SA shrug off German defeat, head to London Cup semifinals


SA may have fallen to Germany in a thrilling London Cup clash on Wednesday, but the world's No. 12 women's hockey side has still made it to the semis.

Great Britain's Helen Richardson challenges South Africa's Dirkie Chamberlain during their pool game in the London Cup earlier in the tournament. (AP)

South Africa were edged 1-0 by world No. 3 Germany, thanks to Eileen Hoffman’s 30th minute deflection goal in the action-packed quarterfinal in Chiswick, but they have already done enough in the London Cup to ensure a berth in Saturday’s semifinals.

For world No. 4 Great Britain, who were upset 3-1 by South Africa in an epic clash on Tuesday night, to reach the semis they have to beat Germany by two clear goals in Thursday’s final pool match. If they do that, then Germany are out. The UK side’s other option is to win by one goal after scoring four or more goals. A seven-goal thriller between Germany and GB is unlikely.

South Africa’s defence was outstanding on Wednesday, while their forwards, with Sulette Damons having a great second half, played at pace and with determination up front and deserved at least one goal, particularly after the changeover.

Kate Woods, Dirkie Chamberlain, Marsha Marescia and Pietie Coetzee deserved more but German keeper Kristina Reynolds played a blinder. Germany also had their chances in what was a very even match.

In an earlier match, Australia beat Ireland 4-1. Tuesday’s opening round saw world No. 1 Holland beat the Aussie Hockeyroos 2-1. Thursday’s other pool fixture in this six-nation event sees Ireland face Holland at 6.30pm SA time.

The semifinals are on Saturday and feature the top two teams in each pool with the winners going through to Sunday’s final and the losers tackling each other in the bronze medal match.

The teams that end third in their pool will play off for fifth and sixth places on Sunday. – Sapa

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