South Africa take third in Investec London Cup

SA sun 450

South Africa 3 (0)
Austin Smith 45, 64 (PC, PC)

Daniel Sibbald 62 (FG)

Scotland 0 (0)

Despite a closely-fought first half, Scotland were unable to defeat South Africa to claim third place in the Investec London Cup.

The first half saw both sides searching for a crucial first goal of the game. The Scottish defence, led by goalkeeper Gavin Sommerville prevented any clear-cut South African scoring opportunities. Scotland won two penalty corners in the dying seconds of the half. Dan Coultas’ sent both drag flicks on target of the South African goal however goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse made two great saves to send the teams into the tunnel at half time with a 0-0 scoreline.

The second half got underway with a chance for Scotland to equalise with a penalty corner awarded to the team minutes in. Opportunities followed for both sides to score but well-organised defences from both teams prevented any early goals. On the 45th minute South Africa were able to break the deadlock, scoring off a well worked penalty corner, with captain Austin Smith with the drag flick finish. With 12 minutes remaining in the game, South Africa managed to increase their lead to 2-0 with a superb goal from Daniel Sibbald, who had a one-on-one with the Scottish keeper and sent a lovely chip over Sommerville to bring the score to 2-0. A third goal followed just two minutes later with Smith scoring his second of the game from another penalty corner.

South African captain, Austin Smith said after the game; '“I thought we played really well today, especially towards the end of second half. It’s been a tough start, we only arrived a day before the tournament so that made it difficult, obviously if you look at our first two results it wasn’t great.  We built a bit of momentum and we’ve improved on a few things and ideally that was the plan for the week here so we’ve had a great time here at the Investec London Cup and were really looking forward to the Commonwealth Games.”

The result sees South Africa finish the Investec London Cup in third place, with Scotland in fourth. Today’s final will see England men take on Ireland at 14.45 and will be shown live on Sky Sports 1.