SPAR South Africa Earns Draw Against Namibia, Eyes Spot in Indoor Africa Cup Final

Swakopmund, Namibia – SPAR South Africa and Namibia renewed their long-standing rivalry in international indoor hockey at the Indoor Africa Cup on Friday. With both teams aware that a victory would virtually assure their qualification for the final—and a spot in the FIH Indoor World Cup—the stakes were high.

Namibia, the defending champions, started strong with Azaylee Philander scoring the opening goal after superb setup play from Kiana Cormack. This early goal spurred SPAR South Africa into action, showcasing their resilience with several strong offensive plays. However, they were consistently denied by three outstanding saves from Namibia’s Petro Stoffberg, ending the first quarter 1-0 in favor of the hosts.

SPAR South Africa found their equalizer in the second quarter when Cerian Fourie executed a brilliant run up the left side, crossing the ball for Bonolo Moabi to tap home. Despite opportunities from penalty corners, neither team was able to add to their tally, and the score remained locked at 1-1 at halftime.

The third quarter saw Sarah Paget make a crucial save to deny a determined Kiana Cormack, while Cailynn den Bakker’s powerful shot was once again saved by Stoffberg. Both teams continued to struggle with converting penalty corners, keeping the score even at 1-1 as the third quarter ended.

In the final quarter, SPAR South Africa had an early chance, but Malikah Hamza was unable to direct it goalwards. The game remained on a knife-edge, with both teams nearly frustrating themselves as much as each other. Ultimately, the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

This result secured Namibia’s place in the final. SPAR South Africa will now aim to secure their spot by avoiding defeat against Zimbabwe in their final pool stage game on Saturday.

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