Commonwealth Games

SA hockey men upset Canada

2010-10-05 13:04
Austin Smith (Gallo)
Cape Town - The South African men's hockey team pulled off an upset in their opening Commonwealth Games match in Delhi, India Tuesday when they beat Canada 4-1.

"The team were really hungry and at the same time were able to maintain their composure and disciplines," said SA head coach Gregg Clark.

"We certainly had the firepower to overcome Canada and kept our emotions and exuberance in check to control the game."

We wanted three points in the bag going into Wednesday's match against world number seven New Zealand and the boys are looking forward to it."

The Pool B match between world number 12 South Africa, a young inexperienced team, and the vastly experienced world number 11 Canadians who had two players with 300-plus Test caps, saw the South Africans lead 2-1 at half-time through a rocket Gareth Carr penalty stroke and Justin Reid-Ross's penalty corner to a stunning individual goal by Canada's silky skilled Sukinder Singh.

After half-time SA continued to take the game to Canada in the blistering heat and humidity and with 14 minutes left an intentional foul on SA captain Austin Smith inside the 23 metre area saw Reid-Ross step up to whistle a lightning-quick penalty corner drag flick past in-form Canadian goalkeeper Dave Carter to give his team a two-goal cushion.

The North Americans threw everything at South Africa in a bid to close the gap but the SA defence was equal to the challenge and with one minute left classy SA striker Ian Haley held off the advancing keeper's to nail a reverse-stick shot into the backboard.

Read more on:    commonwealth games  |  austin smith

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