Germans outclass SA women
Bremen - World No 3 Germany beat world No 12 South Africa 5-1 (half-time 3-0) in the Four Nations women’s hockey Test match at Club zur Vahr here in Germany on Thursday night.
Germany scored first-half field goals through the legendary Natascha Keller, playing her 432nd Test match, in the sixth minute, Maike Stockel a minute later and Katharina Otte six minutes from the changeover.
Lisa Hahn established a four-goal cushion from field play 13 minutes after the break and Lisa Hahn found space before unfurling a stunning reverse-stick strike into the far corner for a 5-0 lead.
Germany’s captain Fanny Rinne roofed a penalty stroke seven minutes from the end before South Africa’s world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee
nailed a low penalty corner drag-flick into the backboard in the dying seconds. It was Coetzee’s 242nd successful strike in 246 Test matches.
Germany moved the ball with impressive precision and accuracy and were lethal in the strike zone while SA, who worked hard, had opportunities but didn’t capitalise. SA won five penalty corners to Germany’s three while the chances to score from field play were shared just about equally.
The South Africans all had their moments but on the whole it was in the consistent application of the detail that they fell short.
This Four Nations presents a great chance for three of the countries in Pool B at the London 2012 Olympic Games - Germany, world No 6 New Zealand and SA - to size each other up, while the fourth team, world No 16 Belgium, are in Pool A.
SA meet New Zealand at 16:00 on Saturday while the Germans tackle Belgium at 13:30.
Sunday’s final round sees the Belgians meet SA at 12:00 before Germany bring down the Four Nation tournament’s final curtain at 14:30 against New Zealand.
In Thursday's earlier match, New Zealand had a razor-sharp start to lead Belgium 3-1 at half-time before running out 4-2 victors.
The workmanlike Belgians had a much better second half but it was not enough to turn the tide.