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Under-21 girls go down to Netherlands in Germany
- Updated: August 2, 2013
The South Africa Under-21 women’s hockey team lost their first match of the tournament Junior World Cup in M├Ânchengladbach, Germany on Thursday night, going down 9-1 to defending champions The Netherlands in the quarter-finals.
SA stung the unbeaten Dutch with a Toni Marks field goal in the third minute but penalty corner ace Lieke van Wijk came back with two strikes inside five minutes for the Oranje to take the lead after 15 minutes. Lisanne de Lange then scored the first of her brace of field goals in the match, while Xan de Waard netted via the PC route for The Netherlands’ 4-1 half-time lead.
Penalty corner defence was to prove SA’s Achilles heel, as six of the Dutch goals came from set-pieces, Van Wijk netting four. The Dutch were technically able to string sequences of passes together, controlling the tempo of the game.
Unforced errors on the part of the Africans saw The Netherlands gain a healthy number of turnovers ÔÇô and with the greater possession, time and space, it was relatively simple to make entries into the attacking third of the field count.
After the changeover Van Wijk added her second batch of PCs and it was 6-1 with just under 30 minutes left to play. The Oranje added three more before the end through Maria Verschoor, Sam Saxton and De Lange (her second) for the 9-1 final scoreline.
The match was played in four quarters of 17:30 minutes apiece to ensure regular water breaks in the extreme heat.
In the first round of play-offs for positions five to eight in this 16-country tournament, SA meet Spain on Friday and victory will see the girls in green and gold play for fifth place in Sunday’s final classification matches.