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Hockey News Sat, 11 Dec 2010

AfHF Africa Club Championship (ACCC)

AfHF Africa Club Championship (ACCC)-2010 MATCH DAY TWO REPORT

Favorites Sharkia Show class

Defending champions and tournament favorites, Sharkia of Egypt adopted a minimalist approach as they opened the defence of their title in the men’s competition with a 5-2 win over Kenyan opponents, Strathmore.

The university lads sold out a brand of hockey high on technical acumen but they eventually came unstuck against a more experienced Sharkia team, albeit the final result may be flattering to the Egyptians.

Elsayed Amed Gab began the rout for Sharkia, converting from a penalty corner in the ninth minute. Strathmore’s equalizer came in the shape of a Mutira George field goal. The Egyptian champions were awarded a penalty stroke on the stroke of half time to walk into the recess the more confident side.

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Back from recess and the Kenyans were sublime going forward but came undone by a defence line shorn of fortitude. Sharkia’s Ahmed Metwally took advantage of this flaw to grab a brace from two penalty corners. Mutira’s field goal proved little consolation as the Egyptians concluded the rampage with a field goal from Waleed Mahmoud with just two minutes left on the clock.

The other men’s fixture involving an Egyptian side was equally a thriller with Police Union inflicting a second successive defeat on Niger Flickers.

The Nigerians were hoping to overcome their opening day blues a day after losing to Golden Sticks and they threw everything at the Police Officers pushing the game to the hilt at 4-3. But rather than cheering at an equalizer in the final minutes of the game, fans of Flickers were to yell in pain as Police killed off the game with their fifth goal. It ended 5-3 in favour of Police Union.

Ghana’s Extinguishers prolonged their winning streak in the ladies’ contest with yet another resounding win against Sharkia of Egypt. The Fire fighting ladies were at their free scoring best as they put seven past Sharkia who surprisingly exhibited a marked improvement in their play. Linda Sasu was twice on the score sheet in this seven-goal thriller and six out of the seven goals were field goals, the remaining one resulting from a penalty corner.

Reformers dusted themselves off from their opening day stumble to pip Heartland of Nigeria one-nil. Elizabeth Opoku’s lone goal in open play in the thirty-fifth minute was enough to secure all three points for the Prison Officers.

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Nigerian clubs Yobe Rollers and Yobe Queens joined the fray on match day two of the Championship with Yobe Queens sharing the spoils with defending champions Orange of Kenya in a gritty duel. Both teams saved the best for the last two minutes of the match. Orange took the lead in the 68th minute through a well orchestrated field goal and looked good to bag all three points until disaster struck in the 69th minute when Ikiriko Bummi confidently tucked away a penalty stroke awarded the Nigerian side to end the game 1-1.

Later in the day, their male counterparts Yobe Rollers stuttered to a 3-1 defeat against an unyielding Trustees side who were still buoyant from their opening day success.

PREVIEW OF MATCH DAY THREE

Favorites meet toughest opposition yet while Nigerian Teams seek to turn the Corner

Match Day Three pits defending champions and title favorites Sharkia against Trustees of Ghana in what is expected to be the most scintillating encounter yet in this Championship and fans of Trustees are positive Sharkia’s quality will only bring out the best in their Ghanaian opponents.

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Boasting an impressive record of two out of two wins, which wins were churned out in definitive fashion, both teams are poised for an uncompromising battle at the National Hockey Stadium in Accra tonight.

Trustees are fortunate to have experienced the Egyptian style of play in their opening day clash with Police. However, that experience does very little to calm their nerves with Sharkia looking more menacing after trouncing a skillful Strathmore side yesterday.

Trustees were unconvincing in defence in their 2-1 win over Police on Thursday and that laxity in defence could prove dire when they face the ominous attack of an efficient and effective Egyptian side. But what they lack in defence they make up for in attack. That is the forte of Trustees and it should be their trump card in this match.

Golden Sticks return to the action today after a day’s respite and are looking to build on their opening day success by adding Egyptian club Police to their conquest list. Police seem average after a great recovery from their opening day defeat to Trustees. They moved their game a notch higher against Niger Flickers and are now obliged to maintain the high standard or put up an improved display.

The all Nigerian face-off between Yobe Rollers and Niger Flickers will treat patrons to a clash of styles while both teams will be desirous of giving a good advertisement of that nation’s brand of hockey.

With the exception of Yobe Queens who snatched a point from Orange in the ladies category, the Nigerian clubs have yet to record a win in this Championship. Worrying as it may be, Niger Flickers who sold out a respectable performance to fans yesterday, albeit losing to Police of Egypt should provide prospects of a possible win for them in this afternoon’s match.

The top liner in the ladies competition is the Extinguishers-Orange match which pitches local champions from the Fire Service of Ghana against the defending champions from Kenya.

Extinguishers have been ruthless in the competition with ten goals from two matches. That should send jitters down the spine of any upcoming opponent, but Orange have character and quality which are strong qualities that should ensure that they are not spineless before the attacking machinery of the Ghanaians.

In other matches, Sharkia play Heartland while Reformers take on Yobe Queens in the day’s opening game.

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