Wednesday, March 19, 2014

23rd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: South Africa rack up first win, beat Canada 3-2

South Africa sewed up their first win in the 23rd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament edging out Canada 3-2 in Ipoh on Wednesday. The South Africans were pushed on the backfoot when Scott Tupper converted a penalty corner in the 12th minute to give Canada an early lead.

The green-and-yellow brigade regrouped and equalized in the 28th minute through Tim Drummond. The goal further pepped up the South Africans, who soon pulled ahead close to half-time through a Lungi Tsolekile goal.

Trailing 1-2 at the break, Canada created a short corner opportunity in the second half and made the most of it to even things up. South Africa regained the lead in the 67th minute through Juliane Hykes, but Canada gave them some anxious moments towards the closing stages of the game, forcing a PC in the final minute even as the final hooter was blown. South Africa did well to foil that Canadian effort to push their opponents to the bottom of the points table.

The win must have lifted the confidence of South Africa who had lost their first three games. They lost to hosts 2-3 in a close affair before being handed 0-5 and 0-7 defeats by China and Australia. Both South Africa and Canada are out of contention for a place in the final.

In another match, Malaysia got the better of China 7-3 riding on a strong first half display which saw them scoring as many as five goals.

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