There was disappointment in their performance, as the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team drew 1-1 with Spain at the Champions Challenge in Glasgow Wednesday after the score was 1-1 at half-time.
World number 14 Spain scored first through Maria Gomez in the 25th minute while SA equalised from a Lisa Deetlefs penalty corner in the 31st.
SA had opportunities to win the match and end top of Pool B, including a penalty stroke from captain Marsha Cox that was saved by Spanish keeper Maria Lopez with two minutes left, as well as a stunning second-half stick save low to the stopper’s right from a Deetlefs bullet.
SA head coach Giles Bonnet was frank in his assessment of his side’s performance. “We moved the ball down the middle [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][too often] when the appointment was to play on the outside.
“But the point is, we didn’t play well, our passing and receiving was poor, and if the level of your basic skills is not good enough you have a problem, no matter how good your structure and tactical plans are,” said the former SA men’s captain and coach.
Yet it’s what happens in Thursday’s quarter-final that really matters for the SA team who have now finished second in Pool B, behind the team they beat on Monday, the USA.
SA are likely to play Scotland at a time still to be determined by the television broadcasters (the match is on the FIH You Tube live streaming for SA viewers). The Pool A matches take place later Wednesday and that will determine who exactly SA will play and at what time.
“Most teams here are of a similar level, so the big games are tomorrow [Thursday],” said the Amsterdam-based Bonnet. “You can win today [Wednesday] and then lose tomorrow and not make Saturday’s semi-finals.”
Scotland will certainly present a tough challenge, as they are a much better side now than they were in Pretoria two months ago.
Fans can follow all the Champions Challenge action live on the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) YouTube Channel, while you can go to the FIH’s tournament page for all the fixtures and the Twitter handle @FIH_Hockey using the #CC1 tag to catch the match updates there.
Scorers: South Africa (1) 1 (Lisa Deetlefs 31st minute) Spain (1) 1 (Maria Gomez 25th minute) Pool B Fixtures and Results: 27 April: South Africa 2-2 Ireland (1-0) 28 April: South Africa 2-1 USA (0-1) 30 April: Spain 1-1 South Africa (1-1) The Starting Investec SA Team: Anelle van Deventer Lisa Deetlefs Lenise Marais Marcelle Manson Marsha Cox (capt) Shelley Russell Bernie Coston Tarryn Bright Dirkie Chamberlain Sulette Damons Celia Evans Rolling subs: Sanani Mangisa Quanita Bobbs Nicolene Terblanche Illse Davids Kelly Madsen Lilian du Plessis Kathleen Taylor
Photo 1 caption: SA striker Sulette Damons takes on Beatriz Perez during the 1-1 draw against world no. 14 Spain, in their final pool match of the Champions Challenge, at the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow Wednesday. Photo: Rodrigo Jaramillo
Photo 2 caption: SA captain Marsha Cox is challenged by Spain’s Maria Tost during the 1-1 draw in the Champions Challenge at the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow Wednesday. Photo: Rodrigo Jaramillo
(With editing by gsport)[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]