By ELIZABETH MBURUGU
|Kenya playing against South Africa in the Africa Nations Cup at City Park Stadium. [PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE/STANDARD]|
South Africa men and women teams successfully retained the Africa Cup of Nations title.
South Africa men beat Egypt 2-0 while their women colleagues came from behind to beat Ghana 3-2 in the finals played at City Park Stadium in Nairobi.
The South Africans also won the single ticket reserved for Africa at the hockey World Cup, which will be held in June in The Hague, Netherlands.
The Champions rallied from behind to beat Ghana 3-2 after the West Africans had led 2-0 by the halftime whistle. Ghana’s team captain Georgina Sam said they played to their best.
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“We gave it our best shot but luck was not on our side,” she said.
Elizabeth Opuku was back to haunt the South African girls’ netting her first goal of the match and her tenth of the tournament with just three minutes of play.
She was at it again in the 14th minute beating South Africa’s goalkeeper Hanli Hattingh to slot in the second for Ghana. The West Africans, ranked second in the continent, dominated the first half playing in South Africa’s side for the better part of the match.
held at bay
Ghana’s goalkeeper Grace Mensah got her first test in the 24th minute when Lilian Du Plessis called her to action with her left shot. Ghana contained the South Africans holding on to the lead at half time.
With their title on the line South Africa came into the second half organised and determined to claim the lead and retain their title. They turned the tide against Ghana’s side and ran rings as they searched for their openner.
Their efforts paid off in the 48th minute through a Cecilia Evans field goal after she was set by Tanya Britz.
A 55th minute own goal by Nafi Umaru levelled the score and revived South Africa’s hopes of retaining the title. They fought hard and Tanya Britz snatched the victory in the 69th minute denying the Ghanaians the African crown.
The 19-year-old Britz was very happy for netting the winner.
“I’m delighted to have scored the winning goal for my country,” she said.
“We fought very hard to retain the title and qualify for the World Cup.”
However South Africa women’s head coach Fabian Gregory was not happy with the team’s performance. “We did not play well. We failed to score goals conceding two in the first half,” he said
The tournament attracted five countries — Egypt, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania — with several teams opting out.