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Hockey News of Friday, 24 October 2003

Source: Ghana Hockey Association

AAG: Kazakhstan Shock Ghana

Kazakhstan thought Ghana's women team a useful lesson that a game, and for that matter a sporting discipline is not won by the intensity of one's bragging and insinuations ahead of the event, but by dint of hard work on the the field of play. This they did in grand style when they beat their counterparts 3-1 on the second day of competition. The Ghanaians virtually run their mouth wet when they saw Kazakhstan mauled 12-0 by African champions on the first day of competition, boasting that they would rip them apart.

Kazakhstan came into the game the more cautious side, studying the Ghanaians during the early part of the game. When they settled midway through the first half, they carried the game to the Ghanaians and punished their lack of concentration at the backline with a goal. The Ghanaians appeared ruffled and lacked the imagination to get back. Just before halftime, they conceeded the second to calm the nerves of the Kazakhstan team to end the half 2-0.

The Ghanaians tried to raise their game in the second half but their lack of commitment on the field of play let them down badly. Tried as they did, they could not find their way around the Kazakhstan team until the 60th minute when Abass Ramatu got a goal from a penalty corner. When the game looked like ending with the 2-1 scoreline, Ghanaian goalie, Josephine Edusei, committed a fundamental error of blocking an attacker from getting to the ball in a bid to shield it for a backline hit. The umpire penalised her by harshly awarding a penalty stroke which was converted to give Kazakhstan a shock 3-1 win.

In the other matches of the day, South Africa kept the African flag flying high with a brilliant 3-1 win over hosts India in a fast and thrilling encounter. Kenya battled China, going ahead 1-0 but eventually losing 1-2, while Nigeria were beaten 6-0 by Korea.