The Investec South Africa women’s hockey team will play world champions Argentina in Sunday’s late final of the Four Nations tournament in Buenos Aires.
On Saturday night, SA won their final round-robin match 3-2 against India after leading 3-0 at half-time.
Then in Saturday’s late game, Argentina’s world champion Las Leonas (the Lionesses) came back from a 2-0 half-time deficit to draw 2-2 with a motivated Ireland.
Earlier, SA’s goals came from North West striker Sulette Damons, Eastern Province captain Liesel Dorothy and WP forward Kathleen Taylor, while India’s Devi Thokchom got a brace.
Looking ahead to the all-important Olympic Qualifier in Delhi, India in February,┬á South Africa’s match against India in Buenos Aires Saturday night was a litmus test of where the two teams stand right now. SA, ranked 12th in the world, and India 13th, have now played four times in the last two years with India winning twice and SA the last two.
In Delhi only the gold medal will do for the SA squad, as this tournament will be the last chance they have winning a place at the London 2012 Olympics.
After Sunday’s final the teams move to Parana for the second and last Four Nations tournament.
On returning home on 22 December, the SA hockey women will have a short Christmas/New Year break before beginning yet another national camp in Johannesburg in the second week of January, which precedes the Investec Series involving South Africa, Spain, Ireland and Belgium at Randburg Hockey Stadium from 15 January to 6 February.
And then it’s on to Delhi, where the Investec SA women’s hockey team will be fervently hoping that gold lies at the end of the rainbow…