Africa Hockey Cup: Golden Sticks edge out Kenya

Africa Hockey Cup: Golden Sticks edge out Kenya
Date: 24-10-2017 Time: 07:10:39:pm

The national female hockey team yesterday came from behind to beat Kenya 2-1 in their opening match of the 2017 Africa Hockey Cup tournament underway at the Suez Canal Hockey Stadium in Ismailia, Egypt.

It was deputy skipper Nafisatu Umaru who turned heroine for Ghana when she brilliantly converted a short corner in the 54th minute for the match winner.

Her strike followed an earlier goal by Serwaa Boakye from a short corner in the 46th minute, which brought the Golden Sticks at par with Kenya who had taken the lead in the 26th minute through Juma Ali, after a goalmouth melee.

Kenya, who went down 5-0 in their opening match against South Africa last Sunday, were full of fight when the match started and took the game to Ghana in an attempt run over them. Ghana responded quickly with quick ball control and passes, pinning their opponents to their half, but failed to convert the chances created.

The two teams continued to attack each in both the first and second quarters of the game but failed to convert their scoring chances. Moments after the third quarter got underway, Kenya struck home the ball during a goalmouth melee. But the Ghanaians fought back strongly as Nafisatu marshalled her teammates to take the fight to their opponents.

In the 54th minute, the Golden Sticks earned another short corner and Serwaa made sure she did not miss the chance as the Ghanaians came back into the game, until Nafisatu scored to earn Ghana a deserved victory and a bright start in the competition.

The host Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria are the other countries competing for the sole ticket to represent Africa at the 2018 Hockey World Cup being hosted by India.

Earlier yesterday, South Africa recorded a double victory as their female team defeated Nigeria 5-0, while the male side whipped Nigeria 8-1.

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