The South African Indoor Hockey Men, powered by Tops at SPAR, were still feeling the effects of a bruising encounter with Czech Republic on Monday night as they returned to the park to take on the USA on Tuesday. Both teams knew a win would give them a wonderful position in lining up for the Quarter-Finals.
South Africa got the best possible start when they were awarded a penalty stroke early on. Mustapha Cassiem stood up and fired the ball home superbly past Klages. It was a lead that wouldn’t last long as Klages reacted first to fire home and before the end of the first quarter he had a second and the US had a lead.
South Africa had a golden opportunity to pull level as a stroke was awarded again but Klages went the right way and denied the South African hot shot. Mustapha may have been stopped from scoring but he provided the assist as a diving Ryan Julius levelled matters. But once again the South Africans were trailing as Stuart Kantwell was on hand to finish after an Anton van Loggerenberg save.
The third quarter was a quarter of few opportunities with the South Africans and Americans cancelling each other out throughout the court. South Africa were chasing the game in the final quarter.
And in chasing the game the South Africans were caught out. USA Star Aki Kaeppeler made it 4-2 and when South Africa pulled their keeper Pat Harris made it 5-2 to secure the result for the North Americans and send the South Africans back to the drawing board.
Image supplied by SA Hockey