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Victory against Irish means SA women are in World Cup

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The South African women’s hockey team beat Ireland 3-0 on Thursday night to qualify for the 2018 Hockey World Cup in London, England.

Victory in the fifth-eighth place play-off in the FIH Hockey World League Semi-Finals means South Africa can’t finish lower than sixth in the tournament, and the top six teams automatically qualify for the FIH World Cup.

With the fourth penalty corner of the game, Lisa-Marie Deetlefs hit the back of the goal-box to give SA the lead.

With a minute left before halftime Ireland got a penalty shot, but it was missed, giving SA the lead going into the changeroom.

Bernadette Coston then scored the second goal for South Africa after four minutes play in the last chukka. With nine minutes left, Ireland took off the goalkeeper and played with a kicking-back.

With no goalkeeper, Lillian du Plessis added to the score-line with some five minutes left. ‘It is a very special day. We had a goal and I’m super happy it all worked out,’ said Coston.

Captain Sulette Damons added: ‘It’s phenomenal to win this very important match. It is awesome to know that we have qualified and achieved the goal of that. We have a target of finishing fifth though, and we are still on track.’

SA are 13th on the world ranking and Ireland 15th. SA will now play against Japan for fifth place in this tournament.

The SA men’s side also play Japan, at 10:00am on Friday, and must win to avoid finishing last in the tournament.

Picture of the celebrating South Africans courtesy of Jan Kruger/Getty Images for FIH


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