|May 4th, 2012|
|15||Pool A||6:30pm||RSA - AUT||2 - 2 (0 - 1)||Final||x 2|
South Africa 2, Austria 2
South Africa knew it was in Sunday’s final game regardless of the outcome of its last round robin game, which might help explain today’s flat 2-2 draw against Austria. But credit must be given to the Austrians who managed to do what only one other team as this tournament has done – tie the top-seeded South Africans.
Austria’s Michael Korper has been the go-to man for the Austrians, so it seemed only fitting that he scored on his team’s first short corner chance to give the Austria the surprising 1-0 lead midway through the first half.
South Africa came out in the second half rearing to go and finally netted the equalizer when captain Austin Smith fired in a short corner 15 minutes into the half. Austria took the lead again after Georg Jelinek scooped the ball in after a prolonged stay in the circle. But again Smith was there with the answer, tying the game at two with virtually the exact same penalty corner shot as his first marker.
South Africa will certainly need to bring a different game in Sunday’s final against Japan if it wants to make it to the London Games, but with little on the line today, they can be forgiven for having an off game. Austria will face China in the third place game on Sunday.