New Delhi - Fullback Gareth Carr scored a brace as South Africa survived a scare to pull off a 5-3 victory against Trinidad and Tobago in a Pool B match of the Commonwealth Games hockey here Friday.
South Africa have six points after losing one and winning two of their league matches so far while Trinidad and Tobago succumbed to their third defeat.
Carr put the South Africans ahead in the fifth minute of the fast-paced encounter at the Major Dhyan Chand stadium before Trinidad and Tobago equalised five minutes later off a penalty by captain Kwandwane Browne.
Defender Lance Louw made it 2-1 when his deflection found the rival goal in the 17th minute but the South Africans allowed their 29th ranked rivals to level the scores again four minutes from half-time.
South Africa, the world number 12, nudged ahead in the 38th minute when Justin Ross-Reid converted a short corner and Carr scored his second goal of the match in the 50th minute.
Trinidad and Tobago narrowed the gap to 4-3 off the third penalty corner that they earned in the match through striker Wayne Legerton.
But Taine Paton put the result beyond doubt for South Africa through a superb drive at the final hooter.
Louw, who scored his first international goal in his third outing, said the team was relieved to walk away with full points from the match.
"I thought we didn't play our best game today(Friday), but it's good to get the three points leading up to the England match (on Sunday). We never expected Trinidad to score three goals.
"Our guys were a little bit nervous from the push out and not concentrating enough. We had thought it would be an easy game for us."
Darren Cowie of Trinidad said the defeat hurt him a lot.
"We had a distinct plan playing South Africa," he said. "But we conceded a lot of soft goals. Our defence was too soft, which allowed them to attack. This was one game we had a chance to get a good result.
"I feel really down. I'm kind of heartbroken."