SA women advance to semi-finals

2014-07-31 00:00

THE SA women’s hockey team beat India 3-2 after leading 2-1 at half time at Glasgow National Hockey Centre yesterday to qualify for the Commonwealth Games semi-finals.

The last of their Pool A matches, the SA goals came from Tarryn Bright in the 14th minute, Dirkie Chamberlain in the 35th and Illse Davids in the 54th while India scored through Jaspreet Kaur in the 34th and Rani Rampal in the 60th.

Captain Marsha Cox’s girls will now play Pool B winners Australia at 3.20 pm SA time tomorrow (SuperSport7 and SSHD7) in the second of the semi-finals.

SA started with a bang, putting India under enormous pressure with their high-tempo approach, Bright and an on-fire Shelley Russell getting in goalshots, but India indicated their danger following a remarkable Jaspreet Kaur aerial.

In her 200th Test at just 26, SA centre back Lisa Deetlefs stepped up for the match’s first penalty corner in the 14th minute and the primary target slapped her pass back to corner injector Bright who swept the ball hard into the backboard (1-0).

SA had a second PC before excellent work from Lenise Marais stopped India at a set-piece opportunity shortly after, but in the 34th minute clever India interplay led to a penalty stroke and Kaur rifled the ball into the roof of the net.

Yet 30 seconds later, on the stroke of half time, SA were back in front when Chamberlain fed Celia Evans out right, whose pass to Davids was immediately relayed back to the instigator for Chamberlain to finish clinically (2-1).

After the changeover, Damons got in a shot and SA’s dominance told when a great Chamberlain trap and snap-shot saw the rebound fly to Davids, who struck the ball beautifully on the rise to make it 3-1 in the 54th minute. But Rampal was not done yet and slammed a PC into the backboard for the score to read 3-2 in the 60th minute.

Meanwhile, the SA men must beat India’s men at 5 pm SA time today (SuperSport 4, SSHD4) if they are to qualify for Saturday’s semi-finals against what is likely to be England.

On Tuesday, the SA men beat Wales 5-1.

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