Three minutes into the match, umpire Tanja Schafer adjudged Chile striker Manuela Urroz to have been body-checked and awarded a penalty corner, which captain Camila Caram slapped powerfully into the goals, the ball deflecting off a stick into the box (1-0).
In the seventh a neat move launched by pacy Shelley Russell involving some good combination play saw SA come agonisingly close to equalising. And towards the end of the first of the four 15-minute chukkas, Bernie Coston and captain for the match, Sulette Damons; and Quanita Bobbs and Tanya Britz, combined well on two separate occasions to create opportunities.
Into the second quarter and Illse Davids smashed a great backhand across the face of goal as SA sought parity. Then Russell split the defence with a slide-rule pass and SA earned their first PC, debutant umpire Melissa Taylor of Pietermaritzburg firm in her decision.
Lisa Deetlefs’ PC slap-shot was saved low by keeper Natalia Salvador but Russell was on hand to deftly steer the rebound home for 1-1 in the 24th minute.
A Chile PC came and went and the competitive nature of this Test match showed no sign of letting up as the teams went into half-time.
Two minutes into the third stanza (32nd minute) Damons set the game alight with a stunning reverse-stick strike that put SA 2-1 up.
Chile came back two minutes later (35th) to draw level through Urroz following a PC (2-2).
The pace quickened as the action swung from end to end, allowing more space and time, and Dirkie Chamberlain worked hard to win a PC but the chance was blocked.
Coming out for the final chukka with the score locked 2-2, it was end to end stuff, and with seven left (53rd minute) good combinations play led to Chamberlain smashing a reverse-stick shot that thudded into the backboard for SA to regain the lead (3-2) and with seconds left (60th minute) Nicolene Terblanche nailed another goal for the 4-2 final scoreline.
SA meet Belgium at 6.30pm Friday, preceded by Chile versus a Western Province Invitation team at 4pm.
Investec SA: Sanani Mangisa (GK), Tanya Britz, Illse Davids, Shelley Russell, Lisa Deetlefs, Lilian du Plessis, Nicolene Terblanche, Erin Hunter, Jade Mayne, Sulette Damons (capt), Nicole Walraven. Rolling subs: Anelle van Deventer (GK), Tiffany Jones, Marcelle Manson, Dirkie Chamberlain, Candice Manuel, Bernie Coston, Quanita Bobbs.
Chile: Natalia Salvador (GK), Sofia Walbaum, Francisca Pizarro, Sofia Filipek, Carolina Garcia, Francisca Vidaurre, Manuela Urroz, Camila Caram (capt), Francisca Tala, Constanza Palma, Maria Ignacia Bastias. Rolling subs: Claudia Schuller (GK), Carolina Kappes, Fernanda Flores, Andrea Greene, Denise Krimmermann, Catalina Salas, Josefa Villalabeitia.
Umpires: Tanja Schafer, Melissa Taylor.