In a day of tied scores, New Zealand stole a point from South Africa after being two goals down, Chile forced Italy to a draw with a late goal, and Spain and Japan concluded the program with a goalless encounter that keeps them at the bottom of the medal pool table.
The day started off with the first match in the medal pool C, a highly entertaining, fast-paced thriller between South Africa and New Zealand. The home team started off blazing, taking the initiative from the starting whistle, and after two minutes, they were a goal ahead thanks to a penalty corner deflection by Jen Wilson.
The hosts continued to be the more dangerous side, but had to take a goal from the Kiwis by their captain Kayla Sharland before they could capitalize on another of their chances. Only two minutes after the Blacksticks equalizer, it was Farah Fredericks who was once more at the right spot at the right time for South Africa, tipping the ball over the line from a goalmouth scramble for her fourth goal of the competition. With less than two minutes on the clock in the first half, Southafrican captain Marsha Marescia then extended the lead to two goals, deflecting a short corner for the 3-1 halftime score.
After the re-start, New Zealand were more successful in their attacks but still struggled to create scoring opportunities, while South Africa fought with all they had to defend their lead. To no avail, as it turned out, as the Kiwis scored two late goals through Kayla Sharland and Clarissa Eshuis to snatch a point from the home team and keep them in a prime position tow in a place in Sunday's tournament final
Next up was the day's pool D encounter between Chile and Italy. In a seesawing match with few scoring opportunities and plenty of midfield squabbling, Italy got lucky first in the dying seconds of the first half, when Jasbeer Singh tipped a ball over the line for the Italian goal of the match.
In the second half, the game developped more intensity, and a string of yellow cards, two for Italy and one for Chile, followed. In the absence of Italian captain Francesca Faustini, Chile finally put away the equalizer through Daniela Caram, tying the match at one goal each. For the remaining less than two minutes, both teams attacked aggresively, and Chile had a great opportunity to snatch victory as Daniela Infante took a shot that went over the crossbar, but the result stood, and the two teams split points, the first points for Italy in this competition.
The final match of the day between Spain and Japan was hard-fought, a clash of equal opponents, with no team being able to gain any significant advantage over the other for the biggest part of the 70 minutes. In a first half of few opportunities, Spain and Japan both failed to build any kind of sustained momentum. After the break, the conditions made things even more difficult, as driving rain and strong winds had the teams struggling considerably, and play remained locked down mostly in midfield with hardly any circle penetrations.
With 5:23 minutes on the clock, the match had to be temporarily abandoned for the heavy rain and waterlogged pitch. Twenty minutes later, play resumed, and Spain turned the far more dangerous team, attacking constantly, but they could not make it count, not even when for a misunderstanding in the Japanese defense, Nuria Camon was presented with probably the best opportunity of the second half. The score remained tied, a result that keeps the two teams at the bottom of pool C.
Before the last round of pool matches, New Zealand thus lead the medal round pool, ahead of South Africa on goal difference, while Japan and Spain trail them by three points. While New Zealand and South Africa are in the better position to reach the final, nothing is impossible in pool C, and no team is safely through to the final, promising an exciting last round of matches on Saturday. In pool D, Chile lead the pack on two points but have finished pool play, while Italy and Azerbaijan have one match to go.
After the rest day on Friday, action at the BDO Champions Challenge I Women in Cape Town continues on Saturday with the encounter between Italy and Azerbaijan, followed by the match between South Africa and Spain and the game between New Zealand and Japan.
For more information on the competition, please visit out tournament site www.bdochampionschallenge1women.sportcentric.com
South Africa - New Zealand 3:3 (3:1)
2' RSA - Jennifer WILSON (PC)
17' NZL - Kayla SHARLAND (FG)
19' RSA - Farah FREDERICKS (FG)
34' RSA - Marsha MARESCIA (PC)
60' NZL - Kayla SHARLAND (FG)
66' NZL - Clarissa ESHUIS (PC)
Chile - Italy 1:1 (0:1)
35' ITA - Jasbeer Singh (FG)
68' CHI - Daniela Caram (FG)
Spain - Japan 0:0 (0:0)
Posted 21 hours ago.
Teun de Nooijer’s dream of winning the Euro Hockey League in his last ever playing season remains alive and kicking...
Posted 2 days ago.
An Investec South African women’s hockey squad flew to China late Wednesday for a training camp. The squad will be...
Posted 2 days ago.
Mary Logue has been named as Electric Ireland Irish Senior Women's Assistant Coach. Logue will join up with Darren...
Posted 3 days ago.
Ahead of the upcoming men’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Elektrostal, Moscow, newly elected Russian Hockey...
Posted 3 days ago.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – 2012 Olympian Claire Laubach, who shares a story of perseverance and hard work that is...
Posted 3 days ago.
In advance of tickets going on sale on 19 August, Glasgow 2014 has released key information to help the people of...