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Six of the best as SA men’s hockey side beat Egypt
- Updated: November 20, 2013
A superb South Africa men’s hockey team beat a hardworking but outplayed Egypt 6-1 after leading 1-0 at half-time on Tuesday’s second day of the Africa Cup of Nations hockey tournament in Nairobi, Kenya.
SA scored three goals from three penalty corners, two to captain Austin Smith and one to Lloyd Norris-Jones, who followed up after Smith had sent a drag-flick thudding into the crossbar. Norris-Jones also scored a field goal, as did Taine Paton and Pierre de Voux.
Egypt got a consolation goal at the death through Hassan Mohamed.
SA now have two wins from two matches, having beaten Ghana 6-2 on Monday. They play Kenya on Thursday.
The SA men are now through to Saturday’s final and are likely to meet old foes Egypt again in a match in which the winners book a ticket at the 2014 Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands from 31 May.
Meanwhile, the Investec SA women’s hockey team were held to a draw for the first time by Ghana, the score being 1-1 at the final whistle in what was SA captain Marcelle Keet’s 100th match for her country.
Head coach Fabian Gregory’s SA side earned 16 penalty corners and also created numerous chances in field play but Ghana battled tenaciously throughout, relying on breakaways to set up their limited goalscoring opportunities.
South Africa did score one goal from a penalty corner, though, when Celia Evans reacted quickly at another untidy set-piece play in the 26th minute to slot the ball home. The never-say-die Ghana striker Elizabeth Opoku epitomised the determination of the underdogs when she held on to score a fine opportunist goal in the 52nd minute.
The South Africans, who beat Kenya 3-1 on Monday, are virtually certain of playing in Saturday’s 12 final, as they play minnows Tanzania in their final round-robin match on Thursday. Ghana are likely to be their opponents in the women’s gold medal match, which books the winners a berth at the World Cup in The Hague.
Both men’s and women’s World Cups take place at the same venue and on the same dates next year.