Other Sport

Hockeyroos down SA women

2013-06-25 22:30
Marsha Cox (Stanislas Brochier)
Marsha Cox (Stanislas Brochier)
London - In what was their best performance of the tournament to date, the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team were shaded 1-0 by world number six Australia after the score was 0-0 at half-time in the last round of Pool B action at the Investec World League Semi-Final event on the University of Westminster turf in Chiswick, London Tuesday night.

The result leaves world number 11 South Africa third in Pool B and they will now play Pool A runners-up, world number seven China, in the 18:30 (SA time) quarter-final match Thursday, which will be televised live on SuperSport 1.

It was a game of cat and mouse, both sides having spells of being the hunter and then the hunted.

The workrate of every player on the park was extraordinary and skipper Madonna Blyth plus Ashleigh Nelson were two of the Hockeyroos who stood out at times.

In a very evenly-matched encounter, it was the Hockeyroos’ Junior World Player of the Year Anna Flanagan who scored the winner five minutes after half-time from Australia’s third penalty corner, her drag-flick just evading the outstretched stick of fluent SA goalkeeper Sanani Mangisa.

Trailing 1-0, SA drag-flick ace Pietie Coetzee hit the post from her side’s third PC and it just about reflected what might have been for the South Africans. Australia’s three green cards and one yellow card were indicative of the pressure SA put them under.

For SA, the heavily marked Marsha Cox produced an inspirational performance while attacking midfielder Shelley Russell was easily the most dangerous player on the field, creating havoc with her control and extreme pace down the right.

SA centre backs Tarryn Bright and Marcelle Keet played big roles in the heart of the South African defence but it is a trifle unfair to single out individuals in what was a committed team effort

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