Namibia ends 10th in Hockey World Cup

LESSONS LEARNED … Namibia came out tenth overall in the inaugural FIH Hockey5s world cup.

THE Namibia senior hockey5s national team failed to lift the maiden International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey5s world cup in Muscat, Oman, as The Netherlands took the crown after beating India by 7-2 in a thunderous final showdown.

Speaking to The Namibian Sport recently, Namibia Hockey Union (NHU) marketing and communication executive Tunomwaameni Epafras said despite ending in 10th place overall, the Namibian team put up great performances in the group that featured top class opponents India, Poland and United States of America (USA).

Namibia played the ninth and 10th place play offs but failed to overcome the USA, settling instead in 10th place overall after 2-0 defeat.

“Despite coming out 10th at the inaugural world cup, the girls played very well in the group stage of the tournament. It is very unfortunate that we only had two months of preparations compared to our opponents, who had nine-months to prepare for the world cup.”

Epafras said: “We had to prepare for only two-months because of the indoor tournament held in December last year, including the Olympic Games but we did manage to fight for the challenger runner-up trophy, which was sadly clinched by the USA.”

Africa only had three representatives at the world cup, as South Africa and Zambia ended fourth and 15, respectively.

Epafras said Namibia could not field in the senior men’s team in the FIH

Hockey5s section because of financial constraints.
The men’s world cup kicked off yesterday.

Epafras said the women’s team touched down at the Hosea Kutako International Airport yesterday, and players will now look forward to the domestic indoor hockey league, scheduled to kick off in February.

“With the Hockey5s now behind us, we will have our attention on the Indoor Africa Cup penciled for June, at a yet to be confirmed country, the continental cup will serve as qualification for the Indoor World Cup.”

He added that they will have their sights on the Outdoor Central African qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations.

In the final, The Netherlands reportedly produced a clinical performance to beat India and claim the inaugural title at the women’s tournament, which came to an end on Saturday.

Poland secured the bronze medal with a victory over South Africa, while in the newly introduced Challenger Trophy, for the teams that did not make it through to the quarter-finals, it was the USA who prevailed to claim the title by defeating Namibia.

Here is how the final pulsating day of action went down…
In the bronze medal match, Poland impressed with their good structure to claim a 4-2 win against South Africa.

Uruguay put in a devastating second half to run away 8-4 winners against Malaysia in the 5th-place playoff and Ukraine were too good in their comfortable 6-0 win over New Zealand for 7th place.

CHALLENGER TROPHY

The USA were completely dominant in the Challenger Trophy playoff for 9th place, but they only managed a 2-0 victory due to yet another goalkeeping masterclass from Namibia’s excellent Petro Stoffberg.

Australia secured 11th place with an 8-3 win over Fiji, while Thailand claimed 13th spot with a 5-3 win over Paraguay.

Zambia’s Carol Nakombe chalked up an impressive six goals and Loveness Mudenda added a hat-trick as Zambia crushed hosts Oman 11-3 to secure 15th spot.

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