Goal fest as SA trounce world champions
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.