Smith's South Africa bundles Kenya out of Cup of Nations

Smith's South Africa bundles Kenya out of Cup of Nations

Smith's South Africa bundles Kenya out of Cup of Nations

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Austin Smith scored a quadruple as South Africa ended Kenya’s hopes of making to the finals of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations at the city Park Stadium.

The holders scored 5-1 with Kenya pulling a consolation through forward Davis Wanangwe  who scored in the last five minutes of the match.

The crown holders were clinical in penalty corner conversions scoring four of the five chances they had in the match.  Their only field goal came in the 56th minute via Julian Hykes who slotted in Gregory’s last ball to give South Africa 5-0 lead.

The match started on high tempo with Kenya keeping possession in the first three minutes as the visitors struggled to settle in the game. Kenya wasted four penalty corners two in either half.

It took them 13 minutes for Smith, based in Northlands, to silence the mammoth home fans with a rasping drag from the edge of the box. He doubled the lead four minutes to the break to give his team 2-0 lead at the break.

Wanangwe restored some pride to the home team with a field goal late in the match after clear missed chances that could have restored parity earlier in the second period. Despite the score line, it was an improved performance from the hosts having lost to the same opponents with over eight goals in their last encounter two years ago.

South Africa vice captain Rhett  Halkett  speaking after the match said having a player in the team in the caliber of Smith was the difference.

“We defeated Kenya in experience; first having such great individuals in the team is special even before the game starts. He is among the best in the Netherlands league.” Said the defender who plays for Laven also in Netherlands.

Kenya coach Meshack Senge who saw an improved performance from his side said  the winners won on short corners.

“We had similar number of short corners against them they scored we didn’t, we created one field goal they scored one. Possession wise we were equal.”He Said.

 The coach added that experience was the other fact that led to the loss “The number of matches we play are very few. The league being one way isn’t helping any bit. We need to balance between lack of money and hockey development.”Said a visibly relaxed coach.

 Kenya will play Ghana in the third place play offs on Friday. With Egypt playing South Africa in the finals a day later.

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