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SA women off to winning start

2012-02-18 12:03
Nicolene Terblanche (left) and Pietie Coetzee (AFSAR BEG)

Delhi - South Africa scored twice in the second half to get their Olympic women's hockey qualifying bid off to a superb start in New Delhi, India, on Saturday.

Kate Woods and Pietie Coetzee found the back of the net as the South Africans secured a 2-1 victory over Poland in the opening match of the final qualifying tournament for the London Games.

With the scores level at 0-0 at half-time, Woods broke the deadlock four minutes after the break, connecting with a penalty corner from Dirkie Chamberlain.

Poland, however, struck back immediately with Magdalena Zagajska finding the equaliser from the re-start.

Coetzee fired in the winner - her 232nd goal in 235 Tests - with 17 minutes left, after she had been set up by captain Marsha Marescia.

The South Africans dominated throughout, but again struggled to finish off after creating 31 scoring opportunities.

Polish goalkeeper Marta Kucharska was in inspirational form, keeping her outclassed team in the game with half-a-dozen top saves, while the attacking Natalia Wisniewska, voted the player of the match, provided a lone threat up front.

South Africa play Ukraine in their second game of the six-nation qualifying tournament on Sunday.

Jade Mayne on the attack as Poland's Paulina Okaj looks on during South Africa's 2-1 win over Poland at the Olympic Qualifier Tournament in New Delhi's National Stadium (AFSAR BEG)

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