JOHANNESBBURG – South Africa suffered a 7-1 mauling against Spain in their second-round match at the 2018 FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup in London.
They suffered their second defeat which signalled their exit as they are languishing in the last place in what is considered to be the Super Group.
Trailing 2-0 after the first quarter, it was clear South Africa were in for a long day with the Spanish firing on all cylinders.
However, the Proteas fought their way back in the latter half of the second chukka when they had a few shots on target, threatening a breakthrough.
The finally pulled one back thanks to Kara-Lee Botes landing a shot in the back of the box from a penalty corner.
The goal seemed to reinvigorate the South Africans as they immediately went on the offensive.
Their optimism was short-lived, however, as Spain regained the two-goal lead thanks to a South African defensive deflection sneaking past the goalkeeper two minutes later.
Carlota Petchame, who was credited with the South African mistake, claimed a brace, scoring again in the 42nd minute.
Three goals in the third quarter broke South Africa’s spirit, with the Spaniards going into the final period with a 5-1 lead.
Spain ended the match the way they started it with first-quarter scorers Lola Riera and Berta Bonastre earning their doubles from penalty corners.
South African stalwart Shelley Russell said Spain’s goals in the third quarter were major blows to the Proteas’ confidence.
“As soon as Spain got the momentum - they were 2-0 up at half-time and we always talk about the 2-0 trap - but we came out positive and it looked like it was possible to pull it back,” Russell told the International Hockey Federation.
“Once they got the momentum of scoring one goal after the other we saw the body language of the SA girls drop a bit and you’ve got to keep fighting till the end.”
The Proteas face Argentina on Saturday.