And the Kenyan men’s side gave world No20 side Egypt a run for their money before going down 4-1, writes Jon Cook.
The raw numbers don’t do justice as this tournament has witnessed some gargantuan scores of over 20 goals – including one 30-0 result.
Namibia keeper Petro Stoffberg was quite brilliant as she withstood a barrage of assaults on her goalline while ably assisted by her brave defenders.
The SA women went on the attack from the first whistle but Namibia defended well in the six-yard area before Stoffberg made a solid glove save off a Lilian du Plessis penalty corner drag-flick in the seventh minute.
A minute into the second quarter Namibia’s defence made a couple of remarkably courageous saves in the six-yard box. Toni Marks earned SA a second PC in the 18th and Stoffberg once again made a fine save. But a goal had to come and penalty corner injector Nicole Walraven was well-placed to scramble home the match’s opening goal for SA to lead 1-0 in the 20th minute.
Namibia continued to defend with dogged determination and Stoffberg made a couple more superb saves before a Du Plessis PC drag flick in the 35th minute caught the underside of her outstretch stick and edged over the line.
Walraven got her second goal when she followed up a PC before Lisa Deetlefs’ PC slap shot added to the scoreline.
At 4-0 up with 18 minutes left it looked as if outright favourites SA had broken the gutsy Namibian resistance. In the 48th minute, Deetlefs nailed her second PC goal for SA to go 5-0 up. But the last 12 minutes saw Namibia keepimg their goalline intact.
The men’s clash between Egypt and Kenya was huge as it was likely to decide who ends first and second in Pool B with the runners-up having the unenviable task of facing five-time defending champs South Africa in Saturday afternoon’s semi-finals.
This pulsating clash was stopped in the 12th minute due to the thunder, lightning and driving rain erupting from the angry cloud cover. Tuesday should be a treat for local fans as the South African men face Ghana at 7pm, preceded by the SA women against Zimbabwe at 4.45pm.
In the picture SA midfielder Shelley Russell and Namibia captain Margreth Mengo compete for the ball. Picture courtesy of Marcel Sigg
Ghana 27 Botswana 0; Zimbabwe 6 Namibia 3; Kenya 1 Egypt 4
Women: Ghana 4 Zimbabwe, Kenya 5 Tanzania 0, South Africa 5 Namibia 0
– See more at: http://www.sascoc.co.za/2015/10/27/sa-women-down-neighbours-namibia-at-africa-champs/#sthash.tBGiYk0z.dpuf