SA women need to convert their chances

2013-06-29 00:00

WHILE converting field goal chances will be high on the list of priorities for the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team against Italy, a healthy respect for their opponents is also top of the agenda.

The contest will be live on SuperSport 7 at 11 am (SA time) today. World number 11 South Africa will be taking nothing for granted in this play-off match against world number 17 Italy, in which success will set up the chance for fifth place in this Investec World League semi-final tournament.

SA created more than enough goalscoring opportunities to beat world number 15 Spain in their Pool B match that was drawn 2-2, a result that ultimately forced the South Africans into a quarter-final against world number two Argentina on Thursday.

Again, SA might have won this clash on another day had key moments been converted into goals against the London 2012 Olympics silver medallists, but it was the Argentines who scored when needed to prevail 3-1.

And in the 1-0 Pool B defeat to world number six Australia, the girls in green and gold also had enough chances to seal a win. SA head coach Giles Bonnet said on Thursday that the aim now is to convert SA’s pleasing structure into results.

In the likes of Sulette Damons, Kelly Madsen and company, SA have strikers and midfielders who have proven their worth over time and the goals will come, given the number of chances being created.

The extremely inexperienced Italian side lost their quarter-final 3-2 to world number four and London 2012 Olympic bronze medallists England on Thursday, a match that England coach Jason Lee later described as a “nerve-wracking” affair.

SA assistant coach Fabian Gregory has identified two midfielders who have the skill to trouble any side, and said that in captain Chiara Tiddi the Italians have a very good leader.

The last time the teams met was in the Olympic Qualifier in Delhi last February, a tournament that South Africa won, although the Pool match against Italy ended in a hard-fought 1-1 draw.

There is much at stake and no further motivation will be necessary in either camp.


Sanani Mangisa (Southern Gauteng), Phume Mbande (Northern Blues), Lenise Marais (KZN Coastal Raiders), Marcelle Keet (Border), Nicolene Terblanche (NB), Illse Davids (Western Province), Shelley Russell (WP), Tarryn Bright (WP), Pietie Coetzee (SG), Quanita Bobbs (WP), Sulette Damons (North West), Dirkie Chamberlain (NB), Jade Mayne (WP), Tanya Britz (Free State), Lilian du Plessis (NB), Izelle Lategan (FS), Kelly Madsen (KCR), Marsha Cox (SG).

• Live from 11 am (SA time) on SuperSport 7.

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