It was another day to remember for Ghana at the Greenfields African Hockey Championships as they recorded a fourth straight victory to remain top of the round-robin table and keep their Rio 2016 Olympic dreams alive.
The Ghanaians (FIH World Ranking: 31) proved themselves to be too strong for Tanzania (World Ranking: 46) in Randburg, Johannesburg in South Africa on Tuesday, with Elizabeth Opoku and Martha Safoa both scoring hat-tricks in a 12-0 victory.
Serwaa Boakye and Nafisatu Umaru scored two apiece in the win, with Theresa Mills and Lydia Afriyie also scoring goals.
Ghana’s start to the competition has been exceptional, but the team coached by Emmanuel Ahadjie know that their biggest challenges still lie ahead of them.
On Friday they will face currently unbeaten Kenya (World Ranking: 37), with hosts South Africa (World Ranking: 11) lying in wait on Sunday.
The South Africans recorded their third win on the bounce with a 6-0 triumph against Zimbabwe (World Ranking: 55), with Lilian du Plessis continuing her rich scoring form with two goals.
Du Plessis currently sits top of the scoring charts with eight goals, three clear of Ghana’s Martha Safoa who has five.
Jade Mayne, Nicole Walraven, Ills Davids and Candice Manuel were also on target as South Africa moved into second place in the standings thanks to a vastly superior goal difference over Kenya, who like South Africa also have nine points from three matches.
Earlier in the day, Namibia claimed their first points of the competition with a 3-1 win against Nigeria. Marcia Venter’s second minute strike was cancelled out seven minutes later by Nigeria’s Precious Udoh before Namibia moved ahead again thanks to Annalien Davin’s goal in the ninth minute.
Namibia’s third goal arrived three minutes into the second quarter, with team captain Margreth Mengo field goal settling the contest.
Wednesday 28 October is a rest day in the women’s Greenfields African Hockey Championship 2015, with the round-robin action resuming on Thursday.
Then, Zimbabwe play Namibia before Tanzania and Nigeria go head to head. South Africa face Kenya in the final match of the day, with at least one team certain to lose their unbeaten record as the race for that ticket to Rio hots up.
Keep track of all the action from both the men’s and women’s competitions on social media by using the #AHC2015 hashtag.
Ghana 12, Tanzania 0; Namibia 3, Nigeria 1; South Africa 6, Zimbabwe 0.