It was a must-win match for South Africa going into their final league match of the second men’s Hockey World League Round 2 tournament against Chile at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday.
The situation was no less similar for Chile, who had a gargantuan task of prevailing over the much-fancied South Africa.
But it was world number twelve South Africa, who showed their superiority, crushing Chile 7-1 to reach the HockeyWorld League semifinals. They joined India and Ireland in the semifinal round.
South Africa rattled the Chilean cage as early as in the third minute when Miguel de Graca fired home a penalty corner.
Perturbed by the early strike, the 25th ranked Chile tried to regroup but were up against a South African side which was keen on wrapping up their Round 2 engagements in style.
South Africa controlled the midfield and engaged in extensive ball passing even as Chile battled to stay in the contest.
South Africa pressed home the advantage when Matthew Guise-Brown converted another short corner five minutes from the first half hooter.
South Africa made the winning aspirations of Chile even more difficult, when Jonathan Robinson sounded the board in the 34th minute as they went into half-time with a cozy 3-0 lead.
South Africa kickstarted the second stanza on a robust note, nailing the fourth goal through Miguel da Graca – his second of the match.
Chile soon reduced the deficit much against the run of play.
Lloyd Norris Jones added another to his tally, notching up South Africa’s seventh goal as they completed their misery (7-1 win).
South Africa were joined by world number ten Argentina, who pulverized 29th ranked United States 10-0. Argentina took the lead when US leaked an own goal.
Paredes doubled the lead in the 6th minute. Matias Vila made it 3-0 in the 10th minute. Rodrigo Vila scored the team’s fourth goal in the 16th minute.
The white and blue brigade scored their fifth goal through Agustin Mazzilli.
Agustin Mazzilli fired the sixth goal in the 22nd minute while Guillermo Schickendantz scored the seventh goal as they went into half-time with a 7-0 lead.
Argentina converted a penalty corner in the second half before adding another in the 62nd minute to finish with a clinical 9-0 win.