A determined Belgium came back from a goal conceded in the opening 30 seconds of the third Test against the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team at Hartleyvale in Cape Town Thursday night to clinch the four-Test series with a match to spare after coming away with a 2-1 victory.
Now 3-0 up in the series following 2-1 and 2-0 wins at Central Hockey Club in Vygieskraal on Monday and Wednesday respectively, the Belgians will be eyeing a whitewash when the final Test takes place at 3pm at Hartleyvale on Saturday.
For the girls in green and gold, who are missing superstars Marsha Marescia and Pietie Coetzee for this series, all is not lost, and a win on Saturday will do much to boost their confidence ahead of the World League at Hartleyvale next week, and then the Investec Challenge at the same venue in the first week of February.
Dirkie Chamberlain displayed neat touches in working her way out of a posse of tacklers to score the opener inside the first minute after Bernie Coston had made space to cross from the right.
Shortly before half-time, Belgium hit back in this exciting match of end-to-end action when Jill Boon embellished Anouk Raes’s superb work at close quarters to slip the ball past outstanding SA keeper Sanani Mangisa.
The equaliser was followed by the winner eight minutes from the end when Stephanie de Groof’s powerful flick clattered into the backboard from the Belgians’ fourth penalty corner. SA won six penalty corners to Belgium’s four in this clash.
Essentially this free-flowing encounter was a match for the goalkeepers, who were in superb form. Mangisa made nine top saves in the 70 minutes while opposite number Nadine Khouzam reeled off four super saves of her own.
Investec SA v Belgium Series Fixtures and Results, in Cape Town: Jan 14: SA 1-2 Belgium Jan 16: SA 0-2 Belgium Jan 17: SA 1-2 Belgium Jan 19 at 3pm: SA v Belgium Investec SA team for the Belgium Series: Sanani Mangisa (Southern Gauteng) Lisa Deetlefs (Southern Gauteng) Lilian du Plessis (Southern Gauteng) Bernie Coston (Southern Gauteng) Christine Roos (Southern Gauteng) Tanya Britz (Free State) Hanli Hattingh (Western Province) Shelley Russell (Western Province) Lauren Penny (Western Province) Jade Mayne (Western Province) Quanita Bobbs (Western Province) Marcelle Keet (Amathole/Border) Dirkie Chamberlain (Northern Blues) Nicolene Terblanche (Northern Blues) Lenise Marais (captain) (KZN Coastal Raiders) Kelly Madsen (KZN Coastal Raiders) Sulette Damons (North West) Celia Evans (North West) The Belgium Squad: Maureen Beernaert Jill Boon Erica Coppey Aisling D’Hooghe (GK) Lola Danhaive Hélène Delmée Stephanie De Groof Charlotte De Vos (C) Aline Fobe Alix Gerniers Nadine Khouzam (GK) Pauline Leclef Barbara Nelen Anouk Raes Stéphanie Rummens Emilie Sinia Lieselotte Van Lindt Anne-Sophie Van Regemortel Judith Vandermeiren Louise Versavel