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Good World League warm-up win for SA men

The South Africa men’s hockey team have beaten Japan 4-1 in their World League Semi-Final event practice game in Johor, Malaysia.

The match consisted of two 30-minute halves and SA scored in the first half through a penalty corner converted by team captain Austin Smith, reports Jon Cook.

ÔÇ£We were a little rusty, having played our last game on 11 June, some two weeks ago, and having only arrived in Johor on Tuesday,ÔÇØ said SA head coach Charlie Pereira.

ÔÇ£It took us 30 minutes to get going and my plea at the break was to control the game and be patient. We needed to execute better in the final third, as turnover ball was hurting us, with Japan counter-attacking and forcing us to chase a long way.ÔÇØ

Pereira said the second half was much better as SA dominated possession and field position and netted two cracking field goals through Clinton Panther and Lloyd Norris-Jones before Smith sealed the game with another penalty corner.

ÔÇ£[Midfielder] Wade Paton suffered a freakish injury and was forced to withdraw from the game,ÔÇØ said Pereira.

ÔÇ£With [striker] Julian Hykes also missing due to a chest infection, we had to reshuffle the starting line-up and share the workload amongst 14 [field] players rather than 16. That makes our performance in the second half even more special and allowed the players to get valuable match practice.ÔÇØ

World No12 South Africa’s opening game in Pool B is against world No4 England at 3pm (SA time) on Saturday and will be live on SuperSport 7.


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