SA, Oz in ill-tempered draw

2013-02-06 00:00

THE most unpopular people during the late match at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town last night were the umpires, as Australia’s Hockeyroos and the Investec South African women’s hockey team drew 1-1 after the scores were level 0-0 at half time of an ill-tempered clash.

Australia’s Anna Flanagan netted a penalty corner in the 51st minute when she went for the top shelf on brilliant SA goalkeeper Sanani Mangisa’s stick-side, but the blow was cancelled out eight minutes later by Jade Mayne’s tip-top deflection goal off Shelley Russell’s powerful cross from the right.

The game became tense as the South Africans and their supporters, plus the Australians to some extent, found fault with umpires Alwiene Sterk of the Netherlands and Emma Shelbourn of England.

The crowd went wild when Russell was repeatedly stick-checked on a remarkable 35-metre run and the cheer was immense when SA were awarded a PC, which the Aussie defence blocked.

In the second half, Coston broke away on a 40-metre run through the middle and was awarded an ultimately fruitless PC that drew protests from the bench as the South African was still in control and about to take on the ’keeper.

There was another howl of anger at a PC awarded to Australia at the other end, and this time Flanagan went high to Mangisa’s stick-side (1-0).

With 16 minutes left Lisa Deetlefs cracked a cross into the strike zone and Coetzee’s delicate touch almost evaded Wells in goal.

Then Australia lost a player to the sin-bin and the roof almost blew off the stadium roof as Coetzee forced a PC — but Wells was on-song once again.

The crowd erupted in the 59th minute when SA equalised after Shelley Russell cracked a cross from the right and Jade Mayne flashed her shot past a helpless ’keeper into the back of the net (1-1).

In the opening match on day two, the Netherlands beat a competitive England 4-1 after leading 2-1 at half time.

Thursday: SA face the Netherlands at 8 pm.

England face Austarlia at 6 pm.

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