PHOTOS: Shoot-out agony for Black Sticks
Thu, 09 Aug 2012 5:33a.m.
A gutsy New Zealand women's hockey team have suffered the agony of a penalty shoot-out defeat to the Netherlands in their Olympic semi-final.
The Dutch twice had to come from behind to level at 2-2 and force the match into what turned out to a scoreless extra time in London's Riverbank Arena on Wednesday.
They won the shoot-out 3-1, after New Zealand missed three of their first four attempts.
The Black Sticks will now play the loser of the other semi-final between Argentina and Great Britain for bronze on Friday.
The Black Sticks had the weight of history overwhelmingly against them going into the match against the Netherlands.
They had lost all three previous Olympic meetings between the nations and had failed to beat the Dutch in 17 matches at major competitions, their best efforts being two draws.
But they gave the defending champions and world No.1 a huge scare when they led through co-skipper Kayla Sharland and then Krystal Forgesson.
It required a brace from Dutch skipper Maartje Paumen in her 150th international to keep her side in the contest.
The Black Sticks made a habit of scoring early in London on their way to making their first Olympic semi-final.
They also finished pool play as the team who created the most penalty corner chances with 29.
Those two aspects came together in the seventh minute as they secured the first penalty corner of the match.
The ball was teed up for Sharland who slapped a shot into the back board.
That stung the Dutch into action and New Zealand keeper Bianca Russell was forced into two quick saves.
However, the Black Sticks held their own and they almost doubled their lead midway through the spell during a goalmouth scramble.
They got another penalty corner in the 27th minute, but this time Clarissa Eshuis' shot was blocked.
With half-time beckoning, the Dutch equalised, also from the set piece, with Paumen finishing off a well-constructed move.
The Netherlands had the better of the early stages of the second half and put New Zealand on the back foot.
There was some brave defending, with Katie Glynn spilling blood from a head wound when she caught a Dutch stick. She later returned with a heavily bandaged head.
Against the run of play, the Black Sticks hit the front from a swift counter-attack, with Stacey Michelsen finding an unmarked Forgesson in the circle.
Forgesson coolly beat advancing keeper Joyce Sombroek at the near post to the delight of the New Zealand fans, who included the Black Sticks men.
But another Dutch penalty corner led to another goal for Paumen, the renowned drag-flicker making no mistake.
The match flowed end to end and New Zealand had a late chance in regulation time, but Sombroek saved from Sharland off another penalty corner.
In extra-time, the Black Sticks had to survive five minutes minus a player, after Gemma Flynn was yellow carded.
With Flynn off, the Dutch had an opportunity for the winner, but Paumen pushed a shot from a penalty corner just wide.
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9/08/2012 5:56:03 p.m.
Well done women's black sticks you have done us proud it has certainly made more people interested in hockey.
9/08/2012 10:49:47 a.m.
Mike if you think you can do better then put your hand up for the next Olympics. We are doing really well for a small country with our population size and less resources.
9/08/2012 10:08:37 a.m.
*a different MikeI agree that the TV stunt on the golds was stuppid as even then while we were ahead it was unlikely to stay that way.Still, the Black sticks effort has been a huge one, and win or lose for bronze, they should be congratulated. I think their efforts and results probably rank higher than the All Blacks wining the rugby world cup. Lets face it, in world terms more play hockey, so to get this far has been amazing.
9/08/2012 7:43:09 a.m.
we are getting no medals at all in week two how bad is that , that will teach you for making fun of other country's like our next door neighbors for under preforming , who has egg on their faces now NZ does .
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