South Africa secures a spot in the Sultan Nazrin Shah Cup final against Namibia in an all-African showdown after both teams emerged victorious on Friday, claiming the top two positions in the group stage.
In a determined display, South Africa, aware that avoiding defeat would secure their final berth, wasted no time establishing dominance. Steven Paulo initiated the scoring with a goal that, perhaps, should have been stopped. His second, a successful penalty stroke, was indisputable, followed by Luke Lange’s inaugural international goal, a striking finish reminiscent of Justin Domleo’s style.
Despite a subdued second quarter, the halftime score held. South Africa, however, extended their lead early in the third quarter. Justin Domleo showcased his finesse with a penalty corner, complemented by Lungani Gabela capitalizing on Nic White’s excellent groundwork. Kyle Esau’s goal from a tight angle and Steven Paulo’s hat-trick completion further bolstered South Africa’s commanding 7-1 victory, with Malaysia securing a consolation goal through Firdaus Omar.
The upcoming final is a replay of the African Cup of Nations final, while Namibia and South Africa engaged in a fiercely contested group match earlier in the week. Both teams are eager to conclude the tournament on a high note, and while the trophy will undoubtedly stay in Africa, the battle for supremacy between the two nations remains undecided.
Sultan Nazrin Shah Cup – Day 3 Results
New Zealand 35-1 Hong Kong China
Australia 1-12 Namibia
Malaysia 1-7 South Africa
Sultan Nazrin Shah Cup – Final Day Fixtures (11 November)
10:00 – Bronze – New Zealand vs. Australia
14:00 – Final – South Africa vs. Malaysia