At the bottom of their Group B log table, there is much to play for when the national team takes to the field in Friday’s third round of Group B matches, at the World Cup in The Hague, Holland.
(Watch match highlights from the Germany vs South Africa World Cup fixture, courtesy the FIH on Youtube)
Investec SA have now lost twice from two starts, and need to get away from the foot of the table in a hurry. Friday’s assignment is unfortunately a tough ask for the SA team, the only truly amateur World Cup sides in The Hague, but if they can right their wrongs it’s certainly not impossible.
The world’s 11th-ranked Investec South Africa women’s hockey team tackle England at 2.30pm in a massive game for both sides.
Underlining the fierce competition at this World Cup, London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallists and world number three England have suffered a 2-1 loss to world number 10 the USA, and a 3-0 shutout by world seven China.
These setbacks have surely sent shockwaves through a side that need to find victory against SA, if they are to make a go of living up to their semi-final seeding.
SA, too, have lost two matches from two starts and while the 4-1 defeat by World Cup holders Argentina was not unexpected by the pundits, the same seasoned observers were of the opinion that the girls in green and gold should probably have beaten world six Germany.
SA had more shots at goal than the Europeans and three times as many penalty corners, yet a 3-1 defeat was the outcome.
Should super-quick striker Sulette Damons, who missed the first two matches due to injury, be ready it will give the girls in green and gold more penetration against the English.
The Investec SA Team for the FIH Rabobank Hockey World Cup, from 31 May – 15 June, 2014: Goalkeepers: Anelle van Deventer (North West); Sanani Mangisa (Southern Gauteng) Defenders: Lisa Deetlefs (Southern Gauteng), Marcelle Manson (Border), Nicolene Terblanche (Northern Blues), Quanita Bobbs (Western Province) Midfielders: Marsha Cox, Bernie Coston (both Southern Gauteng); Shelley Russell, Tarryn Bright, Ilse Davids (all Western Province), Kelly Madsen (KZN Coastal Raiders) Strikers: Dirkie Chamberlain (Northern Blues); Kathleen Taylor (Western Province); Celia Evans, Sulette Damons (both North West); Lilian du Plessis (Southern Gauteng); Pietie Coetzee (Southern Gauteng) Investec South Africa Group-Stage Matches: Sunday 1 June: South Africa 1-4 Argentina Tue 3 June: South Africa 1-3 Germany Click to read the match report on gsport Fri 6 June: South Africa vs England Sun 8 June: South Africa vs China Tue 10 June: South Africa vs the USA Group A: The Netherlands Australia New Zealand Korea Japan Belgium Group B: Argentina England Germany China USA South Africa
Main Photo Caption: Investec SA midfielder Illse Davids knows that the only way is up. Davids is pictured during South Africa’s 3-1 loss to Germany, in their second of five group-stage matches at the FIH Rabobank Hockey World Cup, on Tuesday, 3 June, 2014. Photo: Supplied / Stanislas Brochier
(With editing by gsport)