Oct 31, 2023

South Africa lose out to Australia at Sultan of Johor Cup

South Africa completed their pool fixtures at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia on Tuesday. The African champions have had a tough start after losing to Germany and harshly falling short against Great Britain. Australia on the other hand needed a four-goal win to secure top spot of the Pool.

The South Africans started brightly, and Caleb Oliphant hit a rocket reverse stick narrowly over the top of the goal. As had been the case in the tournament the South Africans lacked the killer instinct in and around the circle although contesting gainfully in between the two.

Australia took the lead with seconds left in the opening quarter from a good combination play and the timing of the goal was a cruel one after a tough fought quarter. South Africa have been incredibly tough to break down in the tournament with Fawaaz Kahder continuing to underline his senior credentials.

The lead was doubled in the second quarter after a sublime run on the baseline and a diving finish from Will Mattheson. The goal was down to the quality of Australia who had earned a 2-0 lead.

South Africa continues to produce some special talent when it comes to Short corners. James Flint and Ross Montgomery are both part of that conversation but will be hoping to show a little more of their capabilities later in this tournament and the Junior World Cup. On the back of three consecutive penalty corners, they were unable to find a goal and found themselves punished by a third Australian goal from their own penalty corner.

Australia would score once more in the final quarter to wrap up a 4-0 win and secure top spot in the pool while South Africa will now move to the 5-8 Playoff where they are likely to play New Zealand (Pending final group result). The game will take place on 2 November at 14:30 SA Time.

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