Deetlefs, Du Plessis do the job for SA against US | SASCOC - SASCOC
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Deetlefs, Du Plessis do the job for SA against US

A slick United States, technically sound and intelligent manipulators of space, may have run our Investec South Africa women’s hockey team ragged in the first half to lead 1-0 in the Champions Challenge in Glasgow on Monday, but a remarkable fightback saw the girls in green and gold beat the world’s 10th-ranked north Americans 2-1.

ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿Jon Cook reports that an excellent recovery by Nicolene Terblanche, who then relayed the ball to Dirkie Chamberlain, resulted in SA striker Lilian du Plessis showing the composure which made for a superb finish ÔÇô and the winner ÔÇô in the 50th minute, this after Lisa Deetlefs had beaten USA goalkeeper Jackie Kintzner with a powerful penalty corner slap shot five minutes earlier (45th).

Katie O’Donnell stole along the right-hand baseline in the most confined of spaces to open the scoring in the 12th minute and had it not been for a whole host of saves by SA goalkeeper Anelle van Deventer the USA would have led by a bigger margin going into the second half.

ÔÇ£The USA played very well in the first half, moved the ball well, very strong, a very clever game, we were always a yard off the pace,ÔÇØ said SA head coach Giles Bonnet. Yet Van Deventer’s saves, left and right, many at close-range, kept the lively USA forwards out ÔÇô and her team in the match ÔÇô and Bonnet was full of praise for his keeper.

In the picture, Nicolene Terblanche and Sulette Damons celebrate Du Plessis after she had hit the winner.

ÔÇ£At half-time I said, ‘we didn’t play to our ability and thanks to Anelle we are still in the game. We now have the chance to turn it around, so we have two choices; we can sit back and let Anelle try and keep us in the game for another half and then lose, or we can go win the game’, so thanks to Anelle we were able to do that.

ÔÇ£In the second half we decided to put more pressure, lift the game, lift what we were doing and we saw in the second half that we have the in-house capacity in the team to do that.ÔÇØ

World No11’s SA now have a handy four points from two matches, having being held to a 2-2 draw by 15th ranked Ireland on day one, this despite the girls in green and gold missing a hatful of chances.

Bonnet believes there is still much to do as South Africa look forward to their final Pool B match against world No14’s Spain on Wednesday before Thursday’s quarter-finals. ÔÇ£The second half was disappointing in the number of chances we created that we didn’t convert, we should have finished off the game, so there is still a lot of work to do in the kitchen.ÔÇØ

SCORERSÔÇ¿

South Africa (0) 2 (Lisa Deetlefs 45th minute, Lilian du Plessis 50th)

USA (1) 1 (Katie O’Donnell 16th)

Picture: Rodrido Jaramillo


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