NZ Men handed heart breaking loss
NZ-Men-handed-heart-breaking-lossSpain have snatched a dramatic 3-2 win over the New Zealand Men at the Rio Olympic Games
Spain have snatched a dramatic 3-2 win over the New Zealand Men after scoring in the final 30 seconds of their Pool A match at the Rio Olympic Games.
The two sides had earlier traded goals and were locked up at 2-2 at halftime after New Zealand captain Simon Child scored a double.
The Kiwis were awarded a penalty corner with 1:10 remaining on the clock, but Spain defended the attempt and turned the match on its head with a field goal at the other end from Xavier Lleonart securing the result for his side.
Spain remain undefeated and red-hot in Rio with three wins from three games, with 11 goals scored and just two against – the Kiwis the first side to crack their defence.
New Zealand, with two losses and a draw, remain in a battle to avoid elimination ahead of the quarter finals and face a must-win against home side Brazil at 10:30am tomorrow (NZ time), with live coverage on SKY Sport Rio Pop-Up 1.
Head coach Colin Batch said the result was devastating, but they need to move on and focus on winning their last two pool matches.
“We haven’t been starting very well and we saw that again today with Spain scoring virtually from the push back and that’s not good enough,” Batch said.
“The equation is now pretty simple – we need to win our last two pool games against Brazil and Belgium to put fate into our own hands.
“We need to get over the emotion of this game which is still pretty raw and front up tomorrow against Brazil.”
Defender Shea McAleese said his side’s second half just wasn’t up to standard.
“We did well to get back into that game and defended well, but our second half wasn’t good enough. To give away a soft goal like that right on fulltime is unacceptable.
“We’re pretty devastated after a few tight losses and need to learn how to win these games. All we can do now is make sure we win our next two matches to make it to the quarter finals.”
Fresh off their win over world number one Australia, the confident Spanish started with pace and intensity and opened the scoring in just the first minute with Roc Oliva delivering from a penalty corner.
New Zealand responded from the restart after James Coughlan went on a run and found Child in the circle, who beat two defenders and wrong-footed the goalkeeper to level the score.
Spain grabbed the lead back in the 10th minute after Alex Casasayas found himself wide open on the post for a straightforward tap in past Devon Manchester.
Seconds out from halftime the Kiwis found a breakthrough, winning a penalty corner from which Child delivered his second goal with a strong forehand shot from a well-worked set piece.
New Zealand and Spain fought a tight battle over the course of the second half with both sides defending well, led by their goalkeepers.
Lleonart’s strike right on fulltime was a cruel blow for the Kiwis who had looked likely to score a goal of their own during the final five minutes of the match.
Along with the Men’s match against Brazil, the New Zealand Women are also in action tomorrow when they take on Spain at 1:00am (NZ time), live on SKY Sport Rio Pop-Up 2.
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New Zealand 2: (Simon Child 2)
Spain 3: (Roc Oliva, Alex Casasayas, Xavier Lleonart)
- August 9th, 2016 in