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Johannesburg – Pietie Coetzee scored a brace as the South African women's hockey team beat Austria 2-0 in their final World League round two match in Cape Town on Sunday.
Coetzee, who scored 10 times in four games in the tournament, took her world record tally to 258 goals with two sizzling drag-flick penalty corners in the ninth and 15th minutes, and although the hosts dominated the rest of the match, they struggled with further successful strikes.
The South African forwards were particularly impressive, with Shelley Russell, Bernie Coston and Sulette Damons just three of the frontrunners who simply burned their markers away.
Coston’s supreme pace down the right won South Africa their first penalty corner and Coetzee rifled a flat Astro burner into the bottom of the backboard.
Six minutes later it was Russell’s turn to use her pace and control at high speed to outflank her would-be tackler and set up South Africa’s second penalty corner. Coetzee aimed high to beat Austrian goalkeeper Jasmin Anderle with ease, the ball straining the back of the net.
The home side had already progressed to the World League semi-finals on Saturday when they beat Azerbaijan 7-0 and Sunday’s match had no bearing on that outcome.
They finished top of the standings, of the five teams in the tournament, while Belgium, who were second, also qualified for the World League semi-finals.
Azerbaijan took third place, Austria finished fourth and Ghana were fifth.
The South Africans will now focus their attention on the Investec Challenge, which also involves world number one and London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallists the Netherlands, world number four England, and 2012 Champions Challenge winners Australia. The tournament starts on February 4 at Hartleyvale Stadium. – Sapa