South Africa suffered yet another heartbreaking loss at the Samsung Hockey World Cup today, as they conceded 4 goals without reply in their game against A Pool’s China.
SA now face a Saturday evening match against the losing side in today’s encounter between Korea and India, their last encounter in Madrid’s women’s hockey showpiece event, and one which will see them finish either 11th or 12th.
In today’s match, SA started off with China on a powerful attack in the first five minutes, with commentary concluding that the “… SA defence is so far doing an ok job but their midfield is non-existent. China are able to get a lot of run through this area of the pitch”.
Shelly Russell showed her remarkable attacking play as she evaded China’s goalkeeper only to fail on the finishing, her reverse stick scoop too weak, and easily cleared by Hi Bo.
China hit back with two quick goals in eight minutes, first Ren Ye tapping the ball in close from the right post, followed Ma Yi Bo flicking the next into the right corner.
China dominated the remainder of the first half, with Sun Zhen scoring a soft goal in the 31st minute – the home defence should have been more resolute in clearing the ball from their circle.
The second half started with China still assuming the upper hand, and star defender Tarryn Hosking clearing a ball out following China’s Penalty Corner leading to repeat Penalty Corners for SA on attack.
Unfortunately Jen Wilson played her best shot onto the pads of the goalie, who cleared the ball comfortably.
This started a fresh passage of determined play for SA, with China seeing little of the ball well into the final half, the commentary concluding that China had lost skill and concentration.
Excellent play by Jen Wilson, Marsha Marescia, Lesle Ann George and Sharne Whemeyer all contributing to pressure on China, but with a three-nil lead, the ladies of the east were content to let SA play at them.
With 15 minutes to go, China gathered their second breath, and a spell of intense pressure by SA right in the end was absorbed by China, who responded with a second goal for Sun Chen, with 10 second in the game.
It is no doubt a point of harsh reality for coach Jenny King that, despite world-class skill, her team has failed to win a game, and has failed to score in the past two games.
China bt. SPAR SA 4 – 0
China – Ren Ye (Field Goal in 15th min)
China – Ma Yi Bo(Penalty Corner in 18th min)
China – Sun Zhen(Field Goal in 29th min)
China – Sun Zhen (Field Goal in 70th min)
11th & 12th Place Play Off:
Saturday, 7th October 2006 – 18h00 SA vs Korea/India