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Jen’s strike can’t stop China

Not even a dream start by South Africa could prevent them going down 4-1 to China at the women’s hockey World Cup in Rosario, Argentina on Friday.

Jen Wilson scored as early as the fourth minute from a penalty corner as birthday girl Pietie Coetzee’s pass found Wilson’s perfect run being rewarded as Chinese keeper Li Dongxiao could do nothing.

The sides took the half-time break locked at 1-1 after Ren Yee equalised for the eastern giants. This despite South Africa missing a number of chances.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic silver medallists needed no encouragement after the second half and were determined to make up for earlier losses to South Korea and England.

Two strikes from Gao Lkhua and another from captain Fu Baurong sunk the South Africans who had beaten Spain earlier in the tournament for their first World Cup win in eight years.

“We started well but a lapse in concentration cost us and we went into the second half knowing we would need to fight to hang in there,” captain Marsha Marescia said afterwards.

“But we put ourselves under pressure and allowed them to come at us. We let ourselves down with our overall performance but there are a lot of positives we can take into our game against England tomorrow.”

The setback needs eighth-ranked South African needing to pull out all the stops against England on Saturday when they play England, a side ranked two places above them. Our girls have now lost 5-2 to Argentina and beaten Spain 2-1 before Friday’s game.

How they stand after Friday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Pool B

Argentina 3 3 0 0 10 2 9

England 3 2 1 0 5 3 7

South Korea 3 1 1 1 3 3 4

China 3 1 0 2 5 4 3

South Africa 3 1 0 2 5 10 3

Spain 3 0 0 3 3 9 0


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