SA women's hockey downed by Ireland, while SA men lose to Great Britain

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Phumelela Mbande. (Wessel Oosthuizen/TEAM SA)
Phumelela Mbande. (Wessel Oosthuizen/TEAM SA)

South Africa's women's hockey team lost 2-0 to Ireland in their opening Pool A game at the Tokyo Olympics.

It was a case of 8th in the world beating 16th but South Africa were anything but outclassed. A goal in each half was enough to settle the issue in the way of the match favourites.

The South African men's hockey team also started their campaign with a loss to Great Britain.

LIVE | Tokyo Olympics Day 1: Team SA sees hockey, waterpolo sides beaten as Gallagher, Houlie miss out in the pool

In a brave display in which they were forced on the back foot for most of the match, South Africa eventually went down 3-1 after holding their more fancied opponents to a 1-1 scoreline at half-time.

Sam Ward opened the scoring for Great Britain before Matthew Guise-Brown drew South Africa level.

As the game went on, however, Great Britain wore down the South African defence and despite the heroics of Rassie Pieterse in goal, they scored further goals through Liam Ansell and Jack Waller. 

South Africa are now up against the Netherlands who lost 3-1 to Belgium.

That Group B match takes place on Sunday, 26 June 14:15.

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