Namibia: Afcon Campaign Ends in Anticlimax

NAMIBIA's Afcon hockey campaign finished on an anticlimax as both the men and women's teams lost their final matches to finish bottom of the log.

Namibia's men lost 3-1 to Kenya on Sunday to finish bottom of the six-nation log on one point, after they drew their penultimate match 2-2 against Zimbabwe on Saturday.

Namibia's women's team lost 3-2 to Zimbabwe on Sunday and 3-0 to Ghana on Saturday, to complete their campaign without a point after losing all four their matches.

Sunday's men's match between Namibia and Kenya's was a close encounter that could have gone either way, but Kenya made better use of their chances.

Percy Barthram missed a great chance at the end of the first chukka when he shot over the crossbar, and Kenya took the lead when Willis Okeyo scored from a short corner on 26 minutes.

Namibia had more chances after the break, with Liam Hermanus and Nico Neethling both coming close, and Kenya made them pay with two more goals by Constant Wakhura and Festus Onyango in quick succession to go 3-0 ahead.

Namibia fought back in the closing stages, and finally opened their account when they won a short corner and Nico Neethling scrambled the ball over the line.

On Saturday, Namibia drew 2-2 against Zimbabwe in another close encounter.

Tony O' Riordan put Zimbabwe ahead with a back stick shot on 16 minutes, but Brynn Cleak equalised after a fine angled shot from the right on 41 minutes.

Zimbabwe regained the lead barely two minutes later when they won a short corner, and although DJ Strauss saved the shot, the defence failed to clear the ball, and Gift Chomunorwa nipped in to put it into the net.

Namibia upped the tempo in the final stages, winning two short corners and then a penalty with five minutes to go, which Cody van der Merwe put away to give them a share of the spoils.

Namibia's women had a disappointing tournament, and finished bottom of the log after losing all their matches.

On Saturday, they lost 3-0 to Ghana, and completed their tournament on Sunday with a fourth consecutive defeat, going down 3-2 to Zimbabwe.

In both matches, they had more than enough chances, but their finishing was poor.

Against Ghana, they had a nine short corners but could not convert them as most were cleared by the Ghanaian defence, while others were poorly executed and hardly troubled the defence.

Ghana took the lead at the end of the first chukka when they caught Namibia's defence sleeping after a quick free hit found an unmarked Elizabeth Opoku, who beat Petro Stoffberg from close range.

Ghana went 2-0 up early in the second chukka when Stoffberg saved a free hit, but the defence failed to clear the ball, and Deborah Whyte nipped in to put the loose ball away.

The closest Namibia came to a goal was when Marcia Venter hit the post from a short corner early in the third chukka, but Ghana soon capitalised as Ernestina Coffie scored their third goal from a counter-attack five minutes later.

Against Zimbabwe on Sunday, Namibia one again created numerous chances, winning seven short corners, but could not finish them off.

Zimbabwe took an early lead when Sophie McDonald nipped in behind Namibia's defence to score from close range, while a diving Nicola Watson made it 2-0 when she stabbed a cross into the net at the end of the first chukka.

Stoffberg saved well from a Zimbabwean short corner early in the third chukka, but Zimbabwe soon went 3-0 ahead when Watson latched onto a long through ball, and chipped over an advancing Stoffberg into an empty net.

Namibia finally opened their account at the end of the third chukka when Tara Myburgh rounded off a counter-attack by Marcia Venter and Phea Gerber, while Gerber scored their second with a deflected shot in the final chukka.

Zimbabwe, however, held on for a 3-2 victory, which saw them finishing third overall on six points, while Namibia finished bottom of the log on zero points.

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