South Africa played hard hockey, but couldn’t quite match Argentina

2014-02-25 00:00

JUST when it looked like eight-time World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar was running away with the show, the South Africa women’s hockey team struck twice.

In stunning fashion they left the second Test standing at 2-2 on the half-time whistle on Sunday night.

But four goals in the second half steered the South Americans to a 6-2 victory.

Aymar, captain of world number two Argentina — the reigning World Cup champions — sliced through her favourite left channel in inimitable fashion.

In the ninth and 11th minutes she set up straightforward tap-ins for Carla Rebecchi and Agustina Albertario.

Trailing 2-0 inside the quarter-hour with Aymar in irresistible form, SA fought their way back with a brace of superb goals by Tanya Britz in the 16th from captain Sulette Damons’s pass and 18th minutes, Damons scoring this time with fellow striker Lilian du Plessis making the vital pass.

SA had their chances after the break but it was Argentina who turned theirs into goals.

Soon after half-time (39th minute) Noel Barrionuevo sent a low drag-flick from Argentina’s fifth penalty corner into the goals.

Delfina Moreno’s brilliant ball control in the 59th and Rebecchi’s top finish hard a minute later (60th) gave the South Americans a three-goal cushion over world number 11 South Africa.

And in the 62nd minute Daniela Sruoga followed up Argentina’s eighth PC to make the final score 6-2.

SA goalkeeper Phume Mbande made a host of fine saves.

This shot stopper is growing in leaps and bounds.

Shelley Russell, back for this Test along with Jade Mayne, must be wondering what she has to do to convince the officials that she has earned penalty corner decisions.

Argentina won the first Test 6-1 on Saturday night.

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