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Ken Borland

You can only feel sorry for the SA women’s hockey side

Posted on August 22, 2022 by Ken

Having been one goal away from qualifying for the Women’s Hockey World Cup quarterfinals but then finishing in a share of last place, you can only feel sorry for South Africa’s women’s hockey side as they lost 1-0 to Chile in their final game to finish joint 15th in Amsterdam.

To make matters worse, they had numerous chances against Chile but failed to take their opportunities. The momentum gained from their comeback 3-3 draw with Japan and gutsy 1-0 defeat to Germany that saw the superpowers scrape into the quarterfinals has now been lost as they head for the Commonwealth Games.

Kayla de Waal’s direct running from midfield created problems for Chile in the first quarter, but the final pass kept going astray, with the Diablos only threatening the South African goal a couple of times.

The score was still 0-0 at halftime, as both teams lacked the finishing touch even though the game had opened up.

South Africa dominated possession in the second half, but chances were wasted. This led to frustration and a yellow card for Erin Christie.

Giles Bonnet’s side weathered the storm of being a player short, but will kick themselves that they conceded the matchwinning goal a minute after being restored to 11 on the astro. They will also lament the defensive lap that left Manuela Urroz wide open to a diagonal ball that allowed her plenty of time and space to finish well.

Even though Chile were also reduced to 10 players in the final quarter, South Africa were unable to threaten their opponents’ goal.

While the defence, led by goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande and sweeper Jean-Leigh du Toit, has been outstanding in this World Cup, questions will need to be asked about an attack that was off the mark for much of the tournament.

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