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African Youth Games host, Algeria, was given a bitter introduction to the hockey fraternity by South Africa in the opening game played yesterday. The host nation played their first international hockey game showing signs of future prospects but experienced South Africa proved a hard nut for them.
De Wal Keyla and Welham Angela scored five goals each with Hardie India grabbing four goals. Mclaren Jacolene and Nkosi Angel grabbed a brace each before Hendricks Amaareh rounded up the victory with a solo effort to make it 19-0.
Ghana started their campaign with Zimbabwe signalling threat to all oppositions after winning 4 goals to nil. Eleanor Otoo scored in the 3rd minute to make it 1-0 as Okine Rafiatu increased the tally four minutes later with Ghana heading into the break with a 2-0 lead. Goals from Asana Gbati (18th min) and Hagiet Copson (19th min) rounded up the victory for Ghana to second South Africa on the women’s table.
Nigeria was defeated by Namibia in a 4-0 win thriller to end the third women’s.
In the boy’s category, South Africa announced their presence beating Namibia 5-0. Namibians gave the African giants a tough time in the opening half but weren’t enough to hold oppression from the South Africans. South Africa waited until the 13th minute before getting the opener through Postumus Cody.
Lewis Matthew got a brace (14th and 19th min) before a goal from Maphumulo Mpumelelo (17th min) and Jarvis Peter (18th min) completed the victory.
Host Algeria again fell; this time at the feet of Zimbabwe who beat them 9-0.
At the end of day 1, Zambia defied all odds to defeat Kenya. The Kenyans, who were tipped as favourites, started the game on a good note mounting pressure on the Zambians. However, the spirited teamwork of Zambia paid off as they finished the game 2-1 winners.
Bhwali Philemon in the 5th minute got the opener for Zambia. Parity was restored 8 minutes later as Omutekete Robinson stepped up to score for Kenya.
As the game was headed for a draw, Mulenga Dominic grabbed a late winner for Zambia in the 19th minute to break the hearts of Kenyans.
Uganda’s male team failed to represent in the match against Nigeria resulting in that match being cancelled. This means Group B will see Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia fighting for the top spot.