|August 4th, 2012|
|19||Pool B||8:30am||AUS - RSA||1 - 0 (0 - 0)||Final|
Australia v. South Africa 1-0 (half-time 1-0)
Australia continued its ascent in the standings and kept its hopes alive for a semi-final berth after earning a 1-0 win against South Africa in today’s first game in the highly competitive Pool B. After dropping their first game, the Hockeyroos have won three in a row and are part of a four-team traffic jam along with New Zealand, Argentina and Germany that are fighting for two semi-finals places.
Australia dominated the first 10 minutes of action with two penalty corner chances and many more scoring opportunities. They took the 1-0 lead eight minutes in when Casey Eastham and Jade close out-ran the South Africa defense give Eastham the chance to thread a perfectly-timed pass to Close, who easily finished the play.
But after the goal, South Africa perked up and Australia got a bit complacent. The South Africans had ample opportunity to tie things up, but ultimately had to settle for the one-goal deficit at the break.
South Africa played some of its best hockey of the tournament in the second half and had the Australians scrambling to hold onto the lead. Despite some great chances, including camping out in front of the Aussie net the last 10 minutes, the South Africans could not solve the outstanding efforts of goalkeeper Toni Cronk, who led her team to the eventual 1-0 win.
With four losses in four outings, South Africa’s goal is to play for a respectable final placement.
Casey EASTHAM (AUS)
On the team performance:
"It was a pretty tough game out there. We knew that South Africa were a really tough, physical team and the longer we kept them in it, the worse it would be for us. Only having the one goal lead was probably not enough and, obviously, they're a team that are going to fight really hard and they showed that."
On reaching her 150th international appearance:
"I think of it as another game. It's great to reach that milestone. We had another girl (Megan RIVERS) celebrate her 200th appearance the other day which was really nice, but I was fortunate to be here and celebrate with my family. They're in the crowd.I probably played a little better in my 150th game than my first (against Argentina). That was a bit of a lesson, welcome to international hockey. Obviously, a really tough game and I fought really hard."
On facing Argentina in their final pool match:
"We've got nothing to lose now. We've come in ranked fourth in our pool and we've probably done a bit better than people thought we'd do, as we've gone in with nine points. Our destiny is in our own hands and we've nothing to lose."
Pietie COETZEE (RSA)
On their strategy for the match:
"It was definitely the strategy to put a lot of pressure on Australia and it worked well, unfortunately we just could not finish it off and that is a focus we know we need to have in the games."
On facing USA in the next match:
"The minute we realised we are not in the running for the high positions anymore, we changed our strategy a bit. We decided to try and improve ourselves every game now."
Kate WOODS (RSA):
On their motivation for the next game:
"It is really hard, of course the disappointment is huge right now. But we want to go out there against the USA and prove that we can play a strong game."