November 20 2013 at 08:15pm By SAPA
Johannesburg – With his side already into Saturday's Africa Cup of Nations hockey final, South African men's coach Charlie Pereira says he is reasonably pleased with the start from his outfit.
“There is always room for improvement but generally I am happy with the performances so far,” Pereira said on Wednesday.
The South Africans have two wins from both of their matches, having beaten Ghana 6-2 on Monday, before easing past Egypt on Tuesday.
South Africa scored three goals from three penalty corners, two to captain Austin Smith and one to Lloyd Norris-Jones during the encounter.
Norris-Jones also scored a field goal, as did Taine Paton and Pierre de Voux, to round off a convincing 6-1 victory.
“Corners are so important as they put fear into a team, who panic into defensive errors in the strike-zone with the threat of conceding a penalty corner (PC) in the back of their minds.
“We have also scored some classic field goals, one, two, three-touch stuff... that is so simple yet so precise in its construction.”
The South Africans meet the hosts, Kenya, in their final league-phase clash at the City Park Stadium in Nairobi on Thursday and Pereira said, apart from a handful of injury niggles, the players were raring to go.
“We won’t change our preparation, but what I will be looking for in this match is getting our one-on-one defensive skills up and minimising the amount of ball that is lost through unforced errors,” he said.
“I have been really impressed with the youngsters as well as some of the old hands and I expect them to maintain that form against Kenya.”
Although Egypt look likely to book their place in the final, both Kenya and Ghana also still have a shot at getting into Saturday's crucial clash.