South Africa and Chile met in a rematch of their 2022 FIH Hockey World Cup encounter earlier this year with both looking to get their opening victory of the FIH Hockey Nations Cup.
South Africa made it clear early in the game that they were hoping to play on the front foot with the focus on high pressure and pace. They created a circle entry in the first 20 seconds and were unfortunate not to produce an outcome as their frenetic start caught Chile somewhat surprised.
Despite South Africa looking very dangerous Anelle van Deventer had to make a good save from an early penalty corner and then a triple save shortly after as Chile looked to pick pocket the South African backline on the counter themselves. The best opportunity for South Africa fell to Antonette Louw who fired it narrowly wide from a penalty corner.
Kristen Paton and Quanita Bobbs were enjoying themselves and it’s no surprise that South Africa received a brilliant chance in the second quarter through their work. As the ball came across goal Tarryn Lombard fired home but Ntsopa Mokoena snuck in to net her fourth in four test matches. It was a well-deserved lead for the African champions, but it was a short-lived lead unfortunately.
Quick thinking from the Chileans caught the South Africans napping with a quick free hit just outside the quarter and a brilliant deflection from Urroz Manuela that gave Anelle van Deventer no chance in the goals. South Africa was guilty in the first half of not taking their opportunities as they created such dangerous passages of play but at times made the wrong choice after incredible work. At the break it was 1-1 with both teams feeling a win was on the cards.
The third quarter continued in much the same theme with South Africa looking exciting going forward and Chile attempting to dictate the play through possession. South Africa won a penalty corner but were unable to create a moment of danger and Anelle van Deventer made a timely save to keep things level and it stayed that way at the end of the third quarter.
South Africa won the first penalty corner of the final quarter after superb work from Quanita Bobbs and Thati Zulu. The first shot from Jean-Leigh du Toit found a foot and a re-award was given. Bobbs though fired it wide as South Africa were guilty of not being clinical enough.
Chile was the next to ask a question winning a penalty corner themselves, but it was well charged down by the South African defense. As both sides sought a winner the discipline was also tested, and the Chileans received a yellow card for the final five minutes.
But it was devastating for the South Africans as Chile pulled ahead with just fourty seconds remaining on the clock Chile wrote the final statement of the game. Snatching a victory that was harsh on the young South Africans.
FIH Hockey Nations Cup 2022 – Day 2 Results
Japan 1-2 India
Korea 0-3 Spain
Ireland 2-1 Italy
South Africa 1-2 Chile
FIH Hockey Nations Cup 2022 – Day 3 Fixtures (14 December)
11:45 – Ireland vs. Korea
14:00 – Italy vs. Spain
16:15 – South Africa vs. India
18:30 – Chile vs. Japan