The final straight towards the Paris Olympics began in earnest for the South African Women’s Hockey team in Cape Town. On the day that USA, Germany, Spain and Belgium secured their places at the Olympics, South Africa were beginning a six-test battle against Olympic Hosts France at SACS in the Western Cape.
The day started with acknowledgement of Erin Christie earned her 100th test cap for the country and receiving a gift from her parents. On the other end of the spectrum both Charlene Boshoff and Rea Phume were awarded their first test caps for the country.
The game marked the first time that South Africa and France had met in a test match and were separated by just three places in the FIH World Rankings. Despite a couple of chances neither side was able to find a goal in the first 15 minutes and the opening quarter ended with the score deadlocked.
Quanita Bobbs, playing in her 167th test match, continued her improved goal scoring form for the South Africans when she opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. The goal came on the back of a good period for South Africa, seeing more of the ball in dangerous areas. Charlene Boshoff received a free hit and swept the ball into the circle from which a deft deflection from Quanita Bobbs made it 1-0 to hosts. A score that remained until the half time break.
In fact, it would take until the 49th minute before South Africa would score again. Ntsopa Mokoena almost doubled the lead in the 47th minute before she did pop up 120 seconds later to finish the job. Charlene Boshoff through an overhead that bounced through the defenders and found its way to the speedy Ntsopa Mokoena who tore through on goal and finished emphatically.
South Africa would see out the remainder of the game without any significant worry and would seal an opening victory in the test series. The teams are next in action on the weekend for the second test, with tickets available through the SA Hockey Fan App.
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