9 December 2018

Zimbabwe: Namibia Hockey Women Win in Zimbabwe

NAMIBIA's national women's hockey team won the three-nation Hockey Series Open in Bulawayo over the weekend to qualify for the next round of the 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers.

Namibia's men were, however, not so fortunate, finishing last in their four-nation tournament which was won by Egypt.

Only three nations competed in the women's tournament - Namibia, Zambia and the hosts Zimbabwe, with Namibia finishing top of the log on six points after winning both their matches.

They got off to a strong start with a 3-0 victory against Zambia on Friday.

Jivanka Kruger gave them an early lead from a short corner, while two field goals by Kaela Schimming and Phia Gerber in the second half completed a convincing victory.

On Sunday, Namibia beat Zimbabwe 1-0 in a hard fought encounter. Namibia captain Maggy Mengo scored the winning goal shortly before half time.

On Saturday, Zambia beat Zimbabwe 3-2, to finish second on the log on three points, while Zimbabwe finished bottom on zero points.

Namibia will now proceed to the next round of Olympic Games qualifiers to be held in 2019.

Namibia's men's team had a rude awakening as they were thrashed 17-1 by Egypt in their opening match on Friday.

Egypt took control from the start and by the end of the first quarter were already 6-0 ahead.

Namibia managed to restrict them to two goals in the second quarter, to make the halftime score 8-0, but Egypt once again piled on the pressure to streak into a 15-0 lead by the end of the third quarter.

Namibia's best performance came in the fourth quarter when 17-year-old David Britz opened Namibia's account with a field goal, before Egypt closed out an emphatic 17-1 victory.

Namibia, however, showed great character and perseverance to overcome deficits and force draws in their next two matches against Zambia and Zimbabwe.

On Saturday, Zambia took a 2-0 lead, but two goals in quick succession by Liam Hermanus saw them drawing level at the halftime break.

Zambia went 4-2 ahead midway through the second half, but Namibia rallied superbly to once again draw level at 4-4 after two last minute goals by Siabonga Martins and Nico Jacobs.

Against Zimbabwe on Sunday, the home team took the lead through Arnold Mpofu, but two goals by Cody van der Merwe put Namibia 2-1 up at halftime.

Zimbabwe, however, regained the lead at 3-2 after two goals by Phillip Machaya, but Namibia once again fought back and a last minute goal by Liam Hermanus forced a 3-3 draw.

Egypt easily won the men's competition after also beating Zambia 13-0 and Zimbabwe 4-1 and finished top of the log on nine points, while Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia all finished on 2 points each.

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