Photo Credits : South African Hockey

The South Africans and Canadians were already eliminated from the Quarter Final stage, however they had one last go at each other to end with pride. In a pulsating match at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo the two teams dished up a meal that any neutral would devour in an eight-goal thriller.

South Africa continued where they left off against Germany with a superb start to the game at frenetic pace which Canada couldn’t do anything to stop. The first counterattack goal was converted by Bili Ntuli after superb work by Taine Paton and Dayaan Cassiem. The Cassiem brothers then combined to create a simple tap in for Nic Spooner, his second of the tournament. Despite looking in control the South Africans allowed Canada back into the game with a harshly awarded penalty corner being converted by Pearson off a deflection just in front of Rassie Pieterse.

Canada restored parity early in the second chukka as they took advantage of extra space awarded to them and Keegan Pereira fired a bullet past Pieterse in the SA Goal. Canada claimed they had a third and the lead in the second chukka with a touch, but the video umpire ruled they had missed it and the deadlock remained 2-2 at the half time break.

In the third quarter South Africa were back at it and moved back into the lead through Matt Guise-Brown. His initial pc was charged down, but the rebound fell to him, and he finished superbly for his third of the tournament. South Africa looked comfortable in the lead but as soon as they had received a green card Canada levelled with a moment of quick thinking from Boothroyd deflecting past Pieterse. The humidity was also proving to be really tough after the early morning rainstorm as the third quarter came to an end.

A pretty sluggish final quarter offered Canada a chance to go ahead with a penalty corner with 7 minutes remaining on the clock. But they fired the shot narrowly wide of Pieterse’s goal. But South Africa thought they had won it with 2 minutes remaining on the clock Sam Mvimbi produced a moment of sensational quality to produce South Africa’s 16th goal of the tournament, their most of any campaign.

But Canada surged forward, and Garcia slid in to finish a cross to end the game 4-4 and share the points. A wonderful entertaining end to the tournament for both teams.

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