South Africa takes 2-0 lead

South Africa took a 2-0 lead after beating Namibia 2-1 in the second test of their hockey test series in Johannesburg yesterday.

It was a much better performance for Namibia after losing the opening test 7-0 on Saturday and will give them hope for the remainder of the five-game series.

In yesterday’s test Namibian goalkeeper DJ Strauss made two fine saves early on from Nqobile Ntuli and Owen Mvimbi, but at the other end Dakota Hansen got a clear shot from the line by Andrew Hobson.

SA, however, took the lead in the 12th minute when Mustaphaa Cassiem scored from a short corner.

Namibia opened their account after winning a penalty in the second quarter and Brynn Cleak scored on the spot to tie it all.

SA returned to the attack with a Tyson Dlungwana deflection from just over the crossbar, while Strauss made a nice save on a short Brandon Panther corner just before half-time.

SA regained the lead early in the second half when Samkelo Mvimbi scored, but Namibia fought back, winning a short corner, but Ernest Jacobs’ shot was well stopped by SA goalkeeper Estiaan Kriek.

With one minute to go Namibia had a big chance to equalize, but Percy Barthram’s shot hit the crossbar and SA held on for a 2-1 victory.

Namibia were clearly nervous on Saturday as South Africa ran out of comfortable 7-0 wins, after leading 3-0 at halftime.

Panther put SA in the lead after just four minutes, while captain Keenan Horne went 2-0 four minutes later when he hit the ball from close range.

SA continued to attack, winning several short turns, but Namibian goalkeeper DJ Strauss kept them at bay with nice saves.

Nqobile Ntuli went 3-0 halfway through the second quarter when he picked up a loose ball and lobbed it into the Namibian net.

They got a head start when Ignatius Malgraff scored early in the third quarter, while Mustaphaa Cassiem made it 5-0 with a nice back shot in the 41st minute.

With SA dominating the midfield, they scored two more last-quarter goals by Rusten Abrahams and Ntuli’s second to complete a comfortable 7-0 victory.

The third test takes place tomorrow evening from 7:00 p.m.

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