SA hockey on top in Delhi
Pietie Coetzee (Gallo Images)
Delhi - The national women's team gave the former general manager of the South African Hockey Association Paul Richards an appropriate goodbye with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India Tuesday.
Richards died on Monday and the South Africans, wearing black armbands in his memory, earned their second consecutive victory to go with Monday's 12-0 rout of Trinidad and Tobago.
The world's all-time leading goal scorer Pietie Coetzee netted her 199th goal in 198 Test matches from a penalty corner six minutes into the second half to go with Kelly Madsen's stunning deflection from Farah Fredericks's pinpoint cross midway through the first stanza.
The spirited Scots who were all at sea in the face of a South African onslaught in the first half, came back strongly after the changeover and Alison Bell swotted in the rebound after SA goalkeeper Sanani Mangisa had made the initial save from the defeated side's lone penalty corner of a fiercely contested match.
"We were expecting a very difficult game against Scotland, who played a very good match Monday in drawing 1-1 with world number 11 India, a team who have their sights firmly set on a medal at this event, and the Scots certainly gave us a run for our money," SA head coach Giles Bonnet said afterwards.
"The Scots have speed, physical strength and solid structures but the South African girls carried out the gameplan by successfully placing them under pressure in deep defence and forced high turnovers, which we exploited into scoring chances."
SA meet Pool A favourites Australia on Friday before their crunch match with India on Sunday, but are now in a strong position to qualify for next week's medal playoffs.