SA U21 hockey men and women hope to retain Africa Cup of Nations title with big wins

2012-10-15 00:00

THE South African men’s and women’s under-21 teams signalled their intentions to retain the Africa Cup of Nations with big wins at Randburg Hockey Stadium yesterday.

It was the teams in green and gold’s first outing in their quest to win this Africa qualifier tournament, which sees the men’s and women’s gold medallists go through to next year’s Junior World Cup.

The SA women beat Namibia 9-0 after leading 6-0 at half-time, while the men beat Zimbabwe 11-0 after leading 6-0 at the changeover.

Ace drag-flicker Matt Guise-Brown nailed five penalty corners for the SA men, including a hat-trick inside the first 20 minutes, with the rest of the goals going to Grant Glutz (2), Ignatius Malgraff, Shannon Boucher, Andrew Manson and Michael Abrahams.

Three senior national players — SA U21 women’s captain Izelle Lategan, fellow striker Lilian du Plessis and midfielder Quanita Bobbs got a brace apiece against Namibia, with the rest coming from Demi du Toit, Jacinta Jubb and Tiffany Jones.

Their main rivals, Egypt’s men and Ghana’s women, each made it two wins from two matches.

Egypt added to Saturday’s 14-1 defeat of Zimbabwe by beating Kenya 9-0 after leading 3-0 at half-time.

A Kenyan own goal was added to a brace apiece by captain Amr Mohamed and Ahmed Mohsen, with one each going to Ahmed Karem, Eslam Tarek, Ahmed Gamal and Amr Raafat.

Ghana’s women complemented Saturday’s 1-0 win over Namibia by beating Zimbabwe 3-0, the goals going to Elizabeth Opoku (2) and Martha Sarfoa.

The SA men next face Ghana at 4 pm on Tuesday. The Ghanaians, 6-0 winners over Kenya on day one, cannot be underestimated.

The SA women tackle Kenya at 2 pm tomorrow, but it is Wednesday’s action in particular that could provide a pointer to how Saturday’s gold medal matches will go. The SA women meet likely finalists Ghana at 2 pm, with the SA men tackling Egypt at 4 pm in what should be an absolute thriller.

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