Jan 23, 2024

South African Hockey Women held by France in fourth test.

The South African Women’s Hockey team were determined to produce a stellar performance in the fourth test after defeat in the third against France. The two teams, who now know the identity of their Olympic opposition are both looking to make the most of the series as the program races forward towards Paris.

South Africa came out superbly and opened the scoring with a second penalty corner. The ball came out and was switched intricately to Quanita Bobbs fired home superbly. It was a blistering start from the South Africans who looked focused from the first whistle.

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South Africa continued to look the brighter but struggled to convert good possession into massive goal scoring opportunities. In turn France continued to settle into the competition. France won a set of penalty corners but were not able to breach the South African defense. South Africa had the ball in the French circle without getting the shot off and within ten seconds France were level. A brilliant end to end counter attack was finished off by Emma Ponthieu proficiently.

The second half saw the South Africans put the foot on the pedal and start creating with a bit more regularity including winning an early penalty corner. It was narrowly wide and inches away from deflecting in, but it remained 1-1.

South Africa would find the goal through Quanita Bobbs. Kayla Swart fed the ball to Edith Molikoe who turned a reverse pass into the circle. Bobbs finished with her first touch into the bottom right corner.

South Africa then created a plethora of chances, Tarryn Lombard received a brilliant pass from Bobbs but was unable to put it away, Ntsopa Mokoena had a shot saved while through on goal with support from Bianca Woods and as the chances were missed you felt the South Africans could rue the opportunity.

The South Africans continued to test but Cailynn den Bakker and Lombard were denied by a combination of good saves and defending. More chances came and more went abegging.

The feeling that the chances would be costly proved true as France, who had somehow survived the onslaught, found the equalizer with 70 seconds to play. Mathilde Duffrene put the penalty corner into the bottom left corner and France had sealed a draw!

South Africa lead the 6 match series 2-1 after the four games.

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