The Vantage Black Sticks have secured a 2-2 draw in their opening match of the FIH Women’s World Cup taking place in the Netherlands and Spain.

The vibrant crowd at Wagener Stadium in Amsterdam were treated to an entertaining game filled with attacking hockey, great skill, and great goals.

The Kiwis started the game with some nervy moments, which was to be expected after having only played four (Covid disrupted) international matches since the Tokyo Olympics. However, the team quickly found their feet late in the first quarter winning the first penalty corner of the game.

The Black Sticks continued to come into their own, dominating possession in the second quarter resulting in a superb goal from Rose Tynan who controlled an aerial ball at the edge of the circle and opened the scoring with a lovely backhand shot on goal.

China came out strong to start the second half and won a couple of quick penalty corners from which they managed to convert, with one taking an unlucky deflection off a NZ player, and take a 2-1 lead.

The New Zealanders kept their composure responding three minutes into the fourth quarter. Katie Doar fired one of the more mind-blowing long range passes you will see to find Hope Ralph on the wing. Ralph used her incredible pace to force herself into the circle where she fired off a pinpoint pass to hit Olivia Merry waiting expectedly to slot it into goal.

Both sides had the opportunity to take the lead in the final minutes of the game but were unable to convert with the game ending 2-2.

The Black Sticks’ next game is against England at Wagener Stadium, July 6 5.30am NZT and can be watched on Spark Sport.

  • July 2nd, 2022 in
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