SA women edge USA

Lisa-Marie Deetlefs (File)
Lisa-Marie Deetlefs (File)

Johannesburg - South Africa's women hockey team edged the United States 2-1 in their second match of the Champions Challenge in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday.

A remarkable fightback after the changeover, sparked by Lisa Deetlefs' penalty-corner shot 10 minutes into the second period, sent the South Africans on their way, as Dirkie Chamberlain netted the winner to hand the team their first victory of the tournament.

"The USA played very well in the first half, moved the ball well, very strong, a very clever game, we were always a yard off the pace," South Africa's head coach, Giles Bonnet, said after the game.

Bonnet reserved special praise for goalkeeper Anelle

"At half-time I said, 'we didn't play to our ability and thanks to Anelle, we are still in the game, we now have the chance to turn it around, so we have two choices: we can sit back and let Anelle try and keep us in the game for another half and then lose, or we can go win the game', so thanks to Anelle we were able to do that," Bonnet added.

"In the second half we decided to put more pressure, lift the game, lift what we were doing and we saw in the second half that we have the in-house capacity in the team to do that."

The win was a welcome one, backing up Sunday's 2-2 draw with Ireland to put the South Africans in a commanding position, but Bonnet felt - for a second game in a row - that his troops could have been more clinical in front of goal.

"The second half was disappointing in the number of chances we created that we didn't convert, we should have finished off the game, so there is still a lot of work to do in the kitchen."

The World number 11-ranked South Africans now have a handy four points from two matches, ahead of their final pool B match against Spain on Wednesday.

The Champions Challenge then moves onto Thursday's quarter-finals.

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