Fraser's goal may ensure Atlanta passage

HOCKEY
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The Independent Online
BILL COLWILL

reports from Cape Town

Great Britain 2 Argentina 2

Sue Fraser, the Scottish defender, will be certain to remember her 150th international appearance after slamming home Britain's seventh penalty corner in the last second of their game against Argentina here yesterday.

The draw all but ensured Britain's passage to next year's Olympics in Atlanta, while Argentina are definitely through.

Karen Brown, who fractured her skull earlier in the week, watched from the stands. "It was an unbelievable ending. Films end like that - not hockey matches," she said.

With Jane Sixsmith on song, Britain were quickly into their stride and it was the Sutton Coldfield striker who won a free hit just outside the circle in the 14th minute. Mandy Nicholls got behind the Argentina defence to score her first goal of the tournament from Diane Renilson's free hit.

Conceding an unnecessary penalty corner in the 23rd minute, Britain allowed Argentina to equalise, Paula Castelli getting the first of her two goals, the second coming 10 minutes after the interval when Britain failed to clear their lines and paid the price for some sloppy defending.

Knowing that at least one point was essential, Britain stormed into the attack with Sixsmith leading the way with great determination and skill. Her crosses from the right brought two outstanding saves from Mariana Arnal in Argentina's goal.

With three minutes to go, a mazy run from Sixsmith ended in a penalty corner with Arnal blocking Fraser's shot and what appeared to be Britain's last chance when Sixsmith smashed the follow-up into the side boards. But with three seconds remaining - from another penalty corner - Fraser struck, with the ball hitting the backboards as the final hooter sounded.

South Korea beat Germany 2-1 to top the table with both teams joining Argentina in qualifying for Atlanta.

GREAT BRITAIN: J Thompson (Ipswich); S Fraser (Grove), J Atkins (Bradford Swithenbank, capt), D Renilson (Edinburgh), L Cope (Balsam Leicester); M Davies (Sutton), P Robertson (Grove), T Miller (Clifton); M Nicholls (Slough), J Sixsmith (Sutton), A Bennett (Slough). Substitutes used: R Simpson (Edinburgh), S MacDonald (Glasgow Western), C Cook (Hightown).

ARGENTINA: M Arnal; S MacKenzie, M Aicega; S Corvalan, J Castellan; G Sanchez Capt., A Gambero, J Rimoldi; K Masotta, V Oneto, P Castelli. Substitutes used: G Pando, X Cameron, C Rognoni.

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