A Tarryn Bright strike in the 25th minute gave the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team a 1-0 lead against Spain at half-time in the crucial fourth Test of the five-Test Investec International Series at Randburg Astro Saturday before Pietie Coetzee and a wonderful deflection from Dirkie Chamberlain ensured a 3-0 win.
It was world record goalscorer Coetzee’s 229th successful strike in 232 Test matches and the win gives SA an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the series, which will put pressure on Spain in Sunday’s 2 pm fifth and final Test at the same venue.
Spain controlled the game in the early minutes, two opportunities not converted; though SA earned a penalty corner in the 14th minute but Coetzee’s drag-flick was gloved away by in-form goalkeeper Maria Lopex de Eguilaz.
In the 20th SA earned their second PC but the keeper read the move. Spain, so good on the counter, then raced away down the right through Beatriz Perez who ran 30 metres before firing into the side-netting.
With 10 left the game split wide open when a move practised on the training pitch worked a charm; Coetzee’s pass to Bright saw the 2011 SA Player of the Year crash her shot home off the far post (1-0).
SA enjoyed their best spell and the keeper twice saved from Coetzee before Spain’s second PC also garnered no return. With two minutes left the dangerous Spanish right wing Raquel Huertas made inroads on the right-hand baseline and central defender Kate Woods did well to clear.
SA went two goals up two minutes after the half-time whistle, when Coetzee’s free-hit was superbly deflected past the keeper by fellow striker Dirkie Chamberlain (2-0).
Investec SA captain Marsha Marescia was again in stunning form, be it on attack or defence, but Spain were not done yet and the ever-present Carlota Petchame’s rasping shot was well saved by Rix. SA defender Lenise Marais, in her 150th Test, made a vital stop and clearance before Spain’s keeper did the same at the other end.
With 18 left, Coetzee gave SA a three-goal cushion after withstanding intense pressure from the Spanish defence before slotting past the keeper (3-0). South Africa’s third and fourth set-piece attempts came to nothing but Spain had 10 PC’s in the match from drag-flicker Lola Riera that simply could not get past Rix or her corner defenders.
The SA men meet India in the final Test in Delhi at 1.30 pm SA time Sunday. India lead the five-Test series 3-1.
Investec International Series- South Africa vs Spain Fixtures and Results:15 January – Match 1: RSA 1-1 ESP 17 January – Match 2: RSA 2-3 ESP 19 January – Match 3: RSA 3-1 ESP 21 January – Match 4: RSA 3-0 ESP 22 January – Match 5 / 14:00
South Africa:Jade Mayne (KZN Coastal Raiders) Lenise Marais (KZN Coastal Raiders) Kelly Madsen (KZN Coastal Raiders) Cindy Botha (KZN Coastal Raiders) Kate Woods (WP) Kathleen Taylor (WP) Mariette Rix (WP) Shelley Russell (WP) Illse Davids (WP) Tarryn Bright (WP) Lesle-Ann George (Free State) Tanya Britz (Free State) Nicolene Terblanche (Northern Blues) Sanani Mangisa (Northern Blues) Kim Hubach (Northern Blues) Dirkie Chamberlain (Northern Blues) Marsha Marescia (capt) (Southern Gauteng) Lisa-Marie Deetlefs (Southern Gauteng) Bernadette Coston (Southern Gauteng) Pietie Coetzee (Southern Gauteng) Celia Evans (North West) Sulette Damons (North West) Liesel Dorothy (EP) Lauren Penny (Slough, England) Head coach: Giles Bonnet
Spain:Maria Lopez de Eguilaz Julia Menendez (capt) Rocio Ybarra Maria Lopez Andrea Puig Berta Bonastre Carlo Petchame Marta Prat Paul Dabanch Barbara Malda Raquel Huertas Pilar Sanchez Anabel Flores Maria Tost Lola Riera Olalla Pineiro Isabel Barguno Xantal Gine Beatriz Perez Gloria Comerma Georgina Oliva Head coach: Salvador Indurain