Ghana open African Hockey Championship account with victory
On Day 2 of the men’s Greenfields African Hockey Championship 2015, Ghana made a winning start to their Pool A campaign while South Africa claimed a second successive victory at the Rio 2016 Olympic qualification event in Randburg, Johannesburg in South Africa.
Ghana (FIH World Ranking: 41) were victorious in their first match of the competition, powering to a 5-0 triumph over unranked Namibia. Johnny Botsio scored a penalty corner to open early in the second quarter before he doubled the advantage six minutes after half time from open play.
Three goals arrived in the fourth quarter, with Michael Baiden, team captain Salya Nsalbini and Elikem Abbiw putting the result beyond all doubt.
The result puts the Ghanaians into second place in Pool A behind South Africa (World Ranking: 15), who were in ruthless form against Botswana in the second and final match of the day.
Jean-Pierre de Voux and Brandon Panther both claimed six goal hauls as the reigning African continental champions proved to be too strong for their opponents, taking a 30-0 win.
Matthew Guise-Brown also netted four penalty corners, taking his competition tally to nine and becoming an early front-runner in the race to finish top scorer.
On Sunday (24 Oct), the teams competing in Pool B will get their competition underway, with Kenya (World Ranking: 39) taking on Nigeria (unranked) before Egypt (World Ranking: 20) go head to head with Tanzania (World Ranking: 73).
All eyes will be on the Egyptians, the silver medallists at the last four African championships, who have already shown this year that they are a major threat to South Africa’s Olympic dreams. In March, Egypt defeated their fierce rivals to take third place at the Greenfields Hockey World League Round 2 event in Cape Town, South Africa.
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 5, Namibia 0; South Africa 30, Botswana 0.
Photo: ACTION PIX