|February 22nd, 2012|
|12||Pool A||6:00pm||IND - RSA||2 - 5 (1 - 2)||Final||x 3|
Important match between India and South Africa: both teams had two wins and a tie, and could secure their berth in the Final on Saturday with a positive result.
They traded penalty-corners in the opening minutes, but South Africa was still without Pietie COETZEE in their line-up and could not threaten much. They tried a complicated option on their second penalty-corner and finally scored on their third attempt by Dirkie CHAMBERLAIN, on hand on the post to collect the rebound and push it over the line.
India also scored on a penalty-corner, Asunta LAKRA’s powerful shot going through the defense and seemingly surprising the goal-keeper. Boosted by the goal and the reaction of the crowd, India tried to push their advantage but the South African defense held tight.
Dirkie CHAMBERLAIN scored again in the final minutes of the period, once again well positioned close to the goal post to collect a rebound from the goal-keeper’s pad and slam the ball in goal, silencing the noisy home crowd. South Africa carried this narrow lead into the half-time break.
India immediately went on the attack at the beginning of second period, but South Africa survived the storm… with a little help from their goal post. India (and the crowd) thought that they had scored on a penalty-corner in the 47th minute, but the direct shot was clearly too high. There was however only so much pressure that Mariette RIX could deflect and India equalized on a well-rehearsed penalty-corner option that eluded the South African goal-keeper and a defender to arrive on Soundarya YENDALA’s stick on the far post.
The joy of the crowd was short lived, Sulette DAMONS scoring at the other end of the pitch on the next play, after a confusing sequence in front of the goal. Dirkie CHAMBERLAIN further deflated their enthusiasm with another goal, her third of the match, pushing South Africa’s lead to 4-2.
Lauren PENNY missed an open net opportunity in the final minute of the match, but Sulette DAMONS put the final cherry on the South African cake with a late goal, for a spectacular win (5-2) that secures their spot in the Final on Saturday.
Player of the Match was Dirkie CHAMBERLAIN of South Africa.