Wednesday, November 29, 2023

‘Amsterdam, baby!’: South Africa scrape through to Hockey World Cup cross-overs

South Africa women booked their ticket out of Terrassa to keep their Women’s Hockey World Cup alive with a date in Amsterdam.

On a nerve-jangling evening, South Africa needed to avoid losing by three goals to the Hockeyroos or else see Japan climb above them into the cross-overs.

Instead, they summoned their best defensive performance of the three Pool games to advance after a 2-1 defeat and qualify for a clash with Germany at the Wagener Stadium.

Australia needed just a draw to win the pool, as they qualified directly to the last eight alongside the defending champions Netherlands.

A delighted Edith Molikoe said: “I’m happy for the girls, we really had to work for it. What can I say, it’s Amsterdam, baby!”

This is the first tournament under recently-appointed coach Giles Bonnet, who has guided them to the knock-outs in their seventh World Cup appearance.

They qualified after winning the African Cup of Nations in Ghana.

The squad has a number of Olympians, including Lisa Deetlefs, who reversed her decision to retire from international hockey to take part in this competition.

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