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Golden Girls get Silver – as Men’s Hockey 5s team miss out on 2024 Oman World Cup

By MICHAEL MIYOBA in Egypt

The Zambia Women’s Hockey 5s National team has won Silver at the inaugural Africa Hockey 5s World Cup qualifiers after recording a  2-1 defeat to Namibia in the final played at the Suez Canal International Hockey Stadium. 

The Golden Girls had put in a spirited fight in both halves of the games and created numerous chances which went begging.

After starting strong, Namibia stunned Zambia with a goal in the eighth minute when Jivanker Kruger scored from a penalty to give Namibia the lead.  

Schimmimg Kaela doubled Namibia’s advantage four minutes into the second half of the tightly contested fixture. 

Martha Kalomo scored the consolation goal for Zambia in the 17th minute but it was not enough to inspire a comeback for the Golden Girls as they recorded a double defeat to Namibia who beat them 4-2 in the decider for the group winner. 

Despite having recorded two defeats to Namibia in a space of three days,   team coach Floyd Chomba said he was proud of the Girls for winning silver and qualifying for the 2024 Oman Hockey 5s World Cup. 

“The performance was good. The girls played according to   plan. They really fought their hearts out. The first goal was a penalty and we can’t really go into details about that and they were given another stroke which was saved and we went on after being down by two we got a goal we could have had three more penalties because there were a lot of fouls committed on our players  but unfortunately the umpires don’t give us the privilege to have the penalties but we have done the best and there is always  room to improve.  We are going to the world cup, there is a lot of improvement we need to work on so I’m proud of the team but we need to look forward now,” Chomba said.  

On failing to win Gold, Chomba said; “It is painful to know that we didn’t get what we deserved but personally I’m very happy that the girls put up a very good performance and they fought so hard for this. A silver is not what we wanted yes but we achieved our first goal which is qualifying to the World Cup, so we will try by all means to make sure that the Girls do not feel bad about this.” 

Meanwhile, the Men’s Hockey 5s team head coach Samuel Tagwireyi has apologised to the nation over the team’s failure to qualify for the Oman 2024 Hickey 5s World Cup after the 5-2 defeat to Kenya in the third and fourth playoff. 

Zambia needed nothing but a win to secure a World Cup spot but struggled as Kenya dominated play from the first whistle. 

Tagwireyi said a lot of factors which included injuries contributed to the team’s failure to achieve their target of qualifying for the games in Oman. 

“We only had five players in the end while the other team had eight players so we were forced not to make substitutes even if we could see that someone is tired on the field, we were forced to play with less people which was hard but to be honest the work rate the boys did put in in the game was positive and we will definitely come back stronger,” Tagwireyi said.

On the pitch, Masambu Bethuel scored a brace while Ludiali Ivan scored the other goal to give Kenya a 3-0 lead before Shadrick Katebe pulled one goal back for Zambia a minute before half time. 

Danstone Wabwire and Brian Ogeche scored Kenya’s fourth and fifth goal respectively and made the game beyond reach for Zambia who scored their second through Gift Bwalya in the 14th minute. 

With Kenya having claimed the last World Cup qualifying spot, Nigeria claimed silver in the Men’s category after a humiliating 9-2 defeat to eventual Champions Egypt.

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