The Dutch side led 3-2 at half-time and 5-3 as the clock began to wind down but captain Marsha Marescia’s SA girls finished strongly to level matters five minutes from the final whistle.
Attacking midfielder Shelley Russell of Western Province slotted the final goal to settle the test all-square, with the other goals including a spectacular action goal from Western Province forward Kathleen Taylor, and world record goal-scorer Pietie Coetzee of Southern Gauteng, and her fellow forwards Sulette Damons of North West and Western Province’s Kathleen Taylor also netting for SA’s tally.
The Boksburg-born former SA national player Marilyn Agliotti got a brace for the reigning Olympic Games champion country with the other Dutch goals going to national players Claire Verhage (2) and Eva de Goede.
SA meet the Dutch for their second encounter at 12 noon on Wednesday (SA time).
Abridged match timeline:
The Dutch had opened the scoring in the 2nd minute
North West striker Sulette Damons nets a field goal to draw level 1-1
Holland go 2-1 up in 7th minute after PC comes off the post
SA equalise 2-2 when Northern Blues striker Dirkie Chamberlain nets after a nice build-up down the right
Holland go ahead 3-2 before half-time from an easy tap-in at the far post as South Africa stretched
The Dutch extend lead 6 mins into 2nd half
Pietie Coetzee nets for SA to close deficit to 4-3
30 seconds later Holland restore their 2-goal margin for a 5-3 scoreline midway through second half
Western Province forward Kathleen Taylor nails a spectacular reverse-stick slap-lob action goal from open play
At 5-4 it’s anyone’s game going into the last 12 minutes
With 5 mins remaining, Western Province’s Shelley Russell scores from a penalty corner variation initiated by world record goal-scorer Pietie Coetzee of Southern Gauteng for the Investec SA women’s hockey team to draw 5-5 with Holland at full-time.