BLACK STICKS MEN PIPPED AT THE LAST
In an enthralling match played out in Amsterdam, the Vantage Black Sticks Men’s hockey team suffered a heart-breaking 4-3 defeat to the reigning world champions Germany.
The game began with New Zealand setting a high tempo, playing better than their high-profile opponents and taking an early lead through Sam Lane. The Kiwis were not allowed to bask in their early glory as Germany responded swiftly with an equaliser.
Despite the setback, the Black Sticks remained the dominant side in the first quarter, almost securing another goal via Lane in the dying seconds.
The second quarter started with a goal for New Zealand, set up by an excellent counter-attack.
Defender Blair Tarrant broke away on the left wing, finding George Baker centrally placed to unleash a shot amidst traffic.
The German keeper managed a terrific save, only for Tarrant to follow through on the rebound and score, restoring the Black Sticks’ lead.
Riding on this momentum, the Black Sticks continued to press. Isaac Houlbrooke, displaying his skills, successfully earned a penalty corner for the team.
Sam Lane, seizing the opportunity, converted it, scoring his second goal of the match, further consolidating New Zealand’s position in the game.
In the third quarter, Germany reminded everyone why they are the reigning world champions.
After being on the back foot for most of the first half, they began to assert their authority on the game.
Ten minutes into the quarter, the Germans scored a crucial goal, and, displaying relentless efficiency, found the equaliser just three minutes later.
The final quarter saw a closely contested battle between the two sides, with New Zealand possessing a slight edge.
However, they met stiff resistance from the experienced German side. In a classic display of German resolve, the team you can never count out until the team bus leaves, earned only their second penalty corner of the game in the last minute. They capitalised on this golden opportunity, finding the back of the net to score the decisive goal.
- June 24th, 2023 in