Hockey News of Monday, 22 October 2012
Source: Joel Acheampong, TV3 in South Africa
Ghana’s women’s Under 21 hockey team sealed their World Cup qualification with a 4-0 win over Kenya in the final round of games as the pool phase came to a close at the Africa U-21 championships in South Africa. A brace from Martha Sarfowaa and further strikes from Elizabeth Opoku and Serwaa ensured that Team Ghana were home and dry for a world cup appearance even before they play South Africa in the finals of the under 21 Africa Cup of Nations and world cup qualifier at the Kaspersky Stadium in Randburg, South Africa.
Ghana earlier lost 4-0 to the South Africans during the group stage of the tournament but are hopeful of a good showing in the final. The Ghanaian side came into the game determined to take all three points to ensure their ticket for the World Cup was guaranteed, that they needed a win over the Kenyans wasn’t far-fetched.
After several insurgences into the Kenyan D, the women from Ghana were yet to find the cutting urge upfront running out of steam in the early part of the first half. Not until a penalty corner not well pushed to the strikers for a hit, saw Martha Sarfowaa hitting a shot in the D for the opener. Expectation was high as the Ghanaian side saw the need to bury the game but it was not until after recess when Team Ghana increased the tally to two through enterprising skillful and hockey whizz kid Elizabeth Opoku who neatly scooped the ball over the Kenyan goalkeeper. Martha Sarfowaa got her second later with a flick on the ball that was driven in by Elizabeth Opoku.
In a captivating way, the team secured one of the 2 slots for Africa at the upcoming world youth championship tournament with the final goal making it 4-0 in favour of the ladies from Ghana. It would be recalled that majority of Ghana’s players were in the Africa junior championship side two years ago which failed to make it to the Olympic Games.
Enroute to securing a slot for the championship, Team Ghana edged past Namibia exacting revenge for a defeat that denied Ghana a chance to be at the maiden Youth Olympics staged in Singapore some two years ago. The team had a total of 9 goals having played four matches, losing 4-0 to South Africa.