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Hockey on a high

Team South Africa’s hockey women stunned Australia at the CWG in Delhi.

South Africa drew 1-all to put themselves into play-offs contention after hammering Trinidad & Tobago 12-0 earlier in the week and seeing off Scotland 2-1 in their second Group stages.

Sulette Damons, a late replacement for Roxie Turner, equalised late in the first half to give the South Africans one of their best results in recent years.

The South African surprised the Aussies with their intensity, their skill and their hunger to win. South Africa dominated possession and territory but the more experienced Australians resisted the onslaught and for much of the match it looked like South Africa would reap no reward for their efforts.

AFP reports that South Africa, ranked 12 to Australia’s six, have seven points from three Pool A matches, the same as the Aussies, but enjoy a better goal difference.

Three-time Olympic champions Australia pressed hard for the winner after the change of ends but South African goalkeeper Vuyisanani Mangisa pulled off some fine saves.

South Africa plays hosts India next and a draw will be good enough to make the play-offs.

South African captain Marsha Marescia was all praise for the hard work that her team put in.

‘It was a very tough game,’ she said. ‘Australia were better in the first half, but in the second half we dominated. We did really well in attack. We got more short corners, but some of our decisions were kind of iffy.

‘We just need one more point to qualify for the semis. We have a long history with India. It will be more of a mind game than a tactical one.’

Australian midfielder Kate Hollywood was dejected with the outcome.

‘We fought really hard, so we’re disappointed with the 1-1 draw,’ she said. “We think South Africa is a team we can beat convincingly.’

Not today honey …


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