Women cruise past China in final pool game
Women-cruise-past-China-in-final-pool-gameThe New Zealand Women have beaten China 3-0 to set up a quarter final against Australia in Rio
The New Zealand Women have set up a quarter final against trans-Tasman rivals Australia following a 3-0 win over China in their final pool match at the Rio Olympic Games.
The Kiwis were in control throughout the match against a desperate China side which needed to win to avoid elimination.
Striker Olivia Merry opened the scoring for New Zealand while Gemma Flynn and Anita McLaren added further goals in the second half to seal the win.
The result sees the women complete the preliminary phase with three wins, one draw and one loss to finish second in Pool A on 10 points.
New Zealand now go up against the Hockeyroos, who finished third in Pool B, in the women’s quarter finals on Tuesday (NZ time). The full schedule will be confirmed later today.
Head coach Mark Hager said it was pleasing to finish the pool stage on a positive note.
“I thought we were pretty good, it was one of those games which we didn’t have to win and that can be a tough scenario,” Hager said.
“I thought we stuck at our game plan really well, once we got a lead they had to come out and that spread the field.
“Looking ahead we know Australia will be a tough contest. It will come down to the wire and they will be hard to beat as they always are.”
Striker Olivia Merry helped the Kiwis take a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute after a putting a diving finish on a great run and pass from Charlotte Harrison.
New Zealand came out strongly in the second half and went on a hot streak in the final five minutes of the third quarter.
Gemma Flynn doubled her side’s lead in the 40th minute after getting a deft touch on a strong crash ball into the circle from captain Kayla Whitelock.
Just one minute later the Kiwis scored again when Anita McLaren connected with a monster forehand shot from the top of the circle which beat the goalkeeper’s left foot.
The Kiwis remained strong in their defence to shut out China as they desperately fought to try and muster a miracle comeback.
With a day off for the Women ahead of their quarter final, the New Zealand Men are set for a huge quarter final clash of their own against Germany at 11:30am tomorrow (NZ time), with live coverage on SKY Rio Pop-Up 5.
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New Zealand 3: (Olivia Merry, Gemma Flynn, Anita McLaren)
Halftime: New Zealand 1-0
- August 14th, 2016 in