Belgium stun SA women

SA captain Marsha Cox (left) and team-mates Nicolene Terblanche, 'keeper Phume Mbande and Quanita Bobbs (Matthew Withers - ACTION PIX)
SA captain Marsha Cox (left) and team-mates Nicolene Terblanche, 'keeper Phume Mbande and Quanita Bobbs (Matthew Withers - ACTION PIX)

Cape Town - Hosts South Africa lost 2-0 to Belgium in the second Test at Hartleyvale Hockey Stadium on Tuesday.

The SA women beat their opponents by a resounding 6-0 scoreline in the first Test at the same venue on Sunday, and the visitors responded with a hard-fought victory to level the series.

Four matches remain the series.

The Belgian line-up featured four changes, and Manon Simons completed a brace of field goals in the 61st and 65th minutes in her first match of the series.

The first half was an open affair, with both sides able to carve out goalscoring opportunities.

Shelley Russell and Marsha Cox set up South Africa's first penalty corner in the opening minute, but both Quanita Bobbs (drag-flick) and Sulette Damons (rebound) had their efforts blocked.

In the 16th minute, Kathleen Taylor freed up Celia Evans, but ‘keeper Aisling D'Hooghe was alert to the danger as the attempt was cleared.

South African striker Dirkie Chamberlain and Cox both fired shots away as the goalmouth action continued.

One minute from half-time, Stephanie van de Borre, Louise Versavel and Alix Gerniers combined to earn the Belgians' second penalty corner, which led to a third that goalkeeper Phume Mbande glanced away with the left glove from Anne-Sophie Scheemaekere's fluid drag-flick.

The Belgians were not to be denied, however, and Simons opened the scoring when she made no mistake with nine minutes left (61st).

Four minutes later (65th) Simons added her second with a superb first-time strike after Mbande's initial save had resulted in the ball rebounding into the goalscorer's arc.

The third Test is scheduled for Wednesday at the same venue.

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England 204 & 15/0 (10 ov)
West Indies 318
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