Hockey News of Sunday, 21 October 2012

Source: Joel Acheampong

Ghana Male Hockey Team World Cup Mirage

Ghana’s male Hockey team’s World Cup mirage Ghana’s male hockey team’s dream of making a World Cup appearance for the second time was dashed as they were 5-6 losers to Egypt in the final round robin game in the U-21 Africa Hockey Cup for Nations at the Kaspesky Park, Randburg , South Africa.

Having lost 4-2 to the Ghanaian side two years ago at the under 17 Africa Youth Championship, the Egyptian raged with revenge coming into a game both sides needed a win to make a final berth with the hosts South Africa.

But it was a match made and fit for the gods as the Ghanaian side having been wounded by a 6-0 loss to South Africa early on, descended on the pharaohs in the first exchanges of the game. The Egyptian side was gifted with a penalty stroke in the Ghanaian D to get the opener of the game in the 8th minute.

3 minutes on and the Ghanaian side will respond with an equalizer from Rahman Anum through a field goal . A quick response from the Egyptian side who will come all out at the Ghanaians following their loss two years ago still written on their minds, increased their tally to make it 2-1. Daniel Bempah rose to the occasion to level the scores and Rahman Anum completed his brace and sent the Ghanaian side into the lead 3-2 before half time.

Back from recess, the Egyptians will open fire scoring three quick unanswered goals to make the scoreline 5-3 to the wonder of all present. Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) Promising player of the year 2011, Jonny Botsio got the fourth goal for Ghana in the 51st minute but that was short-lived as the swift lads from Egypt added another through Captain Amr Mohammed. Ernest Opoku’s late strike was not enough to get Ghana still in contention for a World Cup slot but that was actually a mirage and a dream far dreamt of with the match ending 5-6 in favour of the Egyptians.

It was a rather sad road to what would have been a second World Cup appearance for the team that stunned the whole of Africa by winning the championship 2 years ago. It’s a feat they were hoping to repeat but that was to no avail as it seemed most of their opponents looked more determined not to repeat the humiliation they suffered from Ghana last time.

Egypt take on South Africa in the final of the competition with both sides set to represent Africa at the world championship. Ghana’s men U-21 team had their world cup ambitions vanished like wind in winter and withered like the autumn spring.

Credit: Joel Acheampong, TV3 in South Africa

Keep the faith, and know that no one knows tomorrow.