Friday, August 19, 2022

Ireland beat South Africa to set up Hockey World Cup ranking match high

Amsterdam — The logistics of hosting a World Cup in two countries, as well as the competition format, were laid bare on Sunday when South Africa, who finished third in their group, were forced into a game to decide who will finish bottom.

It was Ireland women who bounced back to win their first World Cup match of the campaign as they bid to end the sport’s showpiece higher than their ranking.

Penalty corner goals from Sarah Hawkshaw and Róisín Upton in Amsterdam saw the Green Army put on their best 60 minutes of the week to beat South Africa 2-0.

Ireland, who finished bottom of their Pool group, will now play China to try and finish ninth overall, above the Green Army’s world No 13 ranking.

Hawkshaw said: “We didn’t reach our initial goal and we knew we had to reset.

“Our attackers played with great freedom and it was our job to get it up to them and let them play.’

“Consistency is our next stage for us and we have got a really good group of girls.”

South Africa, who finished third in their group, could now finish bottom at this World Cup after starting Sunday’s game 18 hours after a cross-over defeat to Germany.

They will face Chile, who lost to China 3-0, on Tuesday.

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