SA women enter Olympic hockey qualifiers final
South Africa continued their unbeaten run with a dominating 4-1 victory over Canada.
New Delhi: South Africa continued their unbeaten run with a dominating 4-1 victory over Canada in their last round-robin match to seal their place in the finals of the London Olympics women's hockey qualifiers here on Friday.
Ukraine also notched up a 1-0 triumph over Poland and will play for 3rd-4th place against Canada on Saturday.
South Africa, who had three wins and a surprise draw against Italy, scored through Dirkie Chamberlain (41st minute, 60th, 62nd) and Sulette Damons (23rd). For Canada, Thea Culley (16th) scored the solitary goal.
Canada had pushed South Africa on the backfoot when they drew the first blood with Culley scoring in the 16th minute following a decisive circle penetration by Hannah Haughn.
Stung by the jolt, South Africa pressed hard and were rewarded in the 23th minute when Sulette Damons brought up the equaliser as they moved into the breather on 1-1.
In the second half, South Africa gained a penalty corner early but Pietie Coetzee's powerful flick was saved by Kaitlyn Williams. South Africa, however, scored from another penalty corner with Chamberlain deflecting the ball into the goal.
Both the teams tried hard but it was South Africa who increased their tally by two more goals with Chamberlain scoring twice in quick succession to complete her hat-trick in the last 10 minutes of play.
Chamberlain was adjudged the Player-of-the Match.
Earlier in the first match of the day, Ukraine, who had four points following their win against Canada and a draw on the opening day against India, scored through Olena Ivkhnenko (28th minute).
Ukraine found the going tough in the initial 20 minutes of the match before Olena Ivkhnenko finally broke the deadlock.
Poland also had their moments when they earned a penalty corner early in second half, but they failed to convert it. Yana Sitalo of Ukraine was adjudged Player of the Match.
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