SA thump USA in Rio
The South Africa men's hockey team withstood a determined USA before coming away with a 6-1 win after the score was 1-0 at halftime in the World League Round 2 match at the Deodoro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday.
SA's goals came from Clint Panther (third minute), Tim Drummond (seventh minute), a brace from Lloyd Norris-Jones (42nd and 60th minutes), a penalty corner by Austin Smith (54th minute), and a further field goal from Julian Hykes (56th minute) while the USA scored through Manuel Martinez in the 63rd minute.
SA head coach Charlie Pereira was pleased with the way his players kept their heads despite the frustrations of the first half.
"Yes, we could have got frustrated being only 1-0 up, we had a few chances that should have gone in, Austin Smith hit the post twice, one coming in from the left and the other from a penalty corner, so we could easily have been 3-0 up," Pereira said.
"I told the lads at halftime that we must keep doing what we do, playing to our game plan with a good structure, and it paid off with five very good goals in the second half, so the key for me was in our guys not getting frustrated."
Pereira, however, is still not satisfied with the amount of ball being given away.
"Yes, in the attacking third of the field we were wasteful again, trying to hit those big balls [into the strike zone], that glory pass, and I just told the guys that we need to make one more pass, and if it's not on, let's wait for support and set it up, otherwise we are just hitting good ball away and not capitalising on quality turnover possession, where we can punish the opposition."
The win makes it two from two for SA, who beat Brazil 9-0 in the opening match on Wednesday.
Next up, SA face Trinidad and Tobago at 4pm on Saturday before taking on favourites and world number 10 Argentina at the same time on Sunday.
Argentina beat Brazil 10-0 on Thursday and demolished Trinidad and Tobago 9-2 on Wednesday.