Black Sticks ladies into medal play-offs
Mon, 06 Aug 2012 9:31p.m.
The Black Sticks women have survived a German onslaught to clinch a spot in the London Olympics hockey semi-finals.
New Zealand scrambled to a 0-0 draw on Monday to ensure they finish second in their pool.
The top spot, and the other qualifying berth, will be decided by the match between world champions Argentina and Australia later in the day, with Argentina needing just a draw, while the Hockeyroos have to win.
The Germans, the 2004 Olympic champions and who at No.3 are ranked three places above the New Zealand, needed victory by three goals at the Riverbank Arena to keep their medal hopes alive and they chased the game.
New Zealand keeper Bianca Russell had to make a swag of saves as the Black Sticks found it difficult to keep possession.
Germany, wearing all black to the Blacks Sticks' all white, twice got the ball into the net but were denied both times by the video umpire.
It was New Zealand who started the better and they almost got on the board in the very first minute.
Anita Punt showed typical speed to get to the baseline, but neither Katie Glynn nor Charlotte Harrison could get good contact to her cross.
As the match developed into an end-to-end contest, Glynn was denied by a fine save by German keeper Yvonne Frank.
From there Germany started to dominate, but found Russell a big obstacle.
Two minutes from half-time, they managed to get the ball into the net, with Maike Stoeckel adamant she got the faintest touch to a free hit fired into the circle.
After a video referral, in which the camera frame-rate wasn't quite quick enough to be conclusive, New Zealand fans breathed a sigh of relief when the decision went the Black Sticks' way.
Germany again had most of the attack in the second half, forcing a string of penalty corners.
From one of them, Julia Mueller slammed a reverse stick strike into the net, but the video umpire ruled the penalty corner sequence hadn't finished and the shot was too high.
New Zealand did create opportunities, the best of the half coming from one of their own penalty corners, when skipper Kayla Sharland was left unmarked but couldn't beat Frank.
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7/08/2012 5:44:28 p.m.
GARTH SPOONER wrote:
Wow what a result and so happy that this has happened.With such a delusional reponse for their prior efforts may the Formbook acknowledge their perseverance,determination and hard graft to get where they are at this historic sporting tournament.Maybe dreams do come true aka 1972 Men's gold medal-MAYBE 2012 ?MEDAL
7/08/2012 9:04:38 a.m.
Cmon you Black Sticks. You can do it
7/08/2012 8:00:00 a.m.
In Black sticks ladies group one more match to be played. Argentina Vs Australia. Both on 9 points. If one of them wins they will be propelled to first place and New Zealand in second in Group B and hence still will be in medal contention. However should the match be a draw all three teams will be on 9 points and I don't know what will happen. How are we confidently saying that New Zealand is already in medal contention. By the time someone answers this in couple of hours we will know the results.
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