By Victor Kanayo
Nigeria’s Women Hockey team will be missing in Paris when the 2024 Olympic Games get underway.
This is after South Africa pummeled the Nigerian side 9-0 in the Africa Women Hockey Qualifiers final match, which also served as the Olympics qualifier.
The South African team have now picked the sole continental ticket to the World’s greatest sporting fiesta.
How The Nigerian Cookies Crumbled
Right from the beginning of the final encounter, the South Africans dominated the game which led Thati Zulu to win an early penalty corner and Tarryn Lombard converted with a touch from Quanita Bobbs.
A brilliant set-up by Kristen Paton put Ntsopa Mokoena through, but Nigerian goalkeeper Martha Uko, who has been superb in this tournament, pulled off a great save.
The South Africans made it 3-0 early in the second quarter when Jean-Leigh du Toit netted almost a trademark drag flick from a penalty corner as the Nigerian women appeared helpless to deny South Africa.
Things got even better for the South Africans as they stormed into the halftime break with another two goals.
The third quarter witnesed a hat-trick completing deflection from Tarryn Lombard before Paris-Gail Isaacs scored her first international goal for the country getting on the rebound of her shot to make it 8-0.
Kristen Paton saved the game with the 9th goal as the South Africans wrapped up the victory 9-0, completing the tournament without conceding a goal.
While Nigeria narrowly beat Kenya in the semi-final, South Africa made a light work of Uganda at the same stage.