Johannesburg - The Investec South Africa women’s hockey team lost the fifth and final test against Argentina 4-1 on Friday.
According to the supersport.com website, SA were disappointing in the first half, and went into the break 2-0 down against the World Cup champions.
But much-improved passages of play after the changeover resulted in SA
fighting back to 2-1 before a strong finish and some interesting
umpiring decisions saw Las Leonas home.
Argentina, ranked second in the world, won the series 5-0.
After weathering an early second-half assault as Argentina went in
search of a three-goal advantage, captain Sulette Damons’ SA side began
connecting and the tourists pulled one back when the skipper cracked a
pass towards the never-say-die Bernie Coston, whose deflection effected a
fine save from replacement keeper Florencia Mutio and the alert Celia
Evans was perfectly placed to volley home the rebound (2-1).
Then Jade Mayne fired a ball into the strike zone and Dirkie
Chamberlain’s deflection from close brought out a stunning reflex save
by Mutio - arguably the save of the series.
The reprieve seemed to signal retaliatory action, and Argentina poured
forward, resulting in a very exciting game - albeit rather loose for the
Delfina Merino popped in a PC rebound for 3-1 in the 61st minute and a
Noel Barrionuevo PC in the 67th minute made the final score 4-1.
There was not much joy for SA in the opening stanza, Barrionuevo opening
the scoring in the ninth minute from Argentina’s second penalty corner.
In the 17th it was the turn of eight-time World Player of the Year
Luciana Aymar to break from outside the attacking third of the pitch and
scythe into the strike zone from the left channel in inimitable fashion
before slamming her shot into the backboard for 2-0.
While the South Africans had their moments up front in the first half, too often the final pass did not find its target.
SA keeper Anelle van Deventer made a number of very good saves in the match to keep SA in the game.
Before the match, Western Province’s Quanita Bobbs was honoured for her
50th test appearance, while Josefina Sruoga of Las Leonas celebrated her