Rio 2016: Black Sticks qualify for Semi finals of AHC

Black Sticks menThe national male hockey team, the Black Sticks, have advanced to the semi finals of the ongoing African Hockey Championships in South Africa after defeating Zimbabwe 4:2 to clinch second place in pool B.

Ghana, who secured their third victory in the tournament following their win, will play Pool A winners Egypt for a place in the final of the tournament on Saturday.

The Black Sticks, who were ranked 41st in the world, came to this tournament with high expectations, and three wins and just one loss is a reflection of how far the nation has come in its hockey development.

This was a fractious match with two yellow cards for each team, but Ghana stamped their authority on the game in the first half, with goals from Elikem Akaba, Johnny Botsio and Francis Tetty.

Zimbabwe fought back through Arnold Mpofu when he put away a well-taken penalty corner, but Ghana never looked like losing their grip on the match.

This grip was tightened when Tetty scored a second, and although Pritchard Matambo scored a late consolation, the Ghana team knew they just had to defend the last few minutes to secure their place in the Semi-Finals and keep their Olympic hopes well and truly alive.

Meanwhile, the Semi-Finals and 5/8th place matches take place on Saturday, 31 October, with Egypt facing Ghana in the opening match, South Africa taking on Kenya in the second Semi-Final and Zimbabwe and Nigeria battling out the 5/6th place.

The Semi-Finals and 5/8th place matches take place on Saturday, 31 October, with Egypt facing Ghana in the opening match, South Africa taking on Kenya in the second Semi-Final and Zimbabwe and Nigeria battling out the 5/6th place.

 The winner of the male tournament automatically qualifies for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games next year.

Credit: FIH

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