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- Amajita win warm-up match before U20 AFCON
- Levey ends 10-month drought to win at Randpark
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World record goalscorer Pietie praised for her prowess
- Updated: January 26, 2013
National senior women’s hockey assistant coach Fabian Gregory heaped praise on world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee ahead of South Africa’s World League clash against Azerbaijan in Cape Town on Saturday, reports Jon Cook.
ÔÇ£If there is one player you want to take a goalscoring opportunity in the last few minutes it would be Pietie, she’s the ultimate professional and thrives under pressure,ÔÇØ was Gregory’s summation of Coetzee’s after her winner and hat-trick in the electrifying 3-2 defeat of Belgium at Hartleyvale in Cape Town on Thursday night.
South Africa’s superstar took her tally to 253 goals in 256 Test matches and her presence should ensure the girls in green and gold beat Azerbaijan at 6pm and Austria at the same time Sunday to win this World League round two competition.
ÔÇ£We missed 25 penalty corners in the 4-0 Test series loss to Belgium a week ago and in this game Pietie scored three from five and it was gratifying to see what we do on the training pitch materialise in the match,ÔÇØ said Gregory.
ÔÇ£It is remarkable how her team-mates feed off Pietie’s confidence and the starring roles of key players like Pietie and Sanani [Mangisa] meant the supporting actors really came to the party, and this bodes well for the Investec Challenge matches at the beginning of next month against the likes of world number one and 2012 Olympic Games gold medallists Holland, ÔÇØ Gregory added.
Belgium, who play Ghana at 4pm Saturday and Azerbaijan at the same time Sunday can only hope that SA somehow lose to the outsiders and that they win their remaining games ÔÇô an unlikely scenario.
Gregory said captain Marsha Marescia, only the 10th player in the history of the women’s game to reach 300 Test match caps, also brings much to the team and the players feed off her confidence, while goalkeeper Mangisa was in magnificent form in a clash that could have gone either way ÔÇô had it not been for the Coetzee factor ÔÇô while Tarryn Bright in midfield also produced a big performance.
The coach was concerned at how SA tailed off after an outstanding start to let Belgium back in with a 2-1 half-time lead, ┬áHe praised the SA team for the character they showed in regaining the advantage after the changeover.
Quanita Bobbs, Tarryn Bright, Jade Mayne, Shelley Russell (all Western Province); Dirkie Chamberlain, Phume Mbande, Nicolene Terblanche (all Northern Blues); Pietie Coetzee, Marcia Marescia (capt), Bernie Coston, Lisa Deetlefs, Lilian du Plessis, Sanani Mangisa (all Southern Gauteng); Sulette Damons (North West); Marcelle Keet (Amathole/Border); Izelle Lategan (Free State); Kelly Madsen, Lenise Marais (KZN Coastal Raiders).