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Aug. 6, 2012 — South Africa 7, USA 0

FULL TIME That’s all for now. Good night, good hockey

FULL TIME The ramifications of this one loss could affect everything from a second kit sponsor for the U.S. women to the makeup of the coaching staff going forward

FULL TIME It is a result which will make many around the United States question whether all the effort and money spent by the national governing body of the sport has translated to any tangible gains on the pitch

FULL TIME South Africa will finish fifth in Pool B while the USA will take on the last-place team in Pool A in the 11th-place match on Wednesday

FULL TIME South Africa did what it had to do against the U.S. team: flood the midfield and control the center of the park. Look at most of the televised action and you’ll see anywhere from five to seven green shirts choking off all angles downfield

FULL TIME It was the worst loss by a U.S. senior women’s side in a world-level tournament since a 9-0 defeat by England in the 1956 IFWHA Tournament: and with a few of breaks (the video referral, the shot from outside the arc, and the Damons deflection) it very well could have been 10-0

FULL TIME And with the final horn, South Africa with a comprehensive and shocking 7-0 win over the Americans

69:00 Final minute here and it does not look good for the Applebees

67:30 RSA PC Coetzee’s dragflick hits a body in front of the cage

62:40 USA PC Laubach’s dragflick is snuffed out and a rebound is saved; absolutely nothing is going right for the United States today

62:00 You have to go a long way back into history to find the last time a U.S. side lost by as many as seven goals in a world-level competition

61:20 RSA PC Coetzee with her second on the dragflick; 7-0 South Africa

60:00 Ten minutes to go: can the United States pull themselves out of their predicament? They now need three to get to the 9th-place game, otherwise they’ll be relegated to the 11th-place match

57:00 South Africa with a shot that goes into the goal, but it is judged to have come outside of the circle

55:00 South Africa, you must recall, had to qualify twice to London 2012. The South Africans won the African Cup but the South African Olympic Committee made the team requalify through one of the three last-chance tournaments the FIH ran before the Olympics. South Africa’s withdrawal from its continental slot allowed Argentina to make the Olympics

53:33 RSA PC Woods’ strike is put into the cage by Dirkie Chamberlain; the goal puts the Americans in a deeper hole as South Africa leads 6-0

52:00 RSA PC Shot on an option-right is saved by Swensen

50:10 RSA PC Kate Woods’ strike is defensed by Julia Reinprecht

49:54 USA REFERRAL The question is whether South Africa ever pulled the ball away from Swensen; the appeal is rejected and the United States loses its referral option the rest of the game

49:50 RSA PC Swensen with the save and the ball rolls under her; a second corner is called

48:30 USA YELLOW Shannon Taylor is sent to the sin-bin for a tackle from behind; not what you want at this juncture

47:00 RSA PC Coetzee’s straight strike is easily saved by a logged Swensen

44:00 Right now, the two teams are level on goal differential with a -6, and South Africa now has scored 7 goals with the USA scoring only 2. As of right now, South Africa is in fifth place in the pool, and the United States is currently last

43:30 RSA GOAL Damons receives the ball off a rebound, passes across to Bright, who puts the ball into the goal cage and it’s 5-0 South Africa

41:00 Katie O’Donnell with a cheeky steal from the South African goalkeeper and chops a backhand over the top; that was the first clear chance all day for the American side

39:30 South Africa backhander from the top of the circle is high, wide, and handsome

37:00 A deflection outside the circle leads to another chance by Damons that goes inches wide! That could have been five

35:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME This space said a month ago that a loss in the opening pool game with Germany may result in a downward spiral which could see the Americans fall to the bottom of the table. And it might happen

HALFTIME But if South Africa gets one more goal, it pulls the ‘Boks level with the United States on goal differential, which would drop the United States to the 11th-place game

HALFTIME The dynamic of this entire pool has changed in less than three hours. The United States started the day with hopes of making it into the 7th-place game in the classification round, which it would have done with a Germany loss to New Zealand and any kind of win over South Africa

HALFTIME And at the horn, South Africa has a shock 4-0 lead

33:00 Think of this: South Africa has scored two goals all tournament; they now have scored four goals in this half. The Coetzee goal was her 247th international goal, extending her own world record

32:30 RSA PC Coetzee’s dragflick puts South Africa up 4-0

31:05 USA REFERRAL The question is whether Coetzee’s shot was dangerous; the appeal is upheld for a dangerous ball; the game remains 3-0 South Africa

31:00 RSA GOAL Damons gets a goal tipping in a Pietie Coetzee shot, but

26:00 Damons, who has been a pest on the right wing, aims a shot on goal and Swensen kicks it aside

24:55 RSA GOAL The United States coughs the ball up and Damons gets to the second-goal area, slips it to Jennifer Wilson, who bats it in from in close and South Africa leads 3-0

23:44 South Africa with another open shot in the circle and Swensen saves it

19:30 RSA GOAL Leslie-Ann George raps the ball in off Julia Reinprecht’s leg and into the goal; South Africa leads 2-0

18:28 USA GREEN Keli Smith-Puzo sits for two minutes

17:10 Sulette Damons, who already has 30 goals on 87 matches, has a dangerous run up the right side, but loses it over the end line

15:45 Julia Reiprecht breaks up a 2-on-1 for South Africa; it’s getting a little leaky back there

13:50 Ironic that this has been bread-and-butter play for the United States at times, but the U.S. has not gone to the hi-lo enough these Games on the corners

13:45 RSA PC and GOAL Taryn Bright, the corner inserter, receives the hi-lo pass from Coetzee and it’s 1-0 South Africa

11:30 Ilse Davids, late of North Carolina, has a wide-open backhand that Swensen parries aside

9:00 USA PC Laubach’s dragflick is tipped wide; the USA is just 2-for-14 on corners in the Olympics

8:00 The American high-pressure line is making life difficult for the the South African backs

6:18 RSA PC ends on a bad set

5:00 A hi-lo diagonal to Taylor handcuffs her and she can’t get a shot on the goal cage; that’s the second or third time she has not been able to pull the trigger in this situation (albeit she did in the Argentina game)

3:45 USA PC Taylor’s shot is defensed and the rebound goes wide left off Kayla Bashore-Smedley’s stick

3:31 USA REFERRAL The question is whether the ball went off the South Africa foot inside the circle or not; the appeal is upheld and the USA gets to use its referral again

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME South Africa is in the all-green with yellow trim and numbers, the United States are in the all-white with red trim and blue numbers

PREGAME Perhaps it’s time that final FIH pool matches need to be played simultaneously like FIFA tournaments, if only to avoid the appearance of collusion?

PREGAME Earlier today, New Zealand and Germany played a goalless draw, a result which should raise as much suspicion as the badminton results earlier in these Olympics. New Zealand, in a three-way tie for the lead in Pool B, manages to get exactly one point in the standings that it needed to make the semifinals. Germany needed exactly one point in order to avoid dropping into fifth place in the pool on goal differential if the States got any kind of result against South Africa

PREGAME The United States is 1-3 thus far in these Olympics, South Africa is 0-4

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to Riverbank Arena for the fifth-round Pool B match between the United States and South Africa

Key matchups: Pietie Coetzee (corner specialist, South Africa) vs. Amy Swensen (goakleeper, USA); Michelle Vittese (midfielder, USA) vs. Shelley Russell (midfielder, South Africa), Paige Selenski (forward, USA) vs. Lisa-Marie Deetlefs (defender, Argentina)

The skinny: The United States is playing for pride here now that any chance for medals has gone by the wayside. The Americans should be able to put forth a professional performance against South Africa to remain in fifth place in Pool B.


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