Women Africa Cup champions Orange Telkom were yesterday held to a 3-3 draw by Ghana Police in their opening match at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka, Zambia. Veteran Jacqueline Jow starred for Orange bagging a hat-trick in the breathtaking encounter, while the Ghanaians’ goals were slotted in by Martha Sarfoa, Nafisatu Umaru and Faustina Aggrey.
Orange head coach Jos Openda attributed the draw to wasted chances and lapses in defence.
“We had very many chances that if utilised would have made the difference. Our defence also failed us by allowing easy goals,” Openda said on phone from Lusaka.
“It was our opening encounter and these mistakes are bound to happen. All we can do is correct them. Even so this draw is an eye opener and it goes to show that it is not going to be easy and we have to fight to retain our trophy.”
Jow opened the scores for Orange four minutes into play. But it took seven minutes before matters were levelled. Jow, however, converted a penalty corner in the 19th minute to put Orange in the lead. But Umaru restored parity for the Ghanaians in the 27th minute.
Jow made it 3-2 a minute to half time to give Orange the upper hand in the second half but lapses in their defence saw them concede easily as Aggrey’s 55th minute forced them to settle for a point.
Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) humiliated their hosts DE Stars of Zambia by clobbering them 6-0 in the women’s Pool B tie. GRA left nothing to chance as they clearly made their intentions of improving on their third place finish last year. In another women’s tie, Sharkia of Egypt began their campaign on a high note as they trounced Weatherhead of Uganda 9-2. The Egyptian girls showed tremendous improvement compared to their performance last year.
They seemed to have discovered the secret that has put their Sharkia brothers in control of the continental club hockey as they utilised and converted penalty corners to secure the huge victory.
Sharkia will today tackle home girls DE Stars in hunt for their second victory, while GRA will take on Weatherhead. DE Stars will capitalise on home support and bounce back from their loss to revive the hopes of their nation.
Egypt men’s national league champions Eastern Company had no respect for their hosts DE Stars as they whipped them to launch their continental title battle with a resounding 10-1 victory.
DE Stars have a chance to redeem themselves as they face Nigeria’s Niger Flickers in their second match today.