Ergo Junior Hockey World Cup Mönchengladbach 2013
Mönchengladbach, Germany - July 27 - 4, 2013


South Africa stun Argentina, China celebrate a narrow win

July 28, 2013
Leoncitas drew 3-3 with South Africa, China defeat Canada 2-1

In the second round of matches in Pool B, South Africa pulled off another last minute equalizer to keep the pool open and hold on to their chance of making the quarter-finals. China’s Gu Bingfeng struck late to secure a 2-1 win over Canada at Women’s ERGO Junior World Cup. Canada’s quarter-final chances are over after suffering their second defeat in this pool.

Argentina v South Africa 3-3 (3-2)

Getting the day underway on Pitch 2 at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, the Argentinean Leoncitas received a rude early morning awakening when they found themselves a goal down after only two minutes. South Africa had won a penalty corner on their first attack, and a variation allowed Nicole Walraven at the left post to make it count.

Argentina weren't flustered however, and put down a concerted effort dominating play for large stretches. The equalizer came after a few minutes, when Agustina Albertario capped off an attack with a superb reverse stick effort from the top of the circle. Maria Granatto piled on a second withn two minutes, and it looked like the South Americans might pull away from there.

However, South Africa stepped up their defense and showed gritty determination to stay in the game. Fighting the fast-paced attacks of the Leoncitas every step of the way. They contained the danger and were even able to score again, against the run of play, when Suléke Brand scooped the ball across the line after a penalty corner dissolved into a slightly chaotic crowded circle. Agustina Albertario then scored her second late in the first half to restore the advantage for Argentina, and the teams went into halftime at 3-2 for Argentina.

After the re-start, Argentina tried to secure their lead by adding another goal, but their efforts lacked spark and their South African counterparts showed no intention to relent their efforts. Much of the second half turned into a deadlock, with the two teams cancelling out each other's efforts, until the girls in green and gold pulled off a late goal similar to the one that secured them a point in yesterday's encounter with China.

Tanya Britz scored a goal from open play with 4 minutes on the clock to level the scores, and South Africa launched into a last minute rush that saw them win three opportunities to bag three points, but in the end, they couldn't make it happen. The draw nonetheless keeps Pool B wide open ahead of the last round of pool play.

Voices after the match:

Santiago Capurro, Coach Argentina: "It was a very hard game, we started not that good. It was also a very important game, but we had some mental problems. In three or four situations we had difficulties and South Africa used them to score."

Lindsey Wright, Coach South Africa: "First of all, I think Argentina is a fantastic hockey team, they show such flair and ability and I think my team had to really, really fight to compete with them today. But that is not taking anything away from my team, it's an incredible achievement for them. It's a point we never thought we could get, and it is a point we love to take but our most important match is against Canada because we need to try and finish it off properly now but in any case I am incredibly proud of our team and the characterictics they show and they showed every color in the flag. Our strength is what comes from the heart. We knew if we played with the passion that we always have within South Africans and for the reason we're playing for, we can bring it back from a 3:1 or a 2:1 deficit. That doesn't frighten us, we will play. There are some strong characters in our team that bring good qualities to the team in those moments and we gave ourselves some chances, and we could have even won this match today. These are the moments that we should really try and finish it off, but once again, I am incredibly proud that we took a point off the World Champions!"

China v Canada 2-1 (0-0)

China’s Gu Bingfeng struck late to secure a 2-1 win over Canada at Women’s ERGO Junior World Cup. Thanks to today’s victory China keep their chances open for a spot in Thursday’s quarter-finals. Canada’s quarter-final chances are over after suffering their second defeat in Pool B.

The crowd did not see any goals in the first half. Both teams also wasted several penalty corners that left it goalless at the break. 

China entered the second half with high energy. Their first attack led to a penalty corner which was neatly taken by Liu Yuyue to open the scoring. Canada were urgent to reclaim pride and won five penalty corners within a few minutes. 

Caashia Karrigten got the final touch on a Karli Johansen shot to bring the scores level. This was Canada’s first goal in this tournament. After equalising, Canada became the dominant side in this encounter but failed to capitalize on their chances.

However, China scored against the run of play with 83 seconds remaining in the match. China had won another penalty corner which was duly converted by Gu Bingfeng securing a narrow win over Canada.  

Voices after the match

Xu Dong Guo, coach China: “We were still very exhausted from yesterday’s match because all our players are very young. Today, it was tough playing against a very good team like Canada. I hope we can go further in this tournament. Our next match is against Argentina who are very strong. We will try our best to win it.”

Ian Rutledge, coach Canada: “We are happy with our overall performance today, but of course the outcome is disappointing. We had eleven penalty corners but, unfortunately, couldn’t convert most of them.  We had a lot of scoring opportunities to win this match over and over again. We still have a lot to play for. South Africa is a tough opponent but we want to make sure to finish off the pool-play with a win.”


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