Tegan Fourie, Robyn Johnson and Edith Molikoe of South Africa celebrating after scoring a goal during the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup. (Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images)
- SA’s women’s hockey team became the first African nation to
reach the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup semi-finals after defeating Belgium 2-1
- The men, however, exited the tournament at their best-ever
quarter-final stage after losing 6-3 to the Netherlands.
- Goals by Jessica O’Connor and Tegan Fourie secured SA
women’s passage into the last four, where they’ll meet the Netherlands.
South Africa’s women’s hockey team made history on Friday
after becoming the first African nation to reach the FIH Indoor Hockey World
Cup semi-finals after defeating Belgium 2-1 in Tshwane.
However, SA’s men’s team, who had already reached their
best-ever tournament stage, bowed out in the quarter-finals to the Netherlands
6-3, after going down 5-0 at half-time.
On a day when they celebrated Jess Lardant reaching 50
appearances for the national team, SA’s women’s side became the toast of the
evening on Friday following their historic achievement.
SA had built their tournament run on the back of a gritty
defence, arguably the strongest at the tournament.
But they came out firing on the attack in the early
exchanges and may have taken an early lead had Kayla de Waal not shot narrowly
The hosts were on top and got their dues when their opening
goal came through captain fantastic Jessica O’Connor.
SA won a penalty corner, took it from the reverse side and
produced a sensational strike from the skipper to open the scoring.
De Waal had a couple of chances but the second goal came
from the stick of tournament star Tegan Fourie.
The ball was passed through every player on the court and a
reverse pass by Lardant opened the Belgian defence up.
It connected with Fourie, who took the space on offer to
fire home. At the half-time break, the South Africans were full value for their
In the third quarter, SA looked more likely to add to the
scoreboard as Jamie Southgate fired a shot from an acute angle and Fourie saw
her shot trickle wide.
They continued defending like Trojans as the third quarter
ended, with Belgium still having only two shots at goal.
The Belgians were given a lifeline when they played a superb
through-ball and a sensational touch diverted the ball past Cheree Greyvenstein
to silence the crowd.
But destiny was South Africa’s side, so was victory as they
held on for a 2-1 win. They next meet the Netherlands on Saturday.