South Africa wins African Derby to Close FIH Junior Women’s World Cup in Chile

South Africa concluded the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup as Africa’s highest achiever after defeating Zimbabwe 6-1 in the 13th playoff, with Player of the Match Malikah Hamza netting four of the goals in a comfortable win for SA, in a repeat of the African Hockey Junior African Cup.

The opening quarter was a tentative battle between the two, but it was South Africa who had the upper hand without converting their early domination. Five penalty corner opportunities went astray through a combination of ineffective finishing and robust defending, giving head coach Lenise Marais a couple of grey hairs as a quarter ended goalless.

Those grey hairs may very quickly have turned black again in the second quarter when South Africa struck and doubled the scoring within four minutes of each other. Shanna Medonca netted from the sixth South African penalty corner, with a straight forward shot that beat the keeper with pace. 

It was Malikah Hamza who doubled the score, but the plaudits belong to Augousti for a lung bursting run into the circle to set up Hamza, herself showing remarkable maturity to wait on the spin before tapping home.  Despite another five penalty corners the South Africans could not add to the score and it was 2-0 at the half-time break.

South Africa wanted to show better incisiveness in the attacking end of the turf and did that early in the third when Malikah Hamza netted her second to stretch the lead to 3-0. Zimbabwe to their credit continued to fight and pulled a goal back with their first shot of the game from Elijah Tinodiwanashe. 3-1 at the end of the third quarter.

South Africa would re-establish the three-goal cushion when Hamza converted from a penalty corner to complete the hat-trick in the opening two minutes of the final quarter.  Ntsopa Mokoena found Laiken Brisset on the counter attack and the striker rounded the keeper and tapped it home to make it 5-1. There was time for Malikah Hamza to fire in one more goal to bag a fourth after reacting first to the loose ball and firing home.

As the whistle blew to end the match and draw a curtain on the 2023 campaign it was the South Africans undeniably the queens of Africa and confirming 13th place in the tournament.

Probably, a game that will be etched in the hearts of hockey lovers throughout their lives, and possible the game of the tournament, is the final. Defending champions, the Netherlands came back from  a 2-0 deficit to draw 2-2 at the final whistle. 

The game had to be decided by a penalty shootout that saw the most successful European country extend their number of titles to five, after securing a 4-1 victory in the shoot-out against Argentina. The Dutch added to their titles won in 1997, 2009, 2013 and 2022.

To see the final rankings of all the teams, click here.

Final Results of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup Chile 2023, concluded at the Centro Deportivo de Hockey Césped, Estadio Nacional, on 10 December 2023 

15th–16th Place: Canada 3-5 New Zealand 

Player of the Match: Madeline Harris (NZL)

13th–14th Place: Zimbabwe 1-6 South Africa 

Player of the Match: Malikah Hamza (RSA)

11th–12th Place: Chile 1-2 Korea

Player of the Match: Mihyang Park (KOR)

9th–10th Place: USA 2-2 India (Shootout Score: 2-3)

Player of the Match: Rutaja Dadaso Pisal (IND)

7th-8th Place: Spain 2-4 Japan 

Player of the Match: Sana Hayasuke (JPN)

5th-6th Place: Germany 0-2 Australia 

Player of the Match: Grace Young (AUS)

Bronze Medal: England 0-7 Belgium

Player of the Match: Astrid Bonami (BEL)

Final: Netherlands 2-2 Argentina (Shoot-out Score: 4-1)

Player of the Match: Mikki Roberts (NED)

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