11 Aug 2012

Black Sticks lose playoff for bronze

11:13 am on 11 August 2012

The New Zealand women's hockey players have lost to Great Britain 3-1 in their playoff for the bronze medal at the London Olympics.

Britain dominated the match, played mostly in in midfield and in which all the goals came from set-piece penalty corners at Riverbank Arena on Friday.

The host nation had few chances from open play and couldn't convert two penalty corners in the first half, giving the Black Sticks a chance to build up pressure towards the interval.

The New Zealanders increased the pressure in the second spell and struck the post in the first minute but Britain pushed to force errors in the D to take advantage of their strong penalty corners, Reuters reports.

In the 45th minute, that paid off with Alex Danson deflecting a pass from Kate Walsh to score.

Crista Cullen scored from a well-placed drag flick penalty corner in the 59th minute and Sarah Thomas deflected another corner into the goal four minutes later.

Stacey Michelsen scored off a penalty for the Black Sticks with just two minutes of the match to go.

Although they will move up in the world rankings, coach Mark Hager says it was a medal they wanted most.

Final won by Dutch

In the final, The Netherlands won their second successive women's Olympic hockey gold by beating world champions Argentina 2-0.

The Dutch took control in the second half and scored twice from penalty corners.

No goals were scored against the team during the entire Olympic series.

Argentina captain Luciana Aymar, who celebrated her 35th birthday on Friday, said she will now retire from international hockey.

She was world player of the year a record seven times.