Shot-stopper Phumelela Mbande was a bulwark in front of goal for South Africa. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – The South African women’s hockey team will be looking to keep their play-off hopes alive with victory over Spain today in their second-round match at the Women’s World Cup in London.

The Proteas suffered a 3-1 defeat to Germany in their opener at the weekend, leaving them with an uphill battle in their remaining two games.

Based purely on rankings, Spain should provide South Africa with their best chance of victory. The Spaniards are ranked three spots higher in the global rankings with the Proteas in 14th place.

South Africa were outclassed on Saturday with Germany dominating proceedings with easy access through the midfield.

Shot-stopper Phumelela Mbande was a bulwark in front of goal for South Africa, giving the scoreline an air of respectability.

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The Proteas will be looking to bounce back from their defeat against Germany and will be hoping to enjoy greater possession than in their opener.

They finished in a creditable ninth place at the previous edition, which was their best effort since the 1998 World Cup when they bowed out in seventh position.

Spain will be hurting from their 6-2 annihilation at the hands of Argentina on Sunday and will be looking to make amends against South Africa.

Today's match is likely to determine which team will finish at the bottom of the pool, which leads to automatic elimination.

The winners of each pool qualify for the quarter-finals, with the second and third-placed teams playing in crossover matches for places in the next round.


The Star

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