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Hockey News of Sunday, 19 July 2009

Source: GNA

South Africa wins fifth African Hockey title

Accra, July 19, GNA - The South African Male Hockey team beat Egypt 3-1 on Sunday to clinch the ultimate of the Hockey Africa Cup for Nations, Ghana 2009 tournament.
The South Africans, winners of the past four editions lived up to their pre-tournament favourites tag by beating the Egyptians for their fifth overall titles dating from 1993, 1996, 2000 and 2005.
The clash was a repeat of the final games in 2000 (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe) and 2005 (Pretoria, South Africa), which saw the South Africans winning on both occasions.
The encounter lived up to its billing as the ultimate game to determine the champions with the Egyptians giving the South Africans a good run for their monies worth.
Despite a 0-2 loss in the earlier meeting at the group phase, the Egyptians who are ranked the Continent's number two stunned all with an output that exposed the South Africans for the first time and for them to concede their first goal at the Ghana 2009 tournament. Egypt's midfielder Ezz Ahmed was a thorn in the flesh in the South African defence with his swift turnings which brought out the best of South African defender, Thomas Hammond, who was eventually voted the 'Best Defender' of the tourney.
On 10 minutes, striker Gareth Car r put the South Africans in the lead with a penalty stroke that beat Egypt's goalie Hassaneim Osama. The Egyptians resumed strongly and were gifted with dominance in possession compelling the South Africans to often chase their shadows. In the 55th minute, Ezz equalized with a perfect hit in the "D" on one of his raids into the South African half.
The South Africans reorganised and this yielded results with two late goals in the 62nd minute through Mc Dade Thornton before Norris Jones Lloyd sealed victory two minutes from time.
South Africa will thus represent Africa at the World Championship scheduled for India next year.