A very early morning became just an early morning as the SA Womens Hockey team and Germans had to wait for the action to start after the Oi hockey Stadium was hit by a tremendous rain storm. Incredible work at the stadium meant that the game was able to get started, just after South Africans watching at home had been able to see Tatjana Schoenmaker win the Olympic Gold Medal first!
Once the game did get underway it was the Germans who started brilliantly and took just 80 seconds to take the lead. A drive into the D fell onto the stick of Lisa Altenburg who finished superbly off the left upright. Germany would add a second before the end of the first quarter with Sonja Zimmerman converting from the PC off the post. It could have been more but for a few timely interventions from Tarryn Mallet and Phumi Mbande.
Altenburg netted her second in the 24th minute with another superb finish into the top left corner giving Mbande no chance over her shoulder. The South Africans were resolute but it was a dominant first half from the European silver medallists who are looking to step up and take home the Olympic Gold medal.
South Africa showed a much improved second half, competing more in the middle of the park and holding out a goal-less third quarter. Celia Seerane was sensational in defence clearing twice off the line and reading play superbly. South Africa were also showing improved discipline which was making it hard for the Germans to break them down.
The Germans did manage to get a fourth when a speculative drive into the D managed to get the deftest touch from Schroder and guided it past Mbande in goals. It was a sucker punch for the African champions as they had been growing into the game as the time progressed.
There was however a beautiful moment for the South Africans to end with a glimmer. A beautiful build up from Kristen Paton saw her create a pocket of space which she exploited superbly. A quick interchange with Quanita Bobbs, the captain on the day, saw a fine cross which Toni Marks finished superbly. It was a moment of true quality for the South Africans that will give them a lift ahead of the game against India tomorrow.