Namibia’s World Cup Dream Is Over

NAMIBIA’s Indoor Hockey World Cup dream is over after both the national men and women’s teams lost their Africa Indoor Cup Test series against South Africa over the weekend.

The men were comprehensively beaten to lose the series 3-0, but the women’s series went down to the wire after South Africa won the first Test 3-1 on Friday and Namibia the second Test 4-3 on Saturday. South Africa however won the final encounter 4-1 on Sunday morning to win the series 2-1 and break Namibia’s hearts.

Namibia’s women’s coach Jeanne Davin summed up the disappointment after the match.

“We desperately wanted to win the series and obviously we are deeply disappointed. I actually cried which I almost never do, so it really touched us because we really felt that we could win this one,” she said.

In Sunday’s decisive third Test, Namibia matched the South Africans in an even first half as the teams went into the break tied at 0-0.

South Africa took the lead through Shelley Freyer early in the second half, but Namibia drew level through a great goal by Jocelle Deysel.

South Africa regained the lead through Eloise Walters midway through the second half, and with Namibia pushing for the equaliser, the visitors waited to launch some counterattacks.

Bernice Brink had a great chance to equalise, but her shot was well saved by South Africa’s goalie, before two goals in the final four minutes by Tracy Martins and Shelley Freyer sealed the match for the visitors.

Davin said it was an even match but Namibia failed to take their chances.

“It was a very even game and they knew if they drew the game they would win because they had one goal more than us on points difference. So we were pushing harder to win than them and then we made a few small mistakes which cost us but we also had our chances. At this level it’s a game of chances, and we didn’t take the few chances that came our way, which was basically the bottom line of the game,” she said.

“We were extremely motivated and we felt woman to woman that we were on the same level as them. We never saw them as our superiors and we still don’t and I think in Namibia we are actually moving forward in the sense that we don’t respect our competitors too much anymore.

“We have the players, and we have the conditioning, so I think we just need maybe a tour to Europe and play a bit more together as a team and build.”

“I think hockey in Namibia is alive, coming from the youth up, I think we are becoming a force and I’m very excited about that,” she said.

South Africa won the first Test 3-1 on Friday night after leading 2-0 at halftime. Amy Greaves, Tracy Martins and Shelley Freyer scored for South Africa while Marcia Venter replied for Namibia.

On Saturday night, Annalien Davin scored a hat trick and Marcia Venter one goal as Namibia beat South Africa 4-3, after leading 3-0 at halftime.

Namibia’s men’s team were comprehensively beaten, losing all three Tests by big margins. South Africa won 10-4 on Friday, 7-1 on Saturday and 6-1 yesterday morning.

On Friday, South Africa got off to a cracking start, scoring five goals in the first sect5 minutes and Namibia could not recover.

Gavin Jelley (two), Geoff Abbott (two), PG Geldenhuys (two), Shaun Davenhill, Keegan Kieck and Dale Isaac scored for South Africa, while Russel Bartlett (two), Ernest Jacobs and Ettienne de Villiers scored for Namibia.

On Saturday, South Africa won the second Test 7-1 after leading 3-0 at halftime.

Dale Isaac (two), Mathew Fairweather, PG Geldenhuys (two), Geoff Abbott, Shaun Davenhill and Gavin Jelley scored for South Africa while Devon Sprake scored from a short corner for Namibia.

South Africa won the final Test 6-1 on Sunday after leading 1-0 at halftime. Keegan Kieck (two), PG Geldenhuys, Justin Domleo, Andrew Cronje and Gavin Jelley scored for South Africa while Dewald Coetzee scored for Namibia.

Namibia’s coach Trevor Cormack was just as disappointed with the series defeat

“I’m very disappointed. We trained for three months and it’s just sad to get walloped like this,” he said after losing the second Test.

Source : The Namibian