Germans beat brave South Africa 2-0 in women's hockey | SASCOC - SASCOC

Germans beat brave South Africa 2-0 in women’s hockey

By Mark Etheridge in London

A brave second-half fightback wasn’t enough to prevent South Africa going down 2-0 to Germany in their Olympic Games Group B women’s hockey match at the Riverbank Arena on Thursday.

It took 20 minutes into their third Games match, for the Germans to draw first blood but shortly after halftime they doubled their lead.

The first goal came from open play by No23 Marie Maevers who dived in to deflect home from inches out with just 10 minutes to play in the first half of their Group B match.

The world’s third-ranked women’s side went 2-0 up nine minutes into the second half through their fourth penalty corner when captain Fanny Rinne fired in a shot that ‘keeper Mariette Rix got a right pad to but could only deflect over the line.

Earlier two penalty corners in quick succession in the sixth and seventh minutes saw the Germans threatening early on but a great save from Rix kept out the threat from the second of these.

Ten minutes in the half, skipper Marsha Marescia made great inroads down the left channel but her reverse-stick shot didn’t trouble German keeper Yvonne Frank.

Shortly afterwards it was again down the left that the South Africans found some hope as Sulette Damons put in a great run.

There was hope for South Africans with Nicolene Terblanche and Bernie Coston both showing good touches.

With world-leading javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen and Team SA Chef de Misson Patience Shikwambana watching in the stands and supporting their Team SA mates, the first half saw Germany awarded three penalty corners while SA were still awaiting their first.

The second half started promisingly for South Africa with Kate Woods finding world record Test goalscorer Pietie Coetzee in space and she, in turn releasing Damons who just coudn’t get enough on the shot.

Then Kathleen Taylor went close but ‘keeper Frank stood tall to keep the danger out.

The South Africans continued to attack and Coetzee had probably the best chance of the match in the eighth minute when she found herself in the D but her shot was saved by Frank.

Showing the fighting spirit that South Africans are famous for despite being the lowest ranked side at these Olympics, coach Giles Bonnet’s girls continued to press forward and Jen Wilson flung herself face first into the blue astro-turf in an attempt to get the girls on the board.

Lesle-Ann George had the ball in the Germany goal with about 20 minutes to go but the shot came from outside the D and didn’t count.

South Africa got their first penalty corner with 12 minutes to go but Coetzee’s blistering shot was well blocked by Frank to her right.

South Africa’s next match is against Australia on Saturday.