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Coetzee 'trick' flattens India

October 24, 2003 16:24 IST

Pietie Coetzee scored a fine hat-trick as South Africa beat India 3-1 in a Pool 'A' match in the women's hockey tournament at the Afro-Asian Games in Hyderabad on Friday.

Pietie's onslaught ensured South Africa a berth in the semi-finals.

India will have to at least force a draw in their last match against Kazakhstan to stay in the hunt for a place in the last four.

Earlier, Korea continued their winning ways, thrashing Nigeria 6-0 at the Gachibowli stadium in a

Pool 'B' match, while Kazakhstan beat Ghana 3-1 and China got the better of Kenya 2-1.

India, who won their opening match yesterday, thrashing Ghana 8-0, looked totally out of sorts against South Africa, particularly in the second half and wasted nine out of ten penalty-corners they earned.

The two teams met today after their last encounter in a league match of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester last year, when India came back from 0-3 down to beat the South Africans 4-3.

But Pietie's two goals in the first half (20th and 25th minutes) and a third, seven minutes into the second session, poured cold water on India's hopes of beating their tactically superior opponents today.

Though India raised hopes of a repeat of the Manchester act when Suman Bala converted the team's sixth penalty-corner in the 47th minute, they failed to capitalize on many chances that came their way mainly due to some poor finishing and ordinary conversion attempts.

"It was really a disappointing performance by the girls. We conceded two goals in the first half but in that 35 minutes India's performance was quite good. But it was indeed a poor show in the second," chief coach M K Kaushik said afterwards.

He said India could have won the match had the players utilizing the chances that came their way.

"Our penalty-corner conversion was not up to international standards. South Africa played to their plans and emerged victorious," Kaushik said.

India will take on Kazakhstan and Korea will play Ghana on Sunday in their last league matches.

"We have to go all out and beat them. We don't have any other option," Kaushik said, talking about the match against Kazakhstan.


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