Five minutes see four goals as on-song SA level with Belgium

2012-02-06 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Four goals in the last five minutes of an electric international encounter saw an on-song South African women’s hockey team and an inspired Belgium draw 3-3 at the Randburg Hockey Stadium yesterday.

South Africa were 2-0 up at half-time in the final match of the two-Test series before they let their lead slip for the draw.

The Proteas team wrapped world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee in cotton wool for the fifth consecutive match, and strikers Dirkie Chamberlain and Lauren Penny scored in the 12th and 28th minutes respectively.

Belgium’s Stephanie de Groof and Jill Boon made it 2-2 five minutes from the end. South Africa then went 3-2 up through Tarryn Bright before Anouk Raes’s equaliser for the 3-3 final result.

Belgium won the first Test 3-1 on Saturday and only needed a draw to clinch the series.

South Africa had to win to the level the two-Test series.

The women in green and gold comfortably won the Tri-Nations Series five days earlier, with Belgium runners up and Ireland third. Both sides were desperate to win ahead of their respective Olympic Qualifier Tournaments with South Africa leaving for Delhi on February 15.

South African right half Nicolene Terblanche won her team’s first penalty corner in the 12th minute.

A superbly worked set-piece saw Chamberlain deflect into the net from Kate Woods’ pinpoint shot-pass (1-0).

Terblanche won a penalty corner seven minutes before the half-time break, which Woods drilled towards the far post for Penny to get the touch.

Belgium then substituted their keeper and brought on an extra field player, with one of the 11 on the pitch playing “kicking back”.

The visitors’ second penalty corner brought De Groof’s goal five minutes before the end of the match. Seconds later Boon equalised.

Belgium brought their keeper back on, and with just over two minutes left, Joubert played a brilliant advantage after great work by captain Marsha Marescia and Bright put South Africa back in front.

Seconds after the re-start Anouk Raes, however, drew the scores level with her goal. — Sapa.

 

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