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Lakers and Western Jaguars carry Kenya's gold medal hopes in Malawi

Hockey
 Lakers Hockey Club's Stacey Chentry (center) in action against Ghana Revenue Authority.[Hockey Association of Malawi,ACCC]

Lakers Hockey Club and Western Jaguars carry Kenya’s golden hopes as they chase final slots at the 2023 Africa Cup for Club Champions (ACCC) in Malawi.

After a week of intense matches in the sand-based National Hockey Stadium in Blantyre, Malawi, the men’s and women’s preliminary matches are set to end on Saturday with the top two teams in each category set to face off in the finals on Sunday.

Played in a round-robin format, the third and fourth placed teams will fight for bronze in the classification matches.

Lakers Hockey Club are currently second in the standing of the women’s category with 11 points after three wins and two draws.

The Kisumu City-based outfit have so far scored 39 goals in the five matches whilst conceding only three goals, the fewest in the tournament.

Lakers began the tourney with a 12-0 win over Scorpions before drawing 0-0 with Blazers on Sunday.

A whopping 15-0 win over Capital Braves from Malawi followed on Monday before their 2-2 draw with GRA.

This was followed by a 10-1 win over Capital Braves, a win that not only maintained their unbeaten run but also solidified their finals spot chase.

Today, Lakers will face off with Delta Queens of Nigeria in what will be a rematch of the 2022 edition played earlier this year.

In February, the match concluded with a goalless draw against Delta Queens, leaving Lakers tied for third place with the Nigerian side, separated only by a cruel goal difference.

Lakers need to avoid defeat to sail through to the finals. A draw of any sort will see them face off against defending champions Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) who have already booked a spot with a game to spare.

GRA are top with 13 points followed by Lakers with 11 points. Delta Queens are third with 10 points.

Blazers, Kenya’s other club were knocked out of the finals contention after their 0-0 draw with Delta on Thursday. With eight points, the best points they can amass is 11 points if they win their last match against Capital Braves. Points that won’t be enough to secure second spot.

In the men’s category, Western Jaguars who are second with 13 points will hope to pick a point against leaders and defending champions Sharkia when they play today in the final preliminary match.

Sharkia are already through to the finals after five wins in a row while Jaguars will be wary of third placed Genetrix from Malawi who have 10 points.

Defeat to Sharkia will mean Jaguars have to bank on goal difference to separate them. Jaguars have 27 goals while Genetrix 17 goals, a deficit of 10 goals.

Saturday’s 2023 ACCC Fixtures

Sharkia (Egypt) v Western Jaguars (Kenya)-10am

Capital Braves (Malawi) v Blazers (Kenya)-12pm

Lakers (Kenya) v Delta Queens (Nigeria)-4pm

(All matches kick off in EAT)

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