|February 24th, 2012|
|14||Pool A||2:00pm||RSA - CAN||4 - 1 (1 - 1)||Final|
South Africa was already qualified for the Final on Saturday, with three wins and a surprise draw against Italy, while Canada struggled so far in this competition, accumulating only a win against Poland and a draw on opening day against Italy.
First attempt on goal was by Canadian Natalie SOURISSEAU and it nearly surprised Vuyisanani MANGISA in the South African goal. Danger for South Africa then came from Brienne STAIRS, with a good run along the back line, but her cross in empty space in front of the goal did not find any taker.
Canada was really taking the game to South Africa, and were rewarded in the 16th minute when Thea CULLEY received the ball with space and time in front of the goal, after a decisive circle penetration by Hannah HAUGHN. This was a wake-up call for South Africa. They started to push the pace of play and equalized by Sulette DAMONS on a confusing sequence in front of Kaitlyn WILLIAMS in the Canadian goal. They had a penalty-corner soon after but, with Pietie COETZEE on the bench at the time, could not capitalize on it.
Canada had a chance by Katie BAKER, showing great individual skills to break through the South African defense then arrive one-on-one with the goal-keeper, but her shot shaved the outside of the post. Pace of play was fast and the match entertaining, but there was no more score in the period.
South Africa gained a penalty-corner at the beginning of second period, with Pietie COETZEE’s powerful flick well saved by Kaitlyn WILLIAMS. COETZEE was unsuccessful again on her second attempt; however South Africa scored on their next penalty-corner, using an option that ended with Dirkie CHAMBERLAIN deflecting the ball in goal. Canada were under pressure now but held tight in defence and managed to create some chances by Kate GILLIS and Hannah HAUGHN, very active in front.
Canada tried hard but South Africa kept them well under control, and suddenly increased their tally in the last ten minutes of play, Dirkie CHAMBERLAIN scoring twice in quick succession to complete her hat-trick and build a comfortable 4-1 lead for South Africa. Kaitlyn WILLIAMS, having an excellent match in the Canadian goal, saved a penalty-stroke from Pietie COETZEE in the final minute of the match, which ended with a fourth win for South Africa in this round-robin (4-1).
South Africa will now play in the Final tomorrow, while Canada will be disappointed to have to play in the play-off for 5th-6th place against Poland.
Player of the Match was Dirkie CHAMBERLAIN of South Africa.