Zimbabwe women’s hockey team’s bid to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games suffered a blow when they lost 2-0 to Kenya at Khumalo Hockey Stadium on Monday.
It was a disappointing result for the Zimbabwe team after they put up a spirited performance in their first game of the tournament, a goalless draw against Ghana on Saturday.
Zimbabwe played under par as they made stray passes, at times putting themselves under unnecessary pressure.
Zimbabwe face a tough task when they play high-scoring South Africa on Wednesday.
Kenya took the lead as early as the sixth minute through a Jacqueline Jow field goal as the hosts were trying to settle down.
The visitors looked hungrier for success and were running for every loose ball.
Zimbabwe started to settle down after 10 minutes with Kelly-Ann Kaulback being involved in the thick of things as she tried to penetrate the Kenyan defence in search of goal.
Kenya were however unyielding as they continued with their good exchange of passes and got their first penalty corner after 15 minutes, but failed to utilise it.
Kenya got their second penalty corner four minutes later, but Zimbabwe defender Sabina Mangwana came to the rescue blocking the shot that could have resulted in Kenya’s second goal.
Zimbabwe’s Mutsawashe Mutembwa tried to make her way past Kenya’s Rose Mbulo who cleared the ball out of danger resulting in the Zimbabwe’s first penalty corner in after 21 minutes.
The resultant penalty corner did not yield anything for Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s’ best chance came in the 24th minute when Kaulback laid a long shot to Mutembwa whose short missed the target much to the disappointment of Zimbabwe fans.
Kenya got their second goal through a penalty corner which was converted by Lillian Kimeu.
Margaret Rotich laid the ball straight to Kimeu who made no mistake burying the chance in the last minute of the first half.
In another match played South Africa beat Ghana 3-0.