The South Africa U21 women’s hockey team lost their first match of the tournament when they went down 9-1 to defending champions the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany early Thursday evening.
(Scroll down to see results and fixtures, and links to Pool-stage match reports on gsport).
SA stung the unbeaten Dutch with a Toni Marks field goal in the third minute but penalty corner ace Lieke van Wijk came back with two strikes inside five minutes for the Oranje to take the lead after 15 minutes.
Lisanne de Lange then scored the first of her brace of field goals in the match, while Xan de Waard netted via the PC route for The Netherlands’ 4-1 half-time lead.
Penalty corner defence was to prove SA’s Achilles heel, as six of the Dutch goals came from the set-piece, Van Wijk netting four. The Dutch were technically able to string sequences of passes together, controlling the tempo of the game.
Unforced errors on the part of the Africans saw the Netherlands gain a healthy number of turnovers – and with the greater possession, time and space, it was relatively simple to make entries into the attacking third of the field count.
After the changeover Van Wijk added her second batch of PCs and at 6-1 it was all over with just under 30 minutes left to play. The Oranje added three more before the end through Maria Verschoor, Sam Saxton and De Lange (her second) for the 9-1 final scoreline.
The match was played in four quarters of 17:30 minutes apiece to ensure regular water breaks in the extreme heat.
In the first round of playoffs for positions five to eight in this 16-country tournament, SA meet Spain at 4.30 pm (SA time) Friday on the Warsteiner Hockey Park B pitch and victory will see the girls in green and gold play for fifth place in Sunday’s final classification matches.
In the third quarter-final, the favoured Australians were held at bay by a brilliant display in goal by England’s Caitlin Jeffries, the keeper having an absolute blinder in repelling countless penalty corners alongside the sterling efforts of her team-mates.
England won 1-0 and will play 2009 silver medallists Argentina in Friday’s 2.30 pm (SA time) semi-final. The Argentines outlasted Pan-American rivals the USA 2-0 in the second quarter-final.
Friday’s 5 pm (SA time) semi-final will see underdogs India tackle the Netherlands. India won Thursday’s first quarter-final 4-2 against Spain.
The semi-finals can be watched on splint.tv via live streaming. The South Africa/Spain match will not be broadcast. Daily highlights of the Junior World Cup can be viewed at the www.youtube.com/fihockey link.
SA Fixture at the FIH Ergo Hockey Junior World Cup, on Friday, 2 August, 2013: 4:30 pm: South Africa vs Spain Quarter-Final Results at the FIH Ergo Hockey Junior World Cup, on Thursday, 1 August, 2013: Spain 2-4 India Argentina 2-0 USA Australia 0-1 England The Netherlands 9-1 South Africa South Africa Pool B Fixtures, at the FIH Ergo Hockey Junior World Cup: 27 Jul: South Africa 3-3 China 28 Jul: Argentina 3-3 South Africa 30 Jul: Canada 3-6 South Africa SA U21 Junior World Cup Team at the 2013 Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany, from 27 July to 4 August, 2013: Bronwyn Kretzmann (Western Province) Erin Hunter (Western Province) Nicole la Fleur (Western Province) Quanita Bobbs (Western Province) Sherry King (Western Province) Suléke Brand (Western Province) Taryn Mallett (Western Province) (vice-capt) Tarryn Glasby (Western Province) Izelle Lategan (Free State) (capt) Liné Malan (Free State) Tanya Britz (Free State) Nicole Walraven (Free State) Jacinta Jubb (Northern Blues) Lilian du Plessis (Northern Blues) Phume Mbande (Northern Blues) Tiffany Jones (North West) Toni Marx (Eastern Province) Nika Nel (Southern Gauteng)
(With editing by gsport)