24 June 2019

Namibia Crash Out in Spain

NAMIBIA crashed out of the Olympic Games field hockey qualifiers in Valencia, Spain after suffering record defeats in their three pool matches.

They opened their account with a 7-0 defeat to Belarus on 19 June and then two days later suffered a world record 17-0 defeat against Canada. In their final group match on Saturday, Namibia lost 10-1 to Spain.

These results have put Namibia bottom of the log in Pool A and they will now meet Thailand in the seventh and eighth place play-off on Tuesday.

On Friday, Namibia faced a rampant Canada who opened the scoring after only two minutes through Brienne Stairs. From then on there was only one team in it as Canada blew Namibia off the park.

They added five more goals to go 6-0 up at the end of the first chukka and by half time they were already 10-0 ahead.

Namibia managed to contain them somewhat in the third chukka, conceding only two goals, but when Stairs scored her fourth goal in the 52nd minute she set a new world record score of 13 goals in a Women's Series Finals match.

They added five more goals to complete a one sided romp, with Stairs leading the way with five goals, while Sarah McManus scored four.

In Namibia's final group match on Saturday, they got off to a great start when Joane van Rooyen opened the scoring after seven minutes when she stabbed in a cross by Kiana Cormack.

Spain, however, soon took control of the match, taking a 3-1 lead by the end of the first chukka, and going 4-1 ahead by half time.

Spain stepped up the tempo after the break, going 8-1 ahead by the third chukka, while two more goals in the final chukka saw them completing a one-sided 10-1 victory.

Namibia were clearly out of their depth, and although some players like Cormack, Maggy Mengo, Gillian Hermanus and Tara Myburgh caught the eye they failed to combine as a unit.

Canada finished on top of the group on seven points, just ahead of Spain on goal difference, while Belarus came third on three points and Namibia last on zero points.

South Africa, meanwhile, finished on top of Pool B on seven points, followed by Italy (six), Wales (three) and Thailand (zero).

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