In a clash of titans at the FIH Hockey5s World Cup, South Africa’s aspirations for glory were dashed by a formidable Indian team delivering a masterclass performance.
South Africa opened the scoring through Teshawn de la Ray with a well taken reverse stick finish. It was a goal the South Africans deserved having settled into the competition quicker. But it was short lived lead for the South Africans as India levelled through Abaso, a little against the run of play.
South Africa’s inspirational captain Toni Marks re-established the lead with another well taken goal while at the other end Grace Cochrane produced a couple of high quality saves to maintain the lead. Although it lasted slightly longer, the lead would be relinquished this time from Kujur as the two teams produced arguably the most entertaining half of hockey in the tournament so far.
The second half witnessed a relentless Indian onslaught, epitomizing their finest 10 minutes of the tournament. Mumtaz Khan’s sensational strike marked the beginning of an Indian rampage, leaving South Africa grappling to contain the onslaught.
Rutaja extended India’s lead to 4-2, while Chhatri’s clinical finish further solidified their dominance. Despite Rea Phume’s spirited attempt, disallowed for technicality, India’s long-range effort sealed a resounding 6-2 victory.
Dirkie Chamberlain salvaged a late consolation goal for South Africa, but the mountainous deficit proved insurmountable. India’s emphatic win secured their berth in the FIH Hockey5s World Cup final, leaving South Africa to vie for bronze against Poland.
For South Africa, the opportunity to win a first ever FIH World Cup medal persists as they will take on Poland in the Bronze medal match. The game is at 17:10 South African time and exclusively available on Watch.Hockey.