Coetzee’s brace gives SA hockey win

2013-01-28 00:00

THE Investec South African women’s hockey team beat Austria 2-0 after leading 2-0 at half-time in their final World League round two match at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town yesterday.

World record goal-scorer Pietie Coetzee took her tally to 258 goals in 258 Test matches with two sizzling drag-flick penalty corners in the ninth and 15th minutes, and although SA dominated the rest of the match, further successful strikes just wouldn’t come.

The pace of the South African forwards was impressive, with Shelley Russell, Bernie Coston and Sulette Damons just three of the front runners who simply burned their markers away.

SA went through to the World League semi-finals on Saturday when they beat Azerbaijan 7-0 and yesterday’s match had no bearing on that outcome.

The girls in green and gold now focus their attention on the prestigious Investec Challenge, which also involves world number one and London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallists Holland, world number four England, who (as Great Britain) won the 2012 Olympic bronze medal, as well as traditional hockey giants and 2012 Champions Challenge winners Australia.

The Investec Challenge kicks off on Monday, February 4, at Hartleyvale and culminates in the medal matches on Sunday, February 10.

In the ninth minute of yesterday’s tournament finale, Coston’s supreme pace down the right won South Africa their first penalty corner and Coetzee rifled a flat Astro burner into the bottom of the backboard.

Six minutes later it was Russell’s turn to use her pace and stick/ball control at high speed to outflank her would-be tackler and set up SA’s second PC, Coetzee aiming top shelf this time to beat Austrian goalkeeper Jasmin Anderle with ease, the ball straining the back of the net.

SA continued to dominate, but the gutsy Austrians weren’t about to throw in the towel and captain Corinna Zerbs must be complimented for that.

The second team to qualify for the World League semi-finals were Belgium, who beat Azerbaijan 1-0 yesterday.

Final placings: 1 South Africa; 2 Belgium; 3 Azerbaijan; 4 Austria; 5 Ghana.

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