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Julian Hykes © Gallo Images

SA coach looks ahead to Brazil match

The South Africa men's hockey team head coach Charlie Pereira was satisfied with the 3-0 win over Chile in the World League Round 2 warm-up match at the Deodora in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday night (SA time) and can't wait for his charges to get to grips with Brazil in the opening WLR2 match at 2pm (SA time) on Wednesday.

"Yes, I was impressed with our structure, we are working hard at setting up a platform from which we can counter-attack, our shape was good and that's when you create lots of chances, like we did against Chile," Pereira said.

With the score 0-0 at halftime, though, and Chile having survived a number of shots on goal, Pereira was a touch uncomfortable.

"I had a word with the lads at halftime, said we had done the hard work but scored no goals and on a day like that the opposition can get one chance and win, but in the second half we did the business."

After the changeover SA scored action goals through Julian Hykes in the 40th minute, Pierre de Voux (DU-VO) in the 51st and Clint Panther in the 58th.

Pereira said the team would take a close look at the video of Brazil's friendly against the USA before digesting the footage of SA's match against Chile, while the rest of Tuesday's preparation would include team sessions.

"We will spend time looking at areas we can improve on."

The option of another training session was also possible.

"But I also want the lads to rest up as there are five test matches in the next seven days and they need to stay fresh both mentally and physically."

Rio's sapping heat and humidity can be a real leveller and fitness on every level will be key, but the indications were clear on Monday that the South African lads are ready.


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