Hockey News of Tuesday, 17 July 2007
Africa Hockey Olympic Qualifier
After a brilliant performance yesterday against neighbours Nigeria, the Ghana Men’s Hockey Team failed to scale the Kenyan hurdle towards ultimate glory as they went down 0-2 to a resilient Kenyan Men’s team.
Though the team gave a very good account of themselves, they were overpowered by a well rested and physically endowed Kenyan team. The match started on a fast note with the Ghanaians contesting the Kenyans in every aspect of the game. Just as the ding-dong affair looked like heading for a scoreless first half, a last minute gasp saw the Kenyans go ahead a minute from the end of the half through a rebound connected by striker Odhiambo.
The second half was equally contested until the 59th minute when Salya Nsalbini failed to keep his concentration in the Kenyan half as the Ghana team lost the ball and gave the Kenyans an easy passage through the right side of defence to beat goalkeeper Akorful. The goal broke the resolve of the Ghanaians who only managed to hold on till the final whistle. Overall, the performance was just average and the team will need to step up their play to retain any ambitions of winning a medal.
In the other matches, Egypt were too strong for ever complaining Nigeria who missed a glorious chance to go ahead as early as the 4th minute when they were awarded a penalty stroke after the Egyptian goalie had charged down an attacker. In the end, they lost 0-5 after trailing 0-3 at half time.
Favourites South Africa were ruthless against minnows Uganda who they whitewashed 20-0 in a very one sided match.
Monday was the women’s rest day and as the men take their rest on Tuesday, the women return to action with Ghana facing Namibia at 08:30, Nigeria will test the might of Kenya 10:30 while South Africa will seek to add Zimbabwe to their list of victims at 12:30pm.