Australia snatch win over Black Sticks
Australia-snatch-win-over-Black-SticksThe Black Sticks Women have been edged 2-1 by hosts Australia at the International Hockey Open in Darwin
Photo courtesy Tim Nicol
The Black Sticks Women have been edged 2-1 by hosts Australia at the International Hockey Open at the Marrara Hockey Stadium in Darwin.
New Zealand played a dominant first half but could only convert one of their chances with Olivia Merry putting a penalty corner strike into goal in the 21st minute.
Down by one goal, the Australians swung the momentum in the second half and scored two goals through Georgina Morgan and Emily Smith to snatch the result.
The contest saw Canterbury midfielder Pippa Hayward bring up her 100th international cap.
Head coach Mark Hager said his side’s approach to the game was pleasing, although they needed to get better at putting away scoring chances.
“We dominated for long periods and I was pleased with the majority of the game but they made us pay for a few bad errors,” he said.
“If you look at the statistics we had a lot more goal shots than Australia, including two good opportunities that would have tied the game in the fourth quarter, so we can’t afford to waste those.
“It’s now a case of learning from that and regrouping for our next game on Friday against Japan who we know will be a tough challenge.”
New Zealand played an up tempo game in the opening quarter and had the Hockeyroos on the back foot and forced into defensive mode.
Following a period of sustained pressure, the Black Sticks opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Olivia Merry cracked a powerful shot into goal from a penalty corner.
Australia struck back eight minutes into the second half with a penalty corner of their own, Georgina Morgan sweeping past goalkeeper Amelia Gibson to level the score 1-1.
The hosts took the lead for the first time early in the fourth quarter after a defensive error allowed Emily Smith to collect a loose ball for a quick-fire forehand shot.
The Black Sticks battled for an equalising strike over the final 10 minutes, and Sophie Cocks had great shot at goal right at the death but Hockeyroos keeper Ashlee Wells made an outstanding save to seal the result.
The Black Sticks have a rest day tomorrow before their final round robin game against Japan at 7:30pm on Friday (NZ time), with live coverage through Epicentre.tv
The International Hockey Open is part of New Zealand’s build up for the Champions Trophy in London from 19-27 June and the Rio Olympic Games in August.
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BLACK STICKS 1: (Olivia Merry)
AUSTRALIA 2: (Gerogina Morgan, Emily Smith)
Halftime: Black Sticks 1-0
- June 1st, 2016 in