SA men clinch Africa title

Julian Hykes (Photo: LU VALLIATI)
Julian Hykes (Photo: LU VALLIATI)

Johannesburg - The South Africa men's hockey team withstood a fierce Egypt challenge to win the Africa Cup of Nations title 2-0 after leading 1-0 at half-time.

A stunning Julian Hykes action goal in the eighth minute was embellished by Clint Panther's clincher two minutes from full-time during an emotion-charged gold medal match in which a berth in the 2014 World Cup finals event in The Netherlands was at stake.

SA should have made the game safe much earlier in the second half and their eight goal shots to two underlined a superiority against an Egyptian line-up who were in the running right till the end.

An electric effort by SA striker Julian Hykes in the eighth minute, where he beat a defender on the inside before smashing a reverse-stick shot that rebounded off the backboard of the goals past Egyptian keeper Farahat Awwad had the defending champs leading 1-0 at half-time in the Africa Cup of Nations men’s final.

The exchanges were fiercely physical and talismanic SA captain and former World All Stars selection Austin Smith was on the receiving end on a number of occasions.

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