring team in the competition, scoring 9 goals across their 5 games. 

The most incredible stat from the FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup 2022/23 was a defensive one. Hosts Spain put on one of the greatest defensive performances in tournament hockey, conceding just one goal across their 5 games. They kept clean sheets in all three of their pool games and also won their semi-final against Japan 1-0 making it 4 clean sheets in a row. They lost the final against India 1-0, through a Gurjit Kaur penalty corner, which was the only goal they conceded in the 300 minutes of play through the tournament.  

Hockey, FIH

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