An inspired goalkeeping display by Megane Simons was the key factor in Belgium’s series-levelling 3-1 win over the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team in Cape Town on Monday night.
The Europeans led 1-0 at half time and the result leaves the six-test series tied 2-2 with two tests drawn.
Two early SA efforts were saved on the Belgian goalline while a number of other great opportunities were thwarted by Simons.
Two minutes into the second chukka, Judith Vandermeiren found an unmarked Stephanie van den Borre lurking just behind the frontrunners and the Belgian made no mistake (1-0).
Massive pressure from South Africa led to a penalty stroke which Dirkie Chamberlain converted with aplomb for 1-1 in the 34th minute.
South Africa then conceded a soft penalty corner and Stephanie de Groof slapped the ball just inside the near post to put Belgium 2-1 ahead. Late in the game, De Groof’s slap-shot slammed into the backboard from another penalty corner for 3-1.
– Jonathan Cook