Ghana, Zimbabwe and Egypt all recorded wins on Match Day 4 of the men’s Greenfields African Hockey Championships 2015 as the pool phase at the Rio 2016 Olympic Qualification event continued in Randburg, Johannesburg South Africa.
On Monday 26 October, Ghana (FIH World Ranking: 41) made it two wins from two to draw level on points with Pool A rivals South Africa courtesy of a devastating 27-0 victory over Botswana.
Striker Johnny Botsio was the star of the show for Ghana, netting six open play strikes and two penalty corners on the way to an impressive eight goal performance, putting himself at the top of the scoring charts - albeit temporarily - with ten goals from two games.
Sam Benedict, Isaac Moses and team captain Salya Nsalbini also made important contributions to the scoreboard with three goals apiece as Ghana showed excellent form ahead of Tuesday’s top-of-the-table clash against the host nation.
Also in Pool A, Zimbabwe (World Ranking: 55) defeated Namibia to draw level on points with their opponents despite having played one game less. Matt Williams scored four times with Cydreck Starch and Warwick Ullrich also on target as Zimbabwe ran out 6-3 winners to sit behind the third placed Namibians only on goal difference.
In the final match of the day, Egypt took complete control of Pool B by defeating second placed Kenya.
A penalty corner double from set-piece expert Mahmoud Mamdouh - goals which moved him level with Ghana’s Botsio at the top of the scorers chart - played a big part in the win, with Mohamed Edris and Ahmed Elnaggar also registering.
Kenya’s Zakaria Msumba grabbed a 51st minute consolation despite his team being down to nine players, with Constant Wakhura and Derric Kuloba both watching the strike from the sin-bin after being shown yellow cards in the 48th minute.
The action at the men’s Greenfields African Hockey Championships continues on Tuesday 27 October with matches being played in both Pools.
In Pool A, Botswana will take on a Zimbabwe team looking to build on the confidence gained from Monday’s win over Namibia, while Ghana and South Africa will face off in what promises to be an exciting clash between the top two sides in the group.
The only Pool B encounter of the day will be played between Nigeria and Tanzania, who will each be looking to collect their first points of the competition.
Keep track of all the action from both the men’s and women’s competitions on social media by using the #AHC2015 hashtag.
Pool A: Ghana 27, Botswana 0; Zimbabwe 6, Namibia 3.
Pool B: Kenya 1, Egypt 4.