The South African Women’s hockey team delivered one of its best performances ever to beat China 4-2 in the Cape Town Summer Series.
Goals from Lisa-Marie Deetlefs (2), Bernadette Coston and Candice Manuel secured a convincing win for the South Africans. The team really needed a good result after the disappointing performance against Chile last week and losing 2-5 in the second match against China.
South Africa started the match like a house on fire with a goal by Deetlefs in the first minute. The score was tied at 1-1 after the first quarter and at halftime. With the start of the last quarter the scores was still tied with two goals a piece after another goal from a penalty corner by Deetlefs.
When Coston got a goal with 8 minutes left the crowd started to believe that they are going to see an upset. China kept the pressure on the South African defence, but captain Nicolene Terblanche lead by example to keep China a begging. Local player Manuel had the supporters out of their seats when she got the goal with one minute left that made sure South Africa wins the match.
This was the performance local supporters were looking for since the start of the Summer Series. Fans got to see glimpses in the first week, but except for the first match against Chile – who is 23rd on the world rankings – the results haven’t been going the South Africans way. This time around the players did not only create chances, but converted the aggressive play into penalty corners and goals. Three of the four goals came from penalty corners.
The defence was also strong and no silly mistakes were made or easy goals conceded. The fact that the team has been training together for a few weeks now showed.
China’s goals were both scored by the captain Qianqain Boa. China is 8th on the world rankings and SA 14th.
The next matches in the series are on Monday when both South African teams take on Belgium. The women will get the action going at 18:00 and the men will play at 20:00. The series comes to an end on Friday.