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Namibia rallies in hockey world cup … defeats Ukraine and draws with Russia

by Kelvin Chiringa

Namibians reclaimed their footing in the indoors hockey world cup when they defeated Ukraine after an uncomfortable start (3-2) only to have last efforts to clinch fourth position in pool B halted by the Russians after both teams drew. 

The girls emerged out of a sobering defeat at the hands of the Germans (12-0) only to suffer another agonizing defeat from the Czechs (6-2), however the Russians stopped them in their tracks.

In a blistering performance that saw captain Maggy Mengo rallying her team, Namibia had a chance against the Russians last Friday where they had an upper hand and opened the match with a leading goal from Gillian Hermanus.

Kiana Cormack-Che came out dangerously and gave Namibia a second score which she put in via a penalty corner in the ninth minute.

Russia grabbed the opportunity of a penalty stroke which was taken by Valeria Borisova in the 20th minute and shook the nets.

Cormack rallied through the Namibian ranks and made a slaughter of the Russian defenses with a field goal that launched Namibia on a convincing 3-1 lead.

However, Kseniia Koroleva from Russia lunched back and a field goal from her gained more ground for the Russians as they breathed hard behind the Namibians.

Another penalty stroke taken by Borisova frustrated the Namibians in the 25th minute with the score line standing at 3-3.
The Namibians gained their composure through the blistering heat of the heavily contested match before Maggy Mengo broke into Russia’s sensitive ground and put in a field goal.

The Russians fought back hard with fast dangerous player combinations which threw the Namibians back and a clean field goal from Bogdana Sadovaia brought the score line at 4-4.

Namibia’s Dure Boshoff brought some comfort and broke the tension when she put in a clean shot right in the 35th minute.

The Namibians dug in and counter-attacked, out-running their opponents with brilliant player combination that had Cormack keeping the Russian defense lines busy.

However, Russia’s Svetlana Eroshina’s fieled goal in the 39th minute overwhelmed the Namibians bringing the entire match to a 5-5 impasse.

Namibia, which also drew 3-3 against Australia finished on 5 points, with the Czechs holding 6 points and the Russians one.