Goals by Christian and Paul helped the USA men claim a (2-0) victory over the South African men in their opening match of the ‘FIH Series Finals Bhubaneswar’.
After a scoreless first three quarters, world no. 25 USA scored both their goals in the final 15 minutes to surprise the World No. 16 South Africa.
Despite, USA having had the misfortune to lose their captain Ajai Dhadwal through injury, USA goalkeeper Jonathan Klages – who was later nominated Man of the Match – brilliantly kept his team in the game with three consecutive saves from as many penalty corners.
Christian de Angelis converted a penalty corner for the Americans in the 47th minute to break the deadlock before Paul Singh scored a field goal just three minutes from the final hooter to mark a positive start to their campaign here.
Man of the Match Jonathan Klages, USA’s goalkeeper, said,
“To be honest, I was super nervous because this is my first big tournament, so I didn’t know really what to expect. I was glad to help my team as much as I could. I cannot do without my team. So, thanks to my teammates, first of all !”
South Africa’s goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse said he was clearly disappointed,
“Obviously it’s not the start we wanted. We had a lot of opportunities which we didn’t take. We’re very disappointed. If you look at the stats today, I think we threw the game away. We will now prepare for our next match against Japan.”
USA will take on Mexico in their next match on Saturday, while South Africa will be up against Asian Games gold medallist Japan.