SA go down to India in thriller clash

2011-11-28 00:00

EIGHT-TIME Olympic Games gold medallists India beat a brave South Africa 7-4 after leading 3-1 at half-time in the Champions Challenge clash at Randburg Hockey Stadium late yesterday afternoon, writes JONATHAN COOK.

In the match of the tournament, an exceptional exhibition of hockey had the crowd on the edge of their seats as top-class goalkeeping and exhilarating goals came thick and fast.

Blood flowed freely as Maritzburg College product Gareth Carr and Kearsney Old Boy Lloyd Madsen suffered — quite accidental — blows to the head.

SA scored four scintillating goals through Justin Reid-Ross, Maritzburg College product Marvin Harper, Miguel da Graca and Old Hiltonian Tim Drummond. India’s seven of the best came from Sardar Singh, Sandeep Singh (2), Tushar Khandker, S.V. Sunil (2) and R.P. Singh.

On Saturday South Africa put together a quality performance to beat Poland 3-1 after leading 2-0 at half-time on day one of the tournament.

The men in green and gold scored twice off brilliant penalty corner drag-flicks, one in each half, by Reid-Ross. A field goal went to striker Lloyd Norris-Jones.

SA created dozens of gilt-edged opportunities, but the ball stayed out not least because of a stunning goalkeeping display by Mariusz Chyla. Perhaps smarter use of myriad circle entries would have yielded better results.

Reid-Ross’ first goal rifled into the roof of the net in the second minute after a superb build-up to the penalty corner.

With five minutes to half-time Michaelhouse product Clint Panther won the ball, fed a quick pass and Norris-Jones netted (2-0). It was Poland’s Artur Mikula who pulled one back.

SA only earned a second corner with 12 minutes to time, but Reid-Ross’s screamer hit the crossbar. A minute later he went low and the ball slammed into the backboard (3-1).

SA meet London 2012 Olympic Games qualifiers Belgium at 5 pm tomorrow (live on SuperSport).

RESULTS

Day 1: Canada 3 Malaysia 1; Argentina 2 Japan 2; India 3 Belgium 3, SA 3 Poland 1.

Day 2: Argentina 3 Canada 2; Japan 2 Malaysia 2; Belgium 7 Poland 3; India 7 South Africa 4.

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