New Zealand – China 2-2
The China of former Orange national coach Alyson Annan started the World Cup with a draw against New Zealand in group B. In a well-filled and atmospheric Wagener Stadium, the Asian women had the best chances for the victory, but in the end it was 2-2
In an open and lively first half, Rose Tynan gracefully broke the score for the Black Sticks controlling a high ball near the edge of the circle and finding room for an effective shot with her backhand.
New Zealand could not enjoy that lead for long, not counting the rest period in the dressing rooms. Early in the second half, China tied the score from a penalty corner, the team’s most dangerous weapon: Ying Zhang dragged hard and low, seeing the ball through New Zealand keeper Grace O’Hanlon’s glove and Olivia Merry’s foot roll over the goal line: 1-1.
China pushed further, gave the New Zealand team a handful of work in their own circle and forced a few new penalty corners. From the fourth Chinese corner of the match, Bingfeng Gu scored with a half-high drag push. Again keeper O’Hanlon didn’t look good .
In one of New Zealand’s few attacks in the second half, goal thief Olivia Merry struck mercilessly. The experienced striker positioned himself excellently in a full Chinese circle and was able to tap in a cross from Hope Ralph’s right. It was already the 113th goal in her international career, in 247 international matches.
China then went on to hunt for the winning goal, but failed to appear threatening for keeper O’Hanlon. An extra pair of penalty corners also went unused. For example, the draw for Annan’s team will still feel like a small defeat.
New Zealand v China 2-2 (1-0)
24. Rose Tynan 1-0
33. Ying Zhang (sc) 1-1
43. Bingfeng Gu (sc) 1-2
48. Olivia Merry 2-2