Mar 14, 2023

Qualification almost secured for FIH Junior World Cups for South African Teams

Just two days into the African Hockey Junior African Cup both the SA U21 Women and the SA U21 Men have almost secured their spots in the finals. It’s all but a mathematical certainty that the two sides will compete in the final on Thursday and with that secure qualification for the FIH Hockey Junior World Cups in December this year.

The women’s team put one foot in the semi-finals when they took on East African powerhouses Kenya and put in a wonderful performance to dismiss the Kenyan challenge. South Africa were forced to wait for their opener, but it came through a deflected effort from Kutlwano May just before the hooter sounded for the end of the first quarter.

It would take 20 minutes before the South Africans added to their score. Jenna Fyvie picked the ball up on the top of the circle and slid in a reverse stick pass. It edged its way through to Mikkela le Roux who finished on the floor to double the lead. The double punch was quickly landed for the South Africans as they finally scored from a penalty corner. Cerian Fourie fed the ball to Caylin Maree who fired in an angled shot that was tapped home at the far post by Tamlyn Kock, her second of the tournament.

In the final quarter the South Africans confirmed their dominance with two more goals. Cerian Fourie effected the turnover outside the circle, fed the ball through to Ntsopa Mokoena who squared for Kock to score her third goal from less than a meter from goals. The final nail came when Ane Janse picked out le Roux and her shot was deflected in by Jesquinique Coltman. The victory put South Africa on 6 points with a goal difference of 8

 

In order to qualify for the final (and the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup) the SA Women will have to avoid defeat by 6 goals when they play Egypt on Wednesday, although they will certainly be looking for a victory to round of the perfect group stage.

The South African Men took on their archrivals in Egypt, the 2016 winners and the hosts of the tournament in a repeat of the previous 6 editions finals of the tournament. The winner would all but secure their final place.

The South African men couldn’t have asked for a better start as they launched into a 1-0 lead in the opening five minutes. Sian Maart passed the ball through to Carlon Mentoor who fired home a brilliant opportunistic reverse stick shot into the bottom corner.

The Southern Africans would double their lead on the cusp of half time. Egypt wasted a great opportunity to pull level and South Africa capitalized with a brilliant run down the right-hand side and a finish by Tebogo Maseko. There were only 8 seconds left in the half when the ball hit the backboard, a timely intervention for the South Africans.

South Africa had to endure a tough third quarter after missing three penalty corners, they received a couple of yellow cards and a number of penalty corners. Reece Govender marshalled his defense superbly and the score remained 2-0 at the end of the third quarter.

Despite the best efforts of Egypt to get back into the game it was Hans Neethling who added the third. Another good run from Maart on the wing and onto baseline fired the ball across to give Neethling the easy job of tapping home. 3-0 the final score for the South Africans.

For the South Africans they will qualify for the final if they lose by less than 5 in the final group game against Kenya, although could need even less depending on the score line in the Egypt vs. Zimbabwe game. They have one foot in the final but will make sure of the whole stick on Wednesday.

 

All games can be seen live on the Egypt Hockey Facebook page here https://web.facebook.com/watch/egyhockey2013/

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