The Zimbabwe women’s Under-21 team settled for a silver medal at the Hockey Junior Africa Cup after a narrow 1-0 loss against South Africa in the final in Ismailia, Egypt on Thursday.
The Brad Heuer-coached side went into the final after having already qualified for the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup in Chile in December following a dominant 7-0 win against Kenya on Wednesday.
Despite losing 1-0 against the South Africans, it was a much-improved display for Zimbabwe against their neighbours after they lost 3-0 against them in the opening match of the competition on Sunday.
Zimbabwe will now turn their attention to the 10th edition of the global event which makes a return to Chile from December 6–17.
South Africa and Zimbabwe will represent Africa at the World Cup and 10 teams have already qualified for the event, five from Europe, two from Oceania, and the hosts.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe men’s Under-21 side finished their campaign at the Hockey Junior Africa Cup without a win after a 2-1 loss against Kenya in their final playoff match.
Matthew Momanyi put Kenya 1-0 up with a field goal in the second minute before Ray-Royce Sibanda drew level 1-1 on 21 minutes with a field goal.
However, Mutsawashe Kanyangarara’s infringement gave Kenya the upper hand as Mathias Omwaka sent Zimbabwe’s goalkeeper Ross Mills the wrong way on 25 minutes.
Kenyan players Charles Ashihundu and John Wanyonyi were yellow carded while Brian Makokha, Allan Munene and Oscar Kibet picked green cards.
Kanyangarara and Munashe Makiseni also got sin-binned for infringement on the Zimbabwe side.
These two sides met in the group phase on Monday with Zimbabwe losing 3-1 against Kenya before losing by the same scoreline against Egypt on Wednesday.
The men’s side also lost 6-0 against eventual winners South Africa in their tournament opener on Sunday.
Congratulations to Zimbabwe 🇿🇼 Women U21 for winning the Silver Medal 🥈- Junior Africa Cup 2023 🏑🏆
Full Time : South Africa 🇿🇦 1️⃣ – Zimbabwe 🇿🇼 0️⃣#JAC2023 #AfricaHockeyNews pic.twitter.com/sW9U11oySV
— African Hockey Federation (AfHF) (@AfrHockey) March 16, 2023