Johannesburg - The South African women’s hockey team might have been edged 1-0 by world number three Germany, thanks to Eileen Hoffman’s 30th minute deflection goal in an action-packed London Cup clash in Chiswick on Wednesday night, but they have done enough to ensure a berth in Saturday’s semifinals.

For world number four Britain, who were upset 3-1 by South Africa in an epic clash on Tuesday night, to reach the semis they have to beat Germany by two clear goals in Thursday’s final pool match. If they do that, then Germany are out. Britain’s other option is to win by one goal after scoring four or more goals. A seven-goal thriller between Germany and Britain is unlikely.

The South African defenders were outstanding while the South African forwards, with Sulette Damons having a great second half, played at pace and with determination up front and deserved at least one goal, particularly after the changeover.

Kate Woods, Dirkie Chamberlain, Marsha Marescia and Pietie Coetzee deserved more but German keeper Kristina Reynolds played a blinder. Germany also had their chances in what was a very even match.

In Wednesday’s earlier match, Australia beat Ireland 4-1.

The semifinals are on Saturday and feature the top two teams in each pool with the winners going through to Sunday’s final and the losers tackling each other in the bronze medal match. The teams that end third in their pool will play off for fifth and sixth places on Sunday. - Sapa