SA Inflict Canadian Freeze

by | Jan 17, 2007

The SPAR SA ladies ended 2-1 victors in their test match against Canada, played at the University of Stellenbosch Astro Hockey Complex yesterday.

The South African and Canadian squads, plus umpires, sing the national athems before the match, as the mountains of Stellenbosch lend gravity to the occasion. Picture: Jackie Wiese 

The game was one which in many ways mirrored the previous game against Ireland, as the SPAR SA ladies once again dominated possession and territory, but failed to capitalise and turn their advantage into goals or penalty corners.

The first real chance of the half fell to Canada, but South African goalkeeper, Sanani Mangisa deftly cleared the shot with a dive to her right.

With 7 min till the half time break, Henna du Buisson put the home side into the lead with a trademark reverse stick goal, after Lesle-Ann George once again dazzled the opposition with her skills and won a free hit outside the Canadian circle.

The South African and Canadian squads, plus umpires, sing the national athems before the match, as the mountains of Stellenbosch lend gravity to the occasion. Picture: Jackie WieseCanada struck back almost immediately, forcing an equalizer after South Africa failed to clear a loose ball in their defensive circle and it was pounced upon by Stephanie Hume for the visitors.

The dying seconds of the first half saw du Buisson coming close to regaining the lead for SPAR SA, only to have her shot cleared off the line by a desperate Canadian defence.

The second half saw the South Africans again fail to force home the initiative, despite their early dominance.  The deadlock was finally broken in the 48th minute, when du Bussion was once again at hand to tuck away an opportunistic goal, after a South African penalty corner had broken down.

Canada continued to threaten with counter attacks and finally created a brilliant opportunity for their forwards, unfortunately for the visitors they saw the shot slide inches wide of the goal post, allowing the SPAR SA ladies to escape with the victory.

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The SPAR SA ladies will be happy with the goal scoring prowess shown by du Buisson, but will have to be hoping that they can start converting the high percentage of possession and territory into more goals.

The next match in the SPAR Hockey Festival hosted at the University of Stellenbosch will be decided on Wednesday 17 January between South Africa and Ireland.

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