South Africa won their second African Hockey Road to Paris 2024 Qualifier tie against Nigeria 4-0 in inclement conditions on Monday evening, and had to put in a big effort to maintain their Group A leader position at the Olympic qualifier tournament, at the Tuks Hockey Astro in Pretoria, Tshwane, South Africa, on Monday, 31 October, 2023.
The group stages have one day remaining at the African Hockey Road to Paris 2024 Qualifier in Pretoria, but the picture of who will contend the semi-finals has become clearer as some teams secured their spots while others put one foot in the final four.
Kenya secured their spot in the final four with a thrilling win over their old rivals and higher ranked opponents Ghana.
Having started the day ranked 3 spots lower in the World Rankings Kenya were hoping for a perfect performance and they found the perfect start leading 2-0 at the half time break through Eleanor Chebet and Grace Bwire.
Mavis Berko pulled one back, before Maureen Okumu restored 3-1. A late Berko goal proved to be a consolation as Kenya secured the win and space in the final four.
Zambia defeated Namibia 3-2 which kept their hopes alive ahead of their final game in the pool stage with Ghana on Wednesday. Namibia is consigned to the 5-8 Playoff.
South Africa secured their place in the final four coming out on top of a bruising encounter against Nigeria. The South Africans toiled to create their opening coming up against an inspired goalkeeper Martha Uko.
The South African supremacy eventually told as Tarryn Lombard broke the deadlock and they quickly doubled when Bianca Wood slammed home a rebounded effort.
The South Africans put the game beyond doubt when veteran Celia Seerane slotted home. The final gloss was added to the score line by a late Kristen Paton goal to secure South Africa’s place in the Semi-Final with a 4-0 win.
“I think we didn’t play as well as we can,” shared Giles Bonnet the SA Women’s Head Coach.
“The score line doesn’t worry me too much, I want to see the performance. The conditions might have made things difficult for us, but technically we played below our level today, and we will look to fix that for the semi-final.”
The South African result means that Nigeria and Zimbabwe will face off on Wednesday in a match to determine the second semi-finalist from Pool A.
Tuesday is a rest day in the tournament before the group stages complete on Wednesday.
Fixtures and Results at the African Hockey Road to Paris 2024 Qualifiers
Sun 19 Oct: South Africa 10-0 Zimbabwe (Pool A)
Sun 19 Oct: Kenya 4-0 Zambia (Pool B)
Sun 19 Oct: Ghana 2-1 Namibia (Pool B)
Mon 30 Oct: Namibia 2-3 Zambia (Pool B)
Mon 30 Oct: Ghana 2-3 Kenya (Pool B)
Mon 30 Oct: Nigeria 0-4 South Africa (Pool A)
Wed 1 Nov Oct 8:00am Nigeria vs Zimbabwe (Pool A)
Wed 1 Nov 10:00am Ghana vs Zambia (Pool B)
Wed 1 Nov 12:00pm Kenya vs Namibia (Pool B)
SA Women’s Team (and Caps) for the African Hockey Road to Paris 2024 from Sunday, 29 October to Sunday 5 November, 2023 at the Pretoria University in Pretoria
Anelle van Deventer (42)
Erin Christie (93)
Onthatile Zulu (44)
Antonet Louw (14)
Jean-Leigh du Toit (28)
Paris-Gail Isaacs (0)
Aphiwe Dimba (0)
Kayla de Waal (10)
Quanita Bobbs (172
Bianca Wood (35)
Kayla Swarts (9)
Stephanie Botha (21
Celia Seerane (173)
Kristen Paton (68)
Taheera Augousti (16)
Edith Molikoe (22)
Ntsopa Mokoena (16)
Tarryn Lombard (80)
Main Photo Caption: South Africa’s Onthatile Zulu was in the thick of most of South Africa’s attacking moves against Nigeria on Monday evening, with the host team winning 4-0 to qualify for the African Hockey Road To Paris semi-finals at the University of Pretoria in Tshwane on Monday, 30 October, 2023. Photo: ES MEDIA
Photo 2 Caption: The Kenyan midfielder Eleanor Namuren celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Ghana, at the African Hockey Road To Paris being played at the University of Pretoria in Tshwane on Monday, 30 October, 2023. Kenya beat Ghana 3-2 to secure their semi-final berth. Photo: ES MEDIA
Photo 3 Caption: South Africa’s Stephanie Botha was a stalwart in defending numerous dangerous Nigerian attacks, and her work feeding the ball to South Africa’s attack was key in the host country’s second tie win on Monday. Photo: ES MEDIA