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Three more for Pietie

China were thrashed 5-1 by the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team at the University of Free State hockey centre in Bloemfontein on Saturday evening.

SA led 4-0 at the break and the win means they take the three-Test Bloemfontein leg of the Investec International Series 2-1 against the Asian Games champions.

The Investec Player of the Match was Pietie Coetzee, who scored a hat-trick in the first 28 minutes to take her international goals tally to 213 in 216 Test matches and she is now just seven short of equalling Russian Natella Krasnikova’s world record of 220.

The other SA goals came from strikers Dirkie Chamberlain and Sulette Damons while Qianqian Bao scored a penalty corner towards the end.

SA played close to their strongest side but China kingpin Ma Yibo and number one goalkeeper Li Ji were both out injured.

Coetzee netted a drag-flick past goalkeeper Gau Jiajia in the 11th minute. The Kaspersky Southern Gauteng legend then scored a superb second goal in the 24th minute from field play. The hat-trick came with a penalty corner that whizzed past Jiajia.

Just before half-time, Chamberlain scored from a ball that bounced off the post and a few minutes after the changeover Damons netted from close.

SA won the Johannesburg phase of the Investec International Series against China 5-1. The Proteas have now won 14 of their last 16 Test matches.