SA lose but still in semis
The Investec South Africa women’s hockey team were edged 1-0 by Germany in an action-packed Investec London Cup clash in Chiswick, London, on Wednesday night.
The difference was a 30th-minute deflection goal by Eileen Hoffman.
Despite the loss, South Africa, ranked 12th in the world, have done enough to ensure a berth in Saturday’s semifinals.
In order for world No 4 Great Britain, who were upset 3-1 by SA in an epic clash on Tuesday night, to reach the semis, they have to beat Germany by two clear goals in Thursday’s final pool match.
If they do that, then world No 3 Germany will be out of the tournament. Great Britain’s other option is to win by one goal after scoring four or more goals. A seven-goal thriller between Germany and GB is, however, unlikely.
South Africa's defence was outstanding, while the SA forwards, with Sulette Damons having a great second half, were playing at pace and with determination up front and deserved at least one goal, particularly after the changeover.
Kate Woods, Dirkie Chamberlain, Marsha Marescia and Pietie Coetzee deserved more but German keeper Kristina Reynolds played a blinder. Germany also had their chances in what was a very even match.
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In Wednesday’s earlier match Australia beat Ireland 4-1. Tuesday’s opening round saw world No 1 Holland beat the Aussie Hockeyroos 2-1 while South Africa upset world No 4 Great Britain 3-1. Thursday’s other pool fixture in this six-nation event sees Ireland face Holland.
The semifinals are on Saturday and feature the top two teams in each pool with the winners going through to Sunday’s final and the losers tackling each other in the bronze medal match. The teams that end third in their pool will play off for fifth and sixth places on Sunday.