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Pietie puts career to bed with goal No282 as SA win
- Updated: June 13, 2014
A 2-0 win over Japan gave the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team a ninth place finish at the World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands on Friday.
And it was a fitting end to the 19-year career of one of sport’s most remarkable figures, world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee, who notched up her 282nd goal in her 287th Test match to give SA the lead in the 59th minute.
Coetzee’s penalty corner success, which came via a trademark drag-flick, was followed in the 69th minute when on-song striker Dirkie Chamberlain scored from the penalty spot after fellow frontrunner Kathleen Taylor was upended in the strike zone.
As they have in the majority of their matches here, world No11 SA dominated against the world’s ninth-ranked team and the victory sets them up for successful July tournaments at the Investec Cup in London and Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Japan and SA were next-door-neighbours in the tournament hotel but that’s where the neighbourliness ended with outstanding captain Marsha’s Cox’s charges overwhelmingly in control of the 70-minute match.
SA had double the number of incursions into the strike zone, one every three minutes, and crucially ÔÇô unlike the matches they should have won but didn’t ÔÇô four out of five shots at goal were on target, leaving Japan goalkeeper Yuka Yoshikawa with plenty to do.
The stopper made a number of fine saves, while at the other end of the pitch her counterpart Anelle Deventer mixed lengthy periods of inactivity with two crucial saves at close-range from the miserly four shots on goal the improved SA defence allowed their opponents.
Pacy striker Sulette Damons, who has given defences the most torrid of times in the three matches of the six she managed to play here, would have relished the freedom with which her team-mates played but rest was the wisest move bearing in mind the important tournaments to come next month.
For Japan, apart from goalkeeper Yoshikawa, captain Miyuki Nakagawa and influential midfielder Mayumi Ono had good games but there was not enough cohesion and all-round efficiency to bother the South Africans all that much.
Anelle van Deventer, Lisa Deetlefs, Marcelle Manson, Nicolene Terblanche, Pietie Coetzee, Marsha Cox (capt), Shelley Russell, Bernie Coston, Tarryn Bright, Dirkie Chamberlain, Celia Evans, Sanani Mangisa, Quanita Bobbs, Illse Davids, Kelly Madsen, Lilian du Plessis, Kathleen Taylor, Sulette Damons (did not play).