England beat South Africa’s men’s ice hockey team 6-3 to win their third consecutive Commonwealth Games bronze medal in Birmingham.
South Africa finished fourth overall this year, a big improvement from tenth place in 2018.
This is England’s fourth bronze medal, following bronze in 1998, 2014, 2018 and this year.
South Africa let go of a narrow early lead and allowed the hosts to score two goals in the fourth and final quarter to win the match.
It was South Africa’s chance to add another medal at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham when they faced hosts England in the men’s bronze medal match.
But South Africa has won fewer medals this year than it did on Australia’s Gold Coast four years ago.
South Africa is ninth in the standings with 27 medals, including seven gold, nine silver and eleven bronze.
Four years ago, South Africa was the top African nation, finishing sixth with 43 medals.
This year, Nigeria is the most effective African country with 35 medals, twelve gold, nine silver and fourteen bronze.
South Africa started the bronze medal match very well, winning two penalty corners but failing to capitalize.
In the end, Matthew Guise-Brown opened the scoring for South Africa with a fine goal from the penalty shootout. But their joy was short-lived as Rhys Smith pulled England level after just ninety seconds.
Mustafa Kasiem helped South Africa regain the lead to make it 2-1. Again it didn’t take long for England to equalise.
The hosts took the lead for the first time in the match in the second quarter.
Nkobile Ntuli scored South Africa’s third goal to make it 3-all before the break.
It was a highly contested affair until Phil Roper scored England’s fourth goal in the third quarter.
England increased their lead with Sam Ward scoring the fifth goal in the fourth and final quarter.
South Africa had a big scare when they played without a wicket for a few minutes. But England captain Zach Wallace made it 6-3 to secure England’s third consecutive bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games.