Spain down SA women

2012-01-17 21:34

Johannesburg - Spain's women's hockey team have taken a one game lead in the second round of the five-Test International Series against the South African women’s hockey team, winning the second Test 3-2 at the Randburg Hockey Stadium on Tuesday night.

Sunday’s first Test ended 1-1.

South Africa opened the scoring after world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee’s 227th goal in 230 Test matches, but Spain hit back through Barbara Malda and Gloria Comerma for a 2-1 lead at half-time.

After the changeover Rocio Ybarra extended Spain’s lead before Dirkie Chamberlain pulled one back with only seconds left on the clock.

It was a seesaw battle in the first 20 minutes with Spain more threatening.

However, the match exploded in the 22nd minute when Shelley Russell made a superb run down the left channel, broke into Spain’s circle and laid off an ideal pass for a perfectly positioned Coetzee and the world record goalscorer buried the ball into the backboard.

But three minutes later Comerma equalised with a well-taken yet ultimately soft goal.

A Marsha Marescia and Coetzee combination in the strike zone had the crowd clamouring for more, but with seconds to half-time Spain won a turnover deep in the hosts half and Malda made the most of it for the Spaniards to go into half-time with the lead.

After the break South Africa began stringing some nice moves together and Chamberlain shot over the horizontal bar. Spanish captain Julia Menendez a hit a perfectly weighted through-ball to Raquel Huertas and the upshot was a penalty corner that Ybarra converted.

With 12 minutes left Spain’s superiority in the strike zone was shown when Huertas had acres of space to rip a shot that South Africa's keeper Mariette Rix stick-saved superbly high to her right.

Sulette Damons brought out the best of the Spanish No 1 Maria Lopez de Eguilaz when she stick-saved low to her right.

Rix was brought into the action once again when Olalla Pineiro sailed untouched in to the strike zone, only for South Africa's keeper to pull off a brilliant save.

The hosts got a consolation goal when Coetzee made something out of an untidy penalty corner and her shot was delicately deflected in by Chamberlain for the 3-2 final scoreline.

In an earlier game, the South African senior invitation team beat a South African junior invitation team 1-0.

The third Test is at 19:00 on Thursday in Randburg with the curtain-raiser between the invitation sides at 17:00.