The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the championships, involving male and female competitions, were held at the astro-turf hockey pitch of the Abuja National Stadium ended on Saturday.
El-Sharkia of Egypt took on the GRA Men’s club of Ghana in the battle for the men’s competition title, and did not fail to live up to expectations.
Both sides had placed first and second respectively in the round-robin matches, where they drew 4-4 on the opening day.
But the Egyptian side had drawn their other four matches thereafter, scoring 26 goals and conceding 15, while GRA won three and drew one other, scoring 13 goals and conceding nine.
El-Sharkia therefore proved a hard nut to crack for GRA who desperately sought for a goal in the game as the defending champions were quick on the front foot.
Mohamed Ahmed broke the deadlock in the 13th minute to give El-Sharkia the lead at the end of the first quarter.
GRA had several chances of their own to equalise but failed to take their chances.
The greatest chance fell to Ebenezer Arthur who failed to find the net after beating three El- Sharkia defenders.
With only the goalkerper to beat Arthur fluffed his lines as the captain failed to get his team back into the game.
The Ghanaians were punished for their missed chances in the 26th minute when Gamal Ahmed scored a brilliant field goal to give El-Sharkia a commanding 2-0 lead.
Sameer Ibrahim made it 3-0, benefitting from an excellently-worked penalty corner in the final quarter to put the game beyond GRA in the 50th minute.
However, Christopher Dogbe managed to get a consolation goal for the Ghanaian champions in the 57th minute to make it 3-1 at the end of an action-packed final encounter.
“We were very weary of our opponents since we had played them earlier in the course of the tournament and knew what they were capable of.
“We knew how strong and formidable the Ghanaians were and prepared so well for them.
“We came solely for our 24th title and that’s exactly what we got,” Ahmed Ahmed, the Egyptian side’s Team Manager said after the game.
Coach Ebenezer Frimpong of GRA on his part admitted that his team played against a stronger opponent.
He however noted that his team failed to take their goal scoring chances and paid dearly for it.
“We played well as a team, but unfortunately we weren’t able to take our chances, hitting the upright on several occasions.
“I must admit however that we played against a better opponent than the ones we met earlier at the round-robin stage.
“They obviously worked on our weaknesses as a team,” the coach said.
Frimpong however praised his team for finishing second at the championships, adding that it was an improvement from their previous outings were they had finished third and fourth respectively.
NAN also reports that in the classification games in the men category played earlier on Saturday, Eastern Company of Egypt defeated Exchequers of Ghana 2-0 to claim the bronze medal.
Niger Flickers of Minna edged Kada Stars of Kaduna 4-3 to finish fifth and sixth respectively.(NAN)