Vantage Black Sticks Women 0 – USA 1
The Paris dream for the Vantage Black Sticks Women is over with a quiet performance against the USA.
There will be soul searching within the New Zealand camp after a disappointing showing overnight in Ranchi, India.
New Zealand started brightly with good ball speed and movement but at the first hint of pressure the cracks started to show.
As has been the problem this tournament, the Black Sticks’ wing defence was left wanting allowing the USA an opportunity to penetrate the circle and win a penalty corner, subsequently turned onto the post by Grace O’Hanlon
From there the USA continued to apply pressure and scored what turned out to be the winner early in the second quarter through an Elizabeth Yeager goal from a penalty corner.
With New Zealand facing an uphill battle they finally earned their first penalty corner of the game 5 minutes into the second half, with that being the solitary silver lining in the third quarter.
The Kiwis came into the fourth quarter with a hiss and a roar starting to create attacking opportunities. They had two goals disallowed from penalty corners with the first being deemed to high off a hit (from a hit, as opposed to a dragflick, the ball has to enter the goal below the top of the backboard), and the second was overruled for a Black Sticks player obstructing a defender.
New Zealand did have a late flurry of penalty corners but they were all dealt with admirably by the USA defence.
Vantage Black Sticks Men 2 – Germany 2
New Zealand earned a gutsy draw against World Champions Germany overnight in Muscat, Oman.
It was a game that showcased the improvement the side has made in the past 12 months, with the Kiwis staying in the fight for the full 60 minutes.
New Zealand made a stunning start, scoring straight from pushback with an aerial into the circle, connecting with Sam Lane, who set up Sean Findlay for an easy goal.
Despite the early setback, Germany remained composed and created danger with two shots particularly testing Dom Dixon and a penalty corner halfway through the first quarter was well denied by Dixon.
The pressure from Germany persisted in the second quarter, earning them another penalty corner, which was successfully converted by drag flick specialist Gonzalo Peillat, leveling the score.
Germany’s penalty corner routine struck again, doubling their lead just four minutes later through Tom Grambusch.
New Zealand found their footing in the second half, posing more of a challenge for the Germans and staying right with the third best team in the world.
Kane Russell, for the second consecutive match, delivered world-class service into the attacking circle, allowing Hayden Phillips to deflect the ball into the roof of the net in glorious fashion.
As the match headed to an end, New Zealand withstood late pressure, with second-half goalkeeper Leon Hayward making three world-class saves, securing a hard-fought draw.
The Black Sticks men next play Canada on Friday at 1am NZT, live on TVNZ+.