Pietie scores, SA lose | SASCOC - SASCOC

Pietie scores, SA lose

A five-goal thriller in Randburg on Tuesday night saw the Spanish women’s hockey side edging 1-0 ahead in the five-Test Investec International Series against South Africa.

After Sunday’s first Test at the same venue had ended 1-1, the Spaniards came out tops 3-2 on Tuesday.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿SA opened the scoring with world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee’s 227th goal in 230 Test matches but Spain then hit back through Barbara Malda and Gloria Comerma for a 2-1 half-time lead. After the changeover Rocio Ybarra extended Spain’s lead before Dirkie Chamberlain pulled one back just seconds from the end.

Play swung to and fro in the first 20 minutes with Spain more threatening. However, the match exploded in the 22nd minute when Shelley Russell made a superb run down the left channel, broke into Spain’s circle and laid off an ideal pass for a perfectly positioned Coetzee and the world record goalscorer buried the ball into the backboard.

Yet all was undone when Comerma equalised three minutes later with a well-taken and ultimately soft goal. A Marescia/Coetzee combination in the strike zone had the crowd clamouring for more but with seconds to half-time Spain won a turnover deep in the SA half and Malda made the most of it for the Spaniards to go into half-time with a 2-1 lead.

SA began stringing some nice moves together after the break and Chamberlain shot over the horizontal bar. Spanish captain Julia Menendez a hit a perfectly weighted through-ball to Raquel Huertas and the upshot was a penalty corner that Ybarra had oodles of time to convert (3-1).

With 12 minutes left Spain’s superiority in the strike zone was shown when Huertas had acres of space to rip a shot that SA keeper Mariette Rix stick-saved superbly high to her right. Not to be outdone, Spanish number one Maria Lopez de Eguilaz then stick-saved low to her right from Sulette Damons soon after.

Then Olalla Pineiro sailed untouched into the strike zone and Rix saved once again.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿SA got their consolation goal when Coetzee made something out of an untidy penalty corner and her shot was delicately deflected in by Chamberlain for the 3-2 final scoreline.

Earlier the SA senior invitation team beat a SA junior invitation team 1-0 in the curtain-raiser.

The third Test is at the same Randburg venue at 7pm on Thursday with the curtain-raiser between the invitation sides scheduled for 5pm.