South African Indoor Hockey Men Secure World Cup Spot with Dominant Win Over Zimbabwe

The South African Indoor Hockey Men, powered by Tops at SPAR, clinched their place in the final of the Indoor Africa Cup and secured a qualifying spot for the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup with a commanding victory over Zimbabwe on Saturday morning.

The match began with a tense opening quarter, as both teams struggled to create clear opportunities. Zimbabwe came closest to scoring but the first period ended goalless.

South Africa broke the deadlock with their third penalty corner. After chances for Nic White and Mustapha Cassiem were denied, Eustice set up Hezlett for a superb finish. This goal sparked the South African offense, and Mustapha Cassiem quickly added two more goals to extend their lead. Despite Zimbabwe’s efforts, they couldn’t match South Africa’s intensity. A disallowed goal for Zimbabwe briefly provided relief, but Cassiem soon completed his hat-trick with a powerful flick into the top left corner, making it 4-0 at halftime.

The South Africans maintained their momentum in the third quarter. Dayaan Cassiem showcased excellent off-the-ball movement to score, followed by another goal from Mustapha Cassiem that slipped through Zimbabwe’s goalkeeper Chibetete. Hezlett scored his second goal from a penalty corner, increasing the lead to 7-0. Langford then netted a stunning goal off the crossbar, and Hans Neethling celebrated his first international goal from a penalty corner. Neethling also assisted Abdulla, who deftly deflected the ball into the net, bringing the score to 10-0 by the end of the third quarter.

The final quarter continued in the same vein. Jethro Eustice made it 11-0, and Dalpiaz Langford added another off the crossbar from a penalty corner, rounding out the score to 12-0.

The match concluded with South Africa’s dominant win, securing their qualification for the FIH Indoor World Cup in February in Croatia. With their first objective achieved, the South African team now aims to confirm their title as champions of Africa.

Source: | May 25, 2024