SA hockey men go down to India

2014-08-01 00:00

THE South Africa men’s hockey team, missing the services of key players Jonty Robinson and Andrew Cronjé, were beaten 5-2 by favourites India. This after are trailing 4-0 at half time in what was effectively a quarter-final at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow yesterday evening.

Double Olympian Cronjé (concussion after taking a fearful blow in first-wave penalty corner defence against Australia and spending the last two days in hospital) and Olympian Robinson (torn calf) were unable to play — leaving SA down to only three field players on the rolling subs bench compared to India’s five, which is a massive disadvantage.

India were at their brilliant best at times but SA didn’t help themselves in the first half with a number of unforced errors, yet the fightback of the South Africans from the desperate position of trailing by four goals to a 4-2 score early in the second half says much for them.

VR Raghunath (third minute) and Rupinder Singh (ninth) both nailed down successful penalty corners to put India 2-0 up before Ramandeep Singh (22nd) and SV Sunil (26th) scored from field play for the 4-0 half-time score.

In the 12th minute the never-say-die spirit of the South Africans saw Taine Paton smash a stunning shot into the backboard past a helpless keeper but on video referral the chance to pull one back was disallowed after the ball was adjudged to have inadvertently hit the back of Paton’s stick in the build-up to his strike.

Seven minutes into the second half (42nd) SA capitalised on a much-improved start when captain Austin Smith placed a powerful slap pass straight to Paton’s stick, whose deft touch while facing away from goal left the keeper stranded (4-1).

Paton came close soon after but India came back to win a PC that Rassie Pieterse saved brilliantly and the result was SA winning a PC at the other end from the breakout, and Smith flashed his drag-flick into the top-left corner of the net for 4-2 after 47 minutes. SA were on their way to winning the second half spoils but the two players shot cost them fresh legs in remaining 23 minutes.

The Indians then hit the post and soon after SA were down to nine men on the pitch and India 10 as the umpires banished players to the sin-bin. In all, six players went this way in a fierce encounter.

Manpreet Singh (57th) gave India a vital three-goal cushion (5-2) with 13 minutes left but SA were not done yet and hit the post not long after.

With nine minutes left both teams were back to the full complement of 11 players on the park. However, both teams were down to 10 men in the last five minutes as the game got increasingly ugly.

With one minute left Paton won a PC but India blocked Smith’s low flick and it was game over.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.