SCOTLAND lost their opening match of the men’s hockey event by conceding two second-half goals to South Africa at Glasgow Green.
On a scorching morning at the National Hockey Centre, Andrew Cronje and Ignatius Malgraff found the net to leave the host nation with an uphill task in Pool A.
A hard-fought game hinged on an incident early in the second half, when Scotland were playing with only 10 men. With Niall Stott serving a five-minute suspension, his brother Ross kept out Cronje’s shot with a shoulder.
When the Scots’ video referral was rejected, Cronje scored from the penalty mark. It was a disappointing turn of events for Ross Stott, who was earning his 100thcap, a landmark that was recognised with a presentation beforehand.
Scotland had enjoyed the better of the first half, without creating many clearcut chances, but as the game opened out, and the temperature rose, their opponents soon asserted themselves.
South Africa, who were fortunate to see Nick Parkes’ first-half ‘goal’ disallowed, scored their decisive second with two minutes left. When Julian Hykes cut the ball back, Malgraff turned it over the line.