Best performance so far not enough for SA men

2014-03-01 00:00

THE South Africa men’s hockey team put together their best performance of the series by far, but had to accept they were trailing 1-0 at half-time in the fourth Test against Argentina on Thursday, before being defeated 2-0 at the final whistle.

Two excellent first-half penalty corner efforts by Jethro Eustice and Matt Guise-Brown somehow stayed out, while mediocre finishing from open play saw three good chances go astray.

Argentina also had two first-half penalty corners, and three good shots from open play, the third of which was successful when SA gave the South Americans too much time to build an attack from the back and the freedom from pressure set up Joaquin Menini’s ruthless strike in the 29th minute.

After the break, Argentina went 2-0 up in the 42nd minute when Juan Gilardi threw a 50-metre aerial pass to the pacy Alan Andino, who showed great control to smash into the net. SA had two more penalty corners in the second half to win the overall penalty corner count 4-2 but were shaded 5-3 in opportunities from open play after the changeover. It was the best effort of the series by the South African men and they can draw heart from their efforts.

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