Goal fest as SA trounce world cham­pi­ons

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

THE South African women’s hockey team saved their best for last to record a 4-0 vic­tory over world cham­pi­ons Ar­gentina in the fifth and fi­nal Test in Bloemfontein yes­ter­day.

This was the team’s first vic­tory over Ar­gentina.

South Africa led 1-0 at half-time be­fore blast­ing three past the hap­less Ar­gentina goal­keeper af­ter the break.

Al­though the se­ries was lost 4-1, the South Africans had the last laugh with a his­toric first tri­umph over the South Amer­i­cans, who were rat­tled to the point where three were sent to the sin bin in the match.

The goals be­gan with Tar­ryn Bright, of Western Prov­ince, who net­ted a fan­tas­tic field goal af­ter a great build-up.

SA’s player of the match Pi­etie Coet­zee, of Souther n Gaut­eng, scored from the penalty corner mark.

Free State striker Het­tie Oosthuizen made her mark with a field goal in her sec­ond Test match. The fi­nal blow for the Ar­gen­tineans was North­ern Gaut­eng Blues cap­tain Kim Hubach, who re­peated the Coet­zee medicine from a sim­i­lar set-piece play.

One of SA’s train­ers, Border coach Greg Bel­ing, said 42 hours’ train- ing dur­ing the na­tional camp that be­gan on De­cem­ber 5 had meant the girls in green and gold were a lit­tle flat phys­i­cally in the first few Tests, while the Ar­gen­tini­ans were still fresh and run­ning.

How­ever, af­ter go­ing into their fifth Test in six days, the world champs were feel­ing it, while the bat­tle hard­ened SA team un­der cap­tain Mar­sha Mares­cia of South­ern Gaut­eng had come back recharged for the fi­nal en­counter.

The South Africans had shrugged off a se­vere bout of gas­tric flu that had played a part in the 6-1 de­feat to Ar­gentina in the fourth Test on Thurs­day.

That re­sult was a blow to SA, who were un­for­tu­nate not to come away with at least a draw in the grip­ping third Test, which the world champs won by a slen­der 2-1 mar­gin.

The first and sec­ond Tests were also com­pet­i­tive af­fairs, with SA go­ing down 2-0 on both oc­ca­sions.

Head coach Giles Bon­net’s na­tional squad goes into a pun­ish­ing round of 19 Test matches against the world’s fourth-ranked China, Bel­gium and Azer­bai­jan early next year, in Joburg and Bloemfontein.

Tar­ryn Bright takes a penalty corner yes­ter­day.

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