With a deserved 5-2 win over the South African national women’s hockey team, Germany has won the inaugural Women’s Setanta Sports Trophy in Dublin on Sunday, with hosts Ireland claiming third position after defeating Scotland 2-1.
“Overall we were outclassed by a better team,” a resolute national coach Jenny King told gsport after the match’s conclusion. “We did get our opportunities, we came back after being 2-0 down. (But) their ability is just far superior to ours, and it showed in the end result.”
South Africa’s results in the tournament began with a nil-all draw against Ireland on Wednesday, followed by a narrow 1-0 loss to tournament favourites Germany on Friday, a 2-1 win over Scotland on Saturday, and ended in the final climax against Germany on Sunday.
In the final match, Germany were quickly on the board, when Maike Stoeckel opened the scoring in the 4th minute for a 1-0 opener, which Natascha Keller doubled in the 18th minute when she steered a backhand shot past the unsighted South African keeper.
The positive impetuses continued in the second half, when South Africa again unlucky not to score early on, but were team’s persistence was rewarded when Leslie-Anne George fed the ball back into the circle after a cleared short corner, for Shelly Russell to find the box from close range with fifteen minutes remaining.
The Olympic champions responded forcefully, forcing three short corners in the next five minutes, and converted two of them for 4-1 lead, first when Anke Kuhn’s drag flick found the top left-hand corner of the goal, followed shortly when Fanny Rinne’s drag flick added another sharp chance off the goalie’s pads.
“We do go in as top-ranked team by a number of positions,” King said of the Africa Cup, which has been organised following a failure to feature hockey in the upcoming All Africa Games in