HomeSportZimbabwe face Kenya in Afcon bronze medal match

Zimbabwe face Kenya in Afcon bronze medal match

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
AFTER succumbing to a heartbreaking last gasp semifinal defeat against hosts Ghana, the Zimbabwe women’s field team hockey will be aiming to finish their impressive campaign at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on a high when they clash against Kenya in the bronze medal match in Accra today.

Zimbabwe’s hopes of reaching their first Afcon final since 1991 went up in smoke after succumbing to a last gasp 2-1 defeat to hosts Ghana in a tightly contested semifinal encounter at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in the Ghanaian capital on Friday night.

The Zimbabwean ladies, who had broken a 24 year-old jinx by qualifying to the semis, appeared on course to reach their first final since winning gold three decades ago when took the lead in the 15th minute through a goal by Alexi Terblanche.

However Ghana, who are ranked second in Africa behind South Africa, levelled ten minutes later through Nafisatu Umaru before they scored a late winner through Elizabeth Opoku after converting a penalty corner.

Zimbabwe had a couple of late opportunities to claw their way back in the match late in the game, but Ghana held on to dramatically seal a place in the final against South Africa, who are aiming to win a seventh straight women’s title.

Holders South Africa were convincing winners against Kenya, triumphing 4-0 in the first of the last four encounters.

This means Zimbabwe will have an opportunity to claim some silverware in the bronze medal match against Kenya.

Zimbabwe coach Patricia Davies, who was a member of the Zimbabwe team which won an Olympic gold medal at the 1980 Olympic Games was full of praises for the team

“Our team performed very well against Ghana they all put in 100% but sadly missed opportunities especially in the closing stages of the game and Ghana scored in the last second to win 2-1. Obviously they were very upset to lose like that. We had two opportunities to score in the last few minutes and didn’t convert them but this is the first time in 24 years Zimbabwe has got to the semifinals so I am very proud of them,” said Davies.

The Zimbabwe coach is hoping for a more clinical perfomance against the Kenyans.

“I am expecting another very good challenge tomorrow against Kenya. We need to convert our opportunities to win the game and keep our composure,” she said.

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