Black Sticks take bronze in penalty shoot-out

7:01 pm on 14 October 2010

The New Zealand men's hockey team won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, defeating England 5-3 on penalties in an intense play-off for third place.

Black Sticks keeper Kyle Pontifex was one of the heroes of the game, saving England's third penalty shot, which was ultimately the deciding factor.

But the New Zealanders didn't make it easy on themselves.

They came out strongly in the first half, scoring twice in the first 20 minutes, before England pulled one back before half-time to trail 2-1 at the break.

Hayden Shaw scored shortly after half-time to extend the lead to 3-1, but the Black Sticks were reduced to 10 men when Steven Edwards was sent off for unintentionally hitting an England player with his stick during a collision.

England scored twice during the 10 minutes Edwards was off the field, and the score remained locked at 3-3 at full-time to force the match into golden-goal extra-time.

But neither side was able to find the back of the net during the two seven-and-a-half minute extra-time periods, and the match had to be decided in a penalty shoot-out.

New Zealand got the first attempt at goal, and Dean Couzins's successful shot put the English under pressure right from the outset.

The teams went goal-for-goal until the third attempt, when Pontifex saved a low shot to the left-hand side with his stick.

All the other attempts from the players found the back of the net, but it was that save that handed the New Zealanders victory.