Both national teams of South Africa will be disappointed with the amount of goals they conceded in their matches on Wednesday in the Cape Town Summer Series.
SA Hockey Men
The South African men lost 7-1 to the Netherlands.
Bili Ntuli almost scored in the first minute of the match, but while the crowd were still wondering about how awesome that goal would have been, the visitors all too soon were leading 2-0.
The crowd were on their feet again when captain Tim Drummond scored from a penalty corner to make the score 1-2.
Milan van Baal (2), Rik van Kan, Bjorn Kellerman, Mirco Pruijser and Bram van Groesen (2) scored Holland’s goals. Max Caldas’ team played with lots of confidence and structure. They made it all look so easy. This was in contrast to the South Africans who struggled to find rhythm and get going in the attack. They had to defend for most of the match. The players were clearly frustrated and obviously disappointed.
SA Hockey Women
Earlier in the evening the South African women’s team fought a good fight against China. The visiting team won 5-2, but at halftime the score was 1-1 and with only one chukka to go it was 3-2.
There was some discussion between players and umpires after China’s second goal, but no change to the decision was made. South Africa strike back immediately though with a superb goal from Sulette Damons to deal in the best possible way with the disappointment. SA’s first goal was scored from a great turnover. Candice Manuel hit the back of the goal-box.
China’s goals were scored by Bingfeng Gu, Lihua Goa, Xiaoxue Zhang, Xiaomei Sun and Ming Xiao Song.
South Africa will be disappointed with the score-line and the fact that they conceded some soft goals in that final chukka. All in all, Sheldon Rostron’s team did much more right that wrong. They got penalty corners and forced China into a few mistakes. Now the players need to focus on that finishing touches that will turn good play into better opportunities and goals.
It was a big milestone day for Lillan du Plessis who played in her 100th match for South Africa.
The next matches in the series are tomorrow at 18:00 when the SA women take on Chile. This match is followed by what could be an epic clash between Belgium and the Netherlands. It should be a cracking game between the silver medalists from Rio and third best team in the world. It will be Belgium first game in the Summer Series.