South Africa

SA, Korea share the spoils

2014-06-06 21:00
Justin Reid-Ross (AFP)
The Hague - Hot on the heels of the South Africa women’s hockey team’s upsetting world number three England 4-1 at World Cup 2014 it was the South Africa men’s turn to defy the odds in a 0-0 draw with world number seven South Korea.

Perhaps the “B field”, the 5000-seater Greenfields Stadium, is where SA should be permanently fixtured and for the SA men it was a gutsy performance mixed with no little skill as they dominated South Korea - including a spell in the dying minutes in which the lads in green and gold won three consecutive penalty corners that somehow stayed the wrong side of the Korean goalline.

All three lines, from defence to midfield to attack – as well as keeper Rassie Pieterse – were outstanding for SA in a clash that became increasingly nasty as Korean frustrations wore on.

At one point the African champions, already without striker Ignatius Malgraff who was forced to sit out the match, were two men short but these setbacks did nothing to stem the fire within.

World number 12 SA dominated territory, possession, the PC count as well as chances from open play being more or less even, but Korea keeper Myungho Lee was in brilliant form, pulling off a number of near-miraculous saves.

Now it’s the big one against one of hockey‘s heavyweights, host nation Holland, in front of a screaming, chanting, flag-waving 15 000 capacity Kyocera Stadium at 19:45 Sunday.

SA can take much heart from Friday’s performance into that marquee match.

Read more on:    hockey world cup  |  hockey
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