Wednesday, 26 June 2013

South Africa 0 v 1 Australia

Tuesday 25th June 2013
Women’s Hockey World League Semi-Finals Pool B
Quintin Hogg Memorial Sports Ground, Chiswick
Admission: £15.00
Programme: £3.00
Attendance: ??
Match Rating: 2

After a further break of just under an hour, the action switched to Pool B for the 5.30, with South Africa, eleventh in the World Rankings, taking on sixth ranked Australia. Australia led Pool B going into today’s final round of fixtures, beating Spain 5-0 on Saturday before drawing 1-1 with hosts England on Sunday, whilst South Africa suffered a 1-4 defeat to England before drawing coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Spain.

After two enjoyable games earlier in the day contested by attack minded teams, this encounter was much more defensive, with clear cut scoring opportunities at a premium and very little to separate the teams. The only opportunity of real note saw the South African keeper making an excellent save to her right to deny a powerful high drive.

Eight minutes after the break though and Australia drew first blood. Before the game, Anna Flanagan was presented with the FIH Young Player of the Year award, and it was she who scored when a simple penalty corner routine was fired high into the net on the left hand side. South Africa has good chances to get back on level terms, Pietie Coetzee having the two best chances, first firing an aerial shot just wide of the goal from the edge of the D and then saw a shot hit the bottom of the post.

But in the end, Australia held on for the victory and are guaranteed a top two finish in Pool B and would finish top if England do not beat Spain by three goals in the next game, whilst South Africa would finish in the bottom two and would have to hope that Spain would be beaten to avoid the wooden spoon.

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