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Wade wins Cup for SA

The South Africa men’s hockey team beat Egypt 1-0 in the final of the Africa Cup Olympic Qualifier tournament at a Khumalo Hockey Stadium bursting at the seams in Bulawayo on Sunday evening.

In the early encounters a great ball by leading tournament goalscorer Justin Reid-Ross freed Tim Drummond but his cross was well cleared by Egyptian captain Mohamed Kasbr.

Then SA won two penalty corners in quick succession and after Reid-Ross’s initial effort went wide, the second cannoned into the upright and stayed out.

It was clear that Australia’s Adam Kearns and Satinder Kumar of India weren’t going to have an easy evening with the whistle as there is no love lost between these two sides.

Midway through the first half nippy forward Ahmed Gamal fired a shot past the far post before Ahmed Hakim brought out a brilliant diving save from Brendon Botes in the SA goals.

Then it was the turn of striker Lloyd Norris-Jones and Houssam Ghabran to trouble the keepers before a stunning Drummond pass gave Julian Hykes the chance to cross to Jonty Robinson but the ball somehow eluded the luckless Northern Blues man.

A minute after the break a great move led to another SA penalty corner but Gareth Carr’s effort was well saved by keeper Osama Hassanein. However, not 60 seconds later SA captain Wade Paton put SA 1-0 in front from field play.

SA were now running rampant and Hassanein made a fine glove save from a Reid-Ross PC before Drummond fired over the horizontal bar following a superb movement upfield and then had another opportunity soon after.

Egypt came back hard for Ahmed Hakim and Gamal to bring saves from an alert Botes before playmaker Ezze Ahmed flicked into the side-netting after a run down the right.

Hard on the heels of the final, Paton’s SA men, ranked 12th in the world are taking on world No11 Argentina in a three-Test series at Kaspersky Park in Randburg.

SA will face Argentina on Thursday before taking on the South Americans on Friday, while next Sunday sees the third and final international, all at Randburg’s spectator-friendly hockey stadium.


1 comments
Sheunesu
Sheunesu

The match today was amazing. South Africa demonstrated its dominance in Africa. We as Zimbabweans (me as a former local player in Bulawayo) are inspired by our neighbours. We wish them well in the Olympics next year. We trust our Hockey executive in Zimbabwe will step up the pace to get our many young people up to speed with the new form of hockey in preparation for the next championships. Hockey Association of Zimbabwe, well done for a job well done.