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Ghana and South Africa men reach African Hockey Championship Semi-Finals

October 29, 2015

The Semi-final line-up for the Greenfields African Hockey Championships men’s competition is now complete after South Africa notched up their fourth win of the tournament with an 11-0 win over Namibia in Randburg, Johannesburg in South Africa.

Ghana, who finished second in pool A following their third win of the event, will have the unenviable task of taking on a buoyant Egypt, winners of pool B. The north African team are, like South Africa, unbeaten in the tournament and playing some thrilling hockey.

Ghana sealed their position as second in pool A with a 4-2 win over Zimbabwe (FIH World Ranking: 55). The team ranked 41st in the world came to this tournament with high expectations, and three wins and just one loss is a reflection of how far the nation has come in its hockey development. 

This was a fractious match with two yellow cards for each team, but Ghana stamped their authority on the game in the first half, with goals from Elikem Akaba, Johnny Botsio and Francis Tetty.

Zimbabwe fought back through Arnold Mpofu when he put away a well-taken penalty corner, but Ghana never looked like losing their grip on the match.

This grip was tightened when Tetty scored a second, and although Pritchard Matambo scored a late consolation, the Ghana team knew they just had to defend the last few minutes to secure their place in the Semi-Finals and keep their Olympic hopes well and truly alive. 

South Africa (World Ranking: 15) consigned an unranked Namibian team to their biggest defeat of the tournament so far. The reigning continental champions set out their stall with a performance that was unrelenting in the pressure it put on Trevor Cormack’s Namibian team. 

The scoring was opened by Matthew Guise-Brown in the third minute of the game, his well-struck penalty corner rattled past ‘keeper Handre Bezuidenhout.

Guise-Brown struck again in the 24th minute and his brace took him to second place in the top-scorer’s table, with 13 goals to his name, just one goal behind Egypt’s prolific striker, Mahmoud Mamdouh.

Among the South Africa goal scorers were Daniel Bell (2), Julian Hykes (2), Richard Pautz (2) and a goal apiece for Jean-Pierre de Voux and Brandon Panther.

Tomorrow’s action sees unranked Botswana take on Tanzania (World Ranking: 74) in the first of the classification matches. Both teams finished bottom of their respective pools and will be hoping to record their first win of the tournament. The winner of that contest will play Namibia in the 7/8th play-off on Saturday.

The Semi-Finals and 5/8th place matches take place on Saturday, 31 October, with Egypt facing Ghana in the opening match, South Africa taking on Kenya in the second Semi-Final and Zimbabwe and Nigeria battling out the 5/6th place.

Keep track of all the action from both the men’s and women’s competitions on social media by using the #AHC2015 hashtag. 

RESULTS
Ghana 4, Zimbabwe 2; South Africa 11, Namibia 0. 

#AHC2015 #RoadToRio

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