South African Indoor Hockey Men Secure Thrilling Victory Over Namibia at Indoor Africa Cup

The South African Indoor Hockey Men’s team faced off against the hosts in Swakopmund at the Indoor Africa Cup, aiming to top the pool stage and virtually secure a spot in the tournament final, which also serves as a qualifier for the FIH Indoor World Cup 2025 in Croatia.

Supported by Tops at SPAR, South Africa introduced debutants Hans Neethling, Cullin de Jager, and Lerou Ditlhakanyane. Meanwhile, veterans Jethro Eustice and Justin Domleo, the most capped players in SA Men’s Indoor Hockey history, brought their extensive experience to the game.

Captain Eustice opened the scoring with a precise penalty corner shot into the bottom corner. Mustapha Cassiem then doubled the lead with a brilliant finish, marking his 34th consecutive international indoor game with a goal, ending the first quarter at 2-0.

The South African defense, led by de Jager, effectively neutralized Namibia’s attacks, allowing Mustapha Cassiem to score his 79th international indoor goal from a penalty corner variation, making it 3-0. As the half neared its end, Dayaan Cassiem swiftly reacted to a loose ball, lifting it home to secure a 4-0 lead at the halftime buzzer.

In the second half, Dayaan Cassiem assisted his brother, who completed his hat-trick with a spectacular over-the-shoulder shot, bringing the score to 5-0. De Jager, on debut, maintained a clean sheet with a crucial save.

Namibia mounted a spirited comeback in the final quarter, energizing the crowd. JP Britz scored a penalty corner, followed by Fagan Hansen’s unselfish play to set up another goal, reducing the deficit to 5-2. Hansen then scored again, making it 5-3 with five minutes remaining. Cody van der Merwe added another, bringing the score to a tense 5-4.

Despite the pressure, South Africa, led by their resolute captain Eustice, alongside Domleo and the Cassiem brothers, managed to quell the Namibian surge and secure a victory. This win virtually assures the defending champions a place in the tournament final.

Remaining Fixtures:

25 May 2024 – 11:00 – South Africa vs. Zimbabwe
26 May 2024 – 14:00 – Bronze Medal Match
26 May 2024 – 17:00 – Gold Medal Match

Source: | May 24, 2024