WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ENDS FOR VANTAGE BLACK STICKS
The Vantage Black Sticks FIH Hockey World Cup run is over after losing out to #4 ranked Germany in the quarter-finals early on Wednesday morning at the Wagener Stadium in Amsterdam.
Germany ran out 1-0 winners in a contest where the Kiwis made life difficult, with goalkeeper Brooke Roberts once again showing what she’s made of with another outstanding performance in what has been a coming of age tournament for her.
New Zealand came out of the gates a little off the pace and Germany took full advantage with a pair of early chances expertly denied by both Roberts and the upright post. They also won two penalty corners late in the first quarter which were denied by the Black Sticks excellent penalty corner defence.
The second quarter didn’t start off ideally either, with Alia Jaques green carded (2 minutes) which the Germans took advantage of to score a minute later with attacker Lena Micheel finding herself behind the defensive line to receive a brilliantly timed ball from one of her teammates. Germany continued to apply the pressure and won a further four penalty corners but Roberts was on hand once again to deny any more German goals.
The Black Sticks came into the second half with more intention and won their first penalty corner of the game late in the third quarter with Olivia Merry, playing her 250th test, coming within an inch of putting the sides level if it wasn’t for a slight deflection off a German stick. Merry also had a similar opportunity in the fourth but was denied by a world class save from Nathalie Kubalski.
Germany saw two players green carded, in quick succession, midway through the fourth quarter which encouraged New Zealand to pull their goalkeeper for two minutes (to give themselves an extra outfielder player) but were unable to take advantage with the game ending 1-0 to Germany.
While it isn’t the result that the Black Sticks wanted, they are proud to have been in the knockout stages after not being favoured in the so-called ‘pool of death,’ as well as giving one of the top ranked teams a tough game. The young squad will now turn their attention to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games where they will build on these encouraging performances. Their opening match is against Kenya on July 29.
- July 15th, 2022 in