The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
NORTH African nation, Egypt cemented their position at the top on the men’s standings in the ongoing Hockey Series Open when they beat hosts Zimbabwe 4-1 in a match played yesterday at Khumalo Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Zimbabwe put up a great performance despite the loss restricting Egypt that had been expected to ride roughshod over the hosts due to the vast differences in rankings and experience.
The North Africa country is ranked 16th in the world while Zimbabwe is number 66 and after humbling Namibia 17-1 in their opening match, the Egyptians had been expected to put up another huge margin win but the hosts had other ideas.
Zimbabwe’s coach, Tongai Mukwewa was pleased with the team’s showing although they lost saying the fact they did not concede many goals is a sign that they are improving.
“I think we played very well considering the difference in our rankings, the expected losing margin was higher after they beat Namibia 17-1 in their first match but we showed we are improving as a team and I think we are going to be much better when we play the last match tomorrow against Namibia,” he said.
Zimbabwe, with one point, are third on the four team log. Egypt have six points after winning their first two games.
Captain Tendayi Maredza said they still have all to play for against Namibia today as they seek to finish in a higher position.
Egyptian coach, Zaghloul Mohyeldin was happy with his side’s showing, adding they were given a good run for their money by the Zimbabwean side. He said they are looking at finishing on top of the log and qualify for the Hockey World League scheduled for France next year.
In the women’s section, Zimbabwe were beaten 3-2 by Zambia in the match played yesterday afternoon.
The result left Zimbabwe at the bottom of the three-team log standings with zero points while Namibia and Zambia are on three points. Namibia are on top of the standings due to goal difference.
Tournament director Susan Simmonds expressed satisfaction with the way the tournament has progressed adding teams have exhibited great competition and they expect an exciting finale in today’s matches.
Today – Men Egypt v Zambia, Namibia v Zimbabwe
Women – Zimbabwe v Namibia