JOHANNESBURG – South Africa dished out a double dose of pain on Nigeria on Monday, with both the men and women’s hockey teams claiming commanding victories at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The men’s side went on a rampage in their first match of the tournament, claiming an 8-1 victory over Nigeria after their opening match was called off on Sunday when Zambia did not pitch.
The South African women earned their second win in as many days with a 5-0 triumph to edge them closer to a seventh consecutive continental title.
The men will be looking for their eighth trophy on the trot, but more importantly, a place in next year’s Hockey World Cup in India.
Keenan Horne opened and closed the scoring in the first and final minutes of the match and ended with a hat trick.
The South Africans went into the halftime break with a 3-0 lead over the Nigerians courtesy of Horne, Reza Rosenberg and Daniel Bell. Horne extended the lead five minutes into the second stanza, with Julian Hykes and Jethro Eustice also getting on to the score-sheet.
Nigeria received a temporary stay of execution in the third chukka, with Adamu Kolo Mammam putting the ball in the back of the box in the 50th minute.
The goal only delayed the inevitable, and Jonty Robinson added the seventh goal before Horne planted the knockout blow.
The SA women produced another powerhouse performance, with Sulette Damons scoring three of her side’s five goals.
Stalwart Dirkie Chamberlain, who made her return to the team after a long injury layoff, scored her third goal of the tournament to open South Africa’s account against Nigeria two minutes into the match.
Damons doubled the scores four minutes later thanks to a field goal, before adding her second on the half-hour mark.
Celia Evans also got on to the score-sheet, with Damons claiming her hat-trick shortly before the final whistle.
The South African women will next face the hosts on Thursday, while the men will go up against Ghana on Tuesday.