South Africa met with Ghana on the semi-final stage of the African Hockey Road to Paris Qualifier knowing that a victory would produce a place in the final and an opportunity to fight for a spot at Paris.
South Africa were expecting a tough battle from the Ghanaians, ranked second on the continent at the start of the tournament, but came out flying with a tremendous start and took a lead with just 3 minutes on the clock as Tarryn Lombard opened the scoring for the South Africans.
Kayla de Waal popped up in the 10th minute to double the score. With shirts numbers 29 (Lombard) and 27 (De Waal) having already scored it almost was symbolic that 28 would join the party. Quanita Bobbs heard the call and when South Africa was awarded a penalty stroke the co-captain landed the third and gave the South Africans a 3-0 lead at the first break.
In the second quarter the South Africans put their foot well and truly on the pedal with another 3 goals. Bobbs added to her earlier strike with a superb finish before Celia Seerane added to her tournament account. Marie Louw made it 6-0 before the half time break with a superb penalty corner straight poke to all but secure passage to Sunday’s final.
The second half notably lowered in intensity as the South Africans changed to containment and suffocated any possible foray forward from the Ghanaians. There was time for one late goal when Quanita Bobbs saw her shot saved and Bianca Wood bundled it over the line, securing a 7-0 victory and a place in the final.
The South Africans will now face Nigeria for the chance to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.