Dec 5, 2023

FIH Junior Women’s World Cup | Shootout agony for South Africa

South Africa and Korea faced off in the cross-pool playoff on Tuesday in Chile with hopes of securing a top 10 finish still in the objectives. The two sides had met four times previously at a Junior World Cup with Korea winning all of them.

Korea started the better side and on their second penalty corner were rewarded with a goal. The shot was saved by De Jager, but the defenders were slower to react, and Lee Seoyeon scored the goal that gave Korea a deserving lead.

South Africa though settled into the game and earned their own penalty corner but were unable to convert. Korea was awarded a penalty stroke just before the half-time break, they failed to score and South Africa doubled the whammy, by scoring their first of the tournament to level matters. Another foraging run by Ntsopa Mokoena set up Rea Phume, and the Hockey5s International was on hand to smash it home. 1-1 at the half time break.

South Africa were asking the questions in the second half as Korea struggled to re-find their form. Rea Phume, Taheera Augousti and Malikah Hamza were creating half chances, but few shots and the game remained 1-1 with 15 minutes remaining.

Both teams wanted the winner, but both also did not want to concede a goal to lose the game. South Africa would face five of the final 7 minutes with a player short but immediately went and won a penalty corner through Malikah Hamza. The first take was quickly re-awarded. The second produced two good saves. The momentum was clearly with the South Africans, and they would have felt optimistic about the final few minutes.

Despite another yellow card South Africa kept pouring forward looking for the winner.  But there wasn’t to be one and the game would be decided by a shootout.

South Africa went first and missed through Ane Janse van Vuuren but were let off by a miss from Korea. Hamza scored for South Africa and Yang levelled for Korea. In the third round both Park and Swarts missed, remaining 1-1. Both teams scored in round 4 to make it 2-2 with Augousti netting the South African goal. Paris-Gail Isaacs was unable to score and Korea had the chance to win it through Ann Seoyeon and she made no mistake.

It was disappointment for the South Africans as they slip into the 13-16 bracket.

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