Nick Gordon
1 minute read
31 Oct 2015
8:19 pm

SA Hockey Men’s semifinal v Kenya

Nick Gordon

The semifinal encounter between the South African men’s side and Kenya produced the match of the tournament so far at the African Hockey Championships at the Randburg Hockey Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

PHOTO: AFP

It took 55 minutes to split the two sides as Pierre de Voux’s goal in the closing stages of the encounter proved the difference in the 2-1 victory.
The South African’s will take on Egypt, who dismantled Ghana 7-1 in the earlier semifinal, in the tournament decider at the same venue on Sunday afternoon.
An immense effort was required to grind out the result by the home side as Kenya turned in a  gutsy performance while providing a few scares at the same time.
South Africa had an opportunity to break the deadlock in the first quarter but their short-corner attempt was shut out by the first wave defence and the sides ended the first 15 minutes at nil all.
It was then up to goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse to keep South Africa in the game in the second stanza as he made a number of impressive, and crucial, saves to see off  a wave of Kenyan attacks.
There was another opportunity to go ahead with South Africa awarded a penalty stroke shortly before halftime but Rhett Halkett’s effort was wide of the mark and wasted.
The third quarter was also closely contested and still the two sides could not be split.
But it was the Kenyans who broke the deadlock as George Mutria snuck through the defence to make it 1-0 and send the Kenyan supporters into raptures.
The lead was relatively short-lived as Julian Hykes produced a great bit of individual skill, beating three defenders before his cross found Lloyd Norris-Jones unmarked on the far post for a simple tap-in to level matters.
With five minutes to play things started to get a bit tense for the home support before De Voux’s snap shot clattered into the backboard to hand South Africa victory.