The South African Women’s hockey side today fell short in their quest to qualify for the Semi-Finals of the Commonwealth Games when they were defeated by India on the Gold Coast. South Africa entered the match knowing that only victory would be sufficient.
India, however, set up to frustrate the South Africans and set about sitting off of their African opponents and waiting for the opportunity to counter-attack. The tactic was applied perfectly as the SA ladies found chances hard to come by. Having reached half-time with the scores still level.
The second half saw South Africa try and raise the tempo, but once again that led to openings in the defense and warning signs were evident when Gurjit Kaur cannoned a shot into the crossbar in the 38th minute from a penalty corner.
The warning saw South Africa try and raise the intensity the resolute defense from India frustrated the African champions again and again. At the end of the third quarter, the game was still level and the South Africans knew that they would need to hold out for one more quarter and nick a goal.
But that was thrown into disarray when India got the 1-0 lead. Navneet Kaur led the counter-attack, before passing it onto the Vandana Katariya who was positioned at the top of the circle. Vandana passed the ball to Rani, who made a beautiful turn after receiving the ball, to roll the ball in for the 1-0 lead.
South Africa tried desperately to create chances in the final quarter, but when the Video Review was called for and reversed a late penalty corner for South Africa it was clear that it was not to be South Africa’s day. The game ended in a 1-0 defeat and now South Africa will now play off for 5/6th against Canada.
South Africa 0-1 India
Friday 13 April – South Africa vs. Canada – 06:00