The Investec South African women’s hockey team beat Austria 2-0 after leading 2-0 at half-time in their final World League round two match at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town Sunday.
World record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee took her tally to 258 goals in 258 Test matches with two sizzling drag-flick penalty corners in the ninth and 15th minutes, and although SA dominated the rest of the match, further successful strikes just wouldn’t come.
But really impressive was the pace of the South African forwards, with Shelley Russell, Bernie Coston and Sulette Damons just three of the frontrunners who simply burned their markers away.
SA went through to the World League semi-finals on Saturday when they beat Azerbaijan 7-0 and Sunday’s match had no bearing on that outcome.
The women in green and gold now focus their attention on the prestigious Investec Challenge, which also involves world number one and London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallists Holland, world number four England, who (as Great Britain) won the 2012 Olympic bronze medal, as well as traditional hockey giants and 2012 Champions Challenge winners Australia.
In the ninth minute of Sunday’s tournament finale, Coston’s supreme pace down the right won South Africa their first penalty corner and Coetzee rifled a flat Astro burner into the bottom of the backboard.
Six minutes later it was Russell’s turn to use her pace and stick/ball control at high speed to outflank her would-be tackler and set up SA’s second PC, Coetzee aiming top shelf this time to beat Austrian goalkeeper Jasmin Anderle with ease, the ball straining the back of the net.
SA continued to dominate but the gutsy Austrians weren’t about to throw in the towel and captain Corinna Zerbs must be complimented for that.
The second team to qualify for the World League semi-finals were Belgium, who beat Azerbaijan 1-0 Sunday.
World League Round 2 Match Schedule and Results at the Hartleyvale: Mon, 21 Jan: Azerbaijan 4-0 Ghana Mon, 21 Jan: Belgium 8-0 Austria Tues, 22 Jan: Azerbaijan 2-1 Austria Tues, 22 Jan: South Africa 6-0 Ghana Thurs, 24 Jan 5 pm: Austria 2-1 Ghana Thurs, 24 Jan 7 pm: South Africa 3-2 Belgium Sat, 26 Jan 4 pm: Belgium 7-1 Ghana Sat, 26 Jan 6 pm: South Africa 7-0 Azerbaijan Sun, 27 Jan 4 pm: Belgium vs Azerbaijan Sun, 27 Jan 6 pm: South Africa vs Austria The Investec South Africa Women’s Hockey Squad: Quanita Bobbs (Western Province) Tarryn Bright (Western Province) Jade Mayne (Western Province) Shelley Russell (Western Province) Dirkie Chamberlain (Northern Blues) Phume Mbande (Northern Blues) Nicolene Terblanche (Northern Blues) Pietie Coetzee (Southern Gauteng) Marcia Marescia (Captain) (Southern Gauteng) Bernie Coston (Southern Gauteng) Lisa Deetlefs (Southern Gauteng) Lilian du Plessis (Southern Gauteng) Sanani Mangisa (Southern Gauteng) Sulette Damons (North West) Marcelle Keet (Amathole/Border) Izelle Lategan (Free State) Kelly Madsen (KZN Coastal Raiders) Lenise Marais (KZN Coastal Raiders) The Preceding Investec SA v Belgium Series in Cape Town: Jan 14: SA 1-2 Belgium Jan 16: SA 0-2 Belgium Jan 17: SA 1-2 Belgium Jan 19: SA 3-2 Belgium Unofficial Internationals: Tues, 29 Jan 6 pm: South Africa vs Australia Thurs, 31 Jan 6 pm: England vs Australia Thurs, 31 Jan 8 pm: South Africa vs Holland Saturday, 2 Feb 6 pm: Holland vs Australia Saturday, 2 Feb 8 pm: South Africa vs England Investec Challenge: Mon, 4 Feb 6 pm: Holland vs Australia Mon, 4 Feb 8 pm: South Africa vs England Tues, 5 Feb 6 pm: Holland vs England Tues, 5 Feb 8 pm: South Africa vs Australia Thurs, 7 Feb 6 pm: England vs Australia Thurs, 7 Feb 8 pm: South Africa v s Holland Sat, 9 Feb 3 pm: Semi-Final 1 Sat, 9 Feb 5 pm: Semi-Final 2 Sun, 10 Feb 3 pm: Bronze Medal Match Sun, 10 Feb 5 pm: Gold Medal Match