With one round remaining of pool games on Friday, the South African Indoor Hockey Women have already secured their spot in Saturday’s final. They did this on another successful day in Malaysia winning both of their games.
The early morning game was the start of a new rivalry as for the first time in a decade there was no Maggie Mengo, Jess O’Connor, Lennie Botha or Erwin Handura as South Africa took on Namibia.
Despite the new faces, the game had its same level of intensity as the South Africans produced an outstanding first half display to keep Namibia scoreless and take a two-goal lead. There were early chances for Den Bakker, de Waal and Hamza but they were unable to breach the goal. But Tegan Fourie would open the scoring from a stroke after the ball struck a defender on the line. Just before half-time the South Africans made it two through Kayla de Waal.
Namibia showed tremendous fight to pull the score back to 2-1 but the South Africans held on for a victory that put one foot into the final.
The second foot landed squarely there too as South Africa produced their best display of the tournament to defeat Australia 4-0. It’s the second time in a row the South Africans have kept a clean sheet against the Oceania giants.
Tegan Fourie reacted to a Malikah Hamza shot that was saved and fired in the first, narrowly avoiding contact with Edith Molikoe. Kayla de Waal doubled the lead before half time with a superb show of close control to round the keeper. Fourie made it 3-0 with her own close control to score at the near post before Den Bakker scored in the final quarter when Australia withdrew their keeper.
The 12 points, along with Switzerland suffering a hugely surprising defeat to Malaysia, means that South Africa have qualified in top spot before their final group stage game against Switzerland on Friday. They will meet either Switzerland or Australia in the final.
Tuanku Zara Cup – Day 2 Results
South Africa 2-1 Namibia
Switzerland 4-3 New Zealand
Malaysia 2-3 Australia
New Zealand 3-3 Namibia
Australia 0-4 South Africa
Switzerland 1-3 Malaysia