|February 18th, 2012|
|1||Pool A||10:00am||RSA - POL||2 - 1 (0 - 0)||Final||x 14|
First match of the day opposed top ranked South Africa to Poland. The South Africans, only arrived two days ago in Delhi, had trouble getting their rhythm and the first scoring chance was for Poland, Natalia WISNIEWSKA shooting just wide after a long run tearing through the South African defense. The Polish players were the more entrepreneurial in the first half, often penetrating the South African 25m but they could not seriously threaten Mariette RIX in the South African goal.
The South African fans in the stands tried to shake up their squad with their noisy vuvuzelas, but score was still 0-0 at the break, both teams scrambling penalty-corners in the final minute of the period.
South Africa found their form early in second half, promptly forcing two penalty-corners, with Kate WOODS scoring on the second one with a direct shot. Their joy was however short lived, Magdalena ZAGAJSKA scoring for Poland at the other end less than 30 seconds later. The South Africans were moving the ball efficiently in midfield but the compact Polish defense kept its structure, preventing any shot on goal. The deadlock was finally broken in the 53rd minute when Pietie COETZEE received the ball at the far post and made no mistake to slot it under Marta KUCHARSKA, excellent in the Polish goal.
The experienced South Africans controlled the final ten minutes of the match but could not increase their narrow margin, making for a final score (2-1) much closer than anticipated.
Player of the match was Natalia WISNIEWSKA of Poland.