The SPAR South Africa Women’s Hockey team took on USA for the first time since 2015 at the Heartfelt Arena today. Their Pool A encounter was also a chance for either team to get an upper hand in the battle for a quarterfinal spot
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The South Africans put in a massive effort last night against the Netherlands and that was evident in the early exchanges as the South Africans were unable to find what they needed. While the South Africans couldn’t raise the pace the Americans were loving the occasion and looking to inspire through 14-year-old Reece D’Ariano.
While South Africa had the lion’s share of the possession, they were unable to much with it and USA looked more dangerous on attack. They turned the danger into a lead when Hannah Miller stepped into a pocket of space and fired home past Greyvenstein. With South Africa failing to convert from their penalty corners the score remained 1-0 at the halftime break.
While that would have been a bad scenario for the hosts, it got worse after the break when D’Ariano picked up the ball on the base line and fired it across goal with Greyvenstein unable to make a save that she would have been disappointed to miss.
But the hosts showed South African fighting spirit and came back into the match with a great determination. They found themselves level through Tegan Fourie who showed tremendous tenacity to score her 51st international indoor goal.
The game was crying out for a captain’s contribution, and it came from Jess O’Connor. She effected a number of turnovers, forced her way into the circle and on the reverse forced the ball home.
Despite a big effort from both teams there would be no winner and the point were shared.