SA men edge Egypt in five-goal thriller

2015-03-09 00:00

IN an action-packed Test match that oozed class and huge endeavour, the SA men’s hockey team outlasted arch-continental rivals Egypt 3-2 at Hartleyvale in Cape Town yesterday to go top of Pool A in the Greenfields FIH World League Round 2 tournament.

SA earned two log points on Saturday against China, one for the enthralling 4-4 draw and another for winning the penalty shootout 4-3. In International Hockey Federation (FIH) events there has to be a winner in each match.

Amastokkestokke meet Switzerland in their last Pool A match tomorrow at 6.30 pm and a solid win will ensure they finish top of the pool and set up what should in practice be a relatively straightforward Thursday quarter-final against the bottom team in Pool B, likely to be Azerbaijan.

SA carved open a hatful of opportunities in each of the four chukkas of 15 minutes apiece as they ran and passed with a purpose that was markedly improved for the China match. Egypt were not far off the mark and it made for a fiercely competitive Africa continent derby.

After strikers Taine Paton, Julian Hykes and Pierre de Voux had made their presence felt with electrifying combination play, defender Rhett Halkett stepped up to slot home from the penalty spot in the sixth minute, leaving ’keeper Mohamed Gamal with no chance.

Gamal was a rock in goal for Egypt during this absorbing clash and on the stroke of the first quarter’s end he foiled a Clint Panther combination play with Paton. The SA defenders also had their hands full at times and Dylan Swanepoel and Matt Guise-Brown, the outside halves, were called on to make crucial interventions, as were their team-mates on a number of occasions during the match.

Rassie Pieterse in the SA goal also made several top-class saves as shots flew in at all angles during the match. Hykes and fellow front-man Shannon Boucher tested Gamal further as SA went into the halfway stage 1-0 up.

Tim Drummond and Paton put Egypt under pressure before Hykes unleashed a piledriver to out SA 2-0 up in the 37th minute. But three minutes from the third quarter being wrapped up (42nd minute) Hamada Atef struck from a penalty corner (2-1).

Not 40 seconds into the fourth and final chukka (47th minute) SA launched yet another attack and Paton, faced with two equally promising passing options, slipped the ball left to De Voux who finished with aplomb (3-1).

But virtually from the re-start Egypt were again within striking distance when Waleed Mohamed finished in great style (3-2).

There was drama aplenty in the ­closing stages with SA feeling aggrieved at some decisions that might have had significant consequences on the outcome, but Amastokkestokke held firm.


Pool B: Belarus 4 Azerbaijan 3; France 4 Czech Republic 0. Pool A: China 5 Switzerland 1; South Africa 3 Egypt 2.

LOGS – Pool A: 1 South Africa 5pts (goal difference +1); 2 China 4pts (GD+4); 3 Egypt 3pts (GD+3); 4 Switzerland 0pts (GD -8). Pool B: 1 France 6pts (GD+8); 2 Czech Republic 3pts (GD-2); 3 Belarus 3pts (GD-3); 4 Azerbaijan 0pts (GD-5).


Pool B: France vs Belarus (11h45); Azerbaijan vs Czech Republic (14h00). Pool A: China vs Egypt (16h15); South Africa vs Switzerland (18h30).

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.