reports from Cape Town
South Africa's dreams of returning to the Olympics ended here yesterday when they lost 2-1 to China. They join Canada as the second of the three teams who will miss out.
Elimination was hard on the Springbok women. The Chinese winning goal came with just 27 seconds remaining, killing off a South African fightback in which they had equalised after going a goal down in two minutes. On Wednesday they had lost to a similarly late strike by Germany that television action replays showed was allowed even though the ball had not been touched by a German in the shooting circle.
Nor were the South Africans too pleased with Chinese gamesmanship when they changed goalkeepers in a tactic that left the home striker Lindsey Carlisle waiting four minutes to take a penalty stroke won during a period when the Chinese were under sustained pressure. In the end Carlisle hit a tame stroke, which was saved. The Springbok coach, Kelly Fairweather, described the incident as a "debacle".
Canada collected their first win of the tournament with a surprise 1- 0 win against the Dutch.
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