Namibia landed a double blow winning the Men’s and Women’s first teach match this morning in the African Hockey Indoor Test Series in Windhoek. The nature of indoor hockey means the teams did not have to ponder on this for long as they took to the court again tonight.
Women’s Second Test: Namibia 2-1 South Africa
SPAR South Africa Hockey Ladies came out firing with debutants Laiken Brisset and Cerian Fourie both looking to make an immediate mark on the international stage. The South Africans looked to play at a better tempo than they had this morning, and it was asking more questions of the Namibians already. South Africa did win the first penalty corner, but they did not convert, and Namibia had one themselves that wasn’t converted as we had a goalless first quarter.
Despite a yellow card for Maggie Mengo the South Africans were still trying to find a goal unsuccessfully. Tegan Fourie created a great opportunity, but Berenicia Diamond pulled off a decent save. On the stroke of the half-time break Celia Seerane created space but fired narrowly wide and at the break it was 0-0.
It took South Africa just 10 seconds to win a penalty corner in the second half thanks to great hands from Laiken Brisset. Cerian Fourie finished off for her first goal in her debut game and give the South Africans the lead. But coach Lennie Botha would be frustrated with how easily Namibia levelled through Philander. 1-1 at the end of the third quarter.
South Africa looked the more likely to score but it was Namibia who scored next goal through a Philander penalty corner. South Africa looked for the equalizer creating lots of dangerous areas but not creating enough clear cut opportunities. South Africa won a penalty corner but a mis-trap saw another chance go astray.
With 50 seconds left, South Africa had pulled their keeper and their courage was rewarded with a penalty corner but Petro Stoffberg made a good double save to secure a back-to-back victory and a 2-0 lead in the series.
Men’s Second Test: Namibia 6-6 South Africa
After the high tempo and intense finish to this mornings test much was anticipated in the second test and the intensity from the start didn’t fail to live up to expectations. The frenetic game saw South Africa strike first through the penalty corner of Keegan Hezlett, briefly silencing the impressive crowd.
Namibia had two penalty corners to try and restore parity but unfortunately for the hosts they weren’t able to capitalize and the opening quarter ended with the South Africans leading 1-0.
It was a tight second quarter that saw goal chances limited for both sides as both failed to impose themselves on the game and really dictate proceedings. But with 1 second left Fagan Hansen levelled as he pulled off a snapshot on the counter attack to restore parity at the break
South Africa re-established the lead when Aiden Tun reacted immediately and finished superbly after a DJ Strauss save, but less than 60 seconds later JP Britz showed a powerful run and fired into the bottom left corner to restore parity once again. Britz double his tally and gave the Namibians a 3-2 lead with a good finish. But South Africa levelled matters quickly with a quick one-two that saw Dayaan Cassiem finish simply. And they took the lead through a swift counterattack that saw Indoor captain combine with outdoor captain for Eustice to score his third of the series and lead 4-3.
South Africa then were awarded a stroke for a ball hitting the defender on the line. Eustice stood up but DJ Strauss denied the South African captain. The South Africans though were keen to add to the score and did it just before the interval. Mustapha Cassiem picked the ball up on the base, ran across and fired it home. 5-3 at the break.
Namibia were testing the South Africans but the Cassiem brothers combined for a quick counter and a three goal lead. That was brought back down to a two-goal lead as Ernest Jacobs was clinical from the penalty corner. But Namibia gave away another penalty stroke for a foul in the circle.
Mustapha Cassiem came back on to take it but struck the upright to deny the opportunity again.
It was then Namibia who were awarded a penalty stroke and Liam Hermanus fired home past Mngoma to make it 6-5. South Africa won a penalty corner but were unable to execute and just 90 seconds remained. Liam Hermanus pulled a quick thinking finish which evaded the foot of Mngoma and Namibia had pulled back from 6-3 down to 6-6.
However the match hadn’t told its final story yet and with 10 seconds left on the clock the South Africans were awarded a third penalty stroke. But for the third time they missed and the game ended 6-6.