Bright sparks win | SASCOC - SASCOC

Bright sparks win

A Tarryn Bright strike in the 25th minute gave the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team led the way for a 3-0 win against Spain in the crucial fourth Test of the five-Test Investec International Series at Randburg Astro on Saturday.

Goals by the unstoppable Pietie Coetzee and a wonderful deflection from Dirkie Chamberlain ensured the victory after a 1-0 halftime lead.

It was world record goalscorer Coetzee’s 229th successful strike in 232 Test matches and the win gives SA an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the series, which will put pressure on Spain in Sunday’s fifth and final Test at the same venue.

Spain controlled the game in the early minutes, two opportunities not converted; though SA earned a penalty corner in the 14th minute but Coetzee’s drag-flick was gloved away by in-form goalkeeper Maria Lopex de Eguilaz.

In the 2oth SA earned their second PC but the keeper read the move. Spain, so good on the counter, then raced away down the right through Beatriz Perez who ran 30 metres before firing into the side-netting.

With 10 minutest left in the first half the game split wide open when a move practised on the training pitch worked a charm; Coetzee’s pass to Bright saw the 2011 SA Player of the Year crash her shot home off the far post (1-0).

SA enjoyed their best spell and the keeper twice saved from Coetzee before Spain’s second PC also garnered no return. With two minutes left the dangerous Spanish right wing Raquel Huertas made inroads on the right-hand baseline and central defender Kate Woods did well to clear.
SA went two goals up two minutes after the half-time whistle when Coetzee’s free-hit was superbly deflected past the keeper by fellow striker Chamberlain (2-0).

Investec SA captain Marsha Marescia was again in stunning form, be it on attack or defence, but Spain were not done yet and the ever-present Carlota Petchame’s rasping shot was well saved by Rix.

SA defender Lenise Marais, in her 150th Test, made a vital stop and clearance before Spain’s keeper did the same at the other end.

With 18 minutes left, Coetzee gave SA a three-goal cushion after withstanding intense pressure from the Spanish defence before slotting past the keeper (3-0).

South Africa’s third and fourth set-piece attempts came to nothing but Spain had 10 PC’s in the match from drag-flicker Lola Riera that simply could not get past Rix or her corner defenders.

The SA men meet India in the final Test in Delhi on Sunday. India lead the five-Test series 3-1.