|September 29th, 2012|
|3||Pool B||3:00pm||RSA - IRL||0 - 1 (0 - 0)||Final|
Pool B: Ireland 1 (Chloe Watkins) South Africa 0
Hosts Ireland got their Champions Challenge I campaign off to a great start as they surprised South Africa with Chloe Watkins’ 52nd minute goal making the vital difference. It saw the girls in green edge home a tight, tense battle in which South Africa could not find the fluidity that marked the latter phases of their Olympic campaign.
In a high tempo opening, both sides had decent chances with Niamh Small finding good space for a reverse while Jade Mayne was only denied by Emma Gray’s out-stretched toe. Neither side, though, could make corners count as both let chances slip, Ireland missing out from a couple on the half-time hooter.
But Ireland took advantage in the second period when Sulette Damons was shown a yellow card and a minute later, her side were behind. Emma Smyth instigated the move before the diminutive Watkins twisted away from a pair of tackles and unleashed a rising reverse across the Sanani Mangisa’s bows.
South Africa pushed hard for an equaliser with Lesle-Ann George stinging Gray’s palm while Damons blazed wide when clean through. They could not force an equaliser, though, and Ireland had a strong win to start their week.
|September 29th, 2012 at 8:51 am||Hosts Ireland and South Africa seven minutes away from tip off; Harvey to earn her 100th cap, Crowley her 50th|
|September 29th, 2012 at 8:52 am||For South Africa, Marsha Marescia has yet to arrive in Dublin and so will have to wait to earn her 300th cap|
|September 29th, 2012 at 8:58 am||Umpires are Michelle Meister (GER) and Emi Yamada (JPN)|
|September 29th, 2012 at 9:13 am||To watch Ireland vs South Africa live online, go to http://www.aertv.ie 0-0 at the moment after 8 minutes|
|September 29th, 2012 at 9:22 am||Midway through the half, after a frantic opening, RSA now on top, pressing high, Mayne going closest, still 0-0|
|September 29th, 2012 at 9:31 am||Bedlam in the Irish circle, Jacob clean through but Mangisa saves well before the ball ping-pongs around the circle, 0-0|
|September 29th, 2012 at 9:35 am||Davids takes a green for a foul on O'Flynn, 30mins, IRL 0 SA 0|
|September 29th, 2012 at 9:41 am||After a couple of Irish penalty corners on the half-time hooter, RSA hold on to keep it 0-0 at the break|
|September 29th, 2012 at 9:58 am||SA start on top again in the second half, winning the first pc but Ireland defend comfortably, 0-0, 42mins|
|September 29th, 2012 at 10:06 am||Smyth drives through and clips a shot just wide with a decent run after a quiet phase in the game, 0-0, 50mins|
|September 29th, 2012 at 10:08 am||Damons gets a yellow for a foul on halfway, 0-0, 51mins|
|September 29th, 2012 at 10:10 am||GOAL - Watkins fires in a reverse after a quick twist and turn, IRL now 1-0 up, 52mins|
|September 29th, 2012 at 10:19 am||62mins - Damons blazes a glorious chance wide after being set free one on one, IRL 1 SA 0|
|September 29th, 2012 at 10:29 am||Ireland hold out comfortably enough to record a bit of a shock, Watkins goal giving them a 1-0 win over South Africa|