18 Oct 2009

Black Sticks women through to Champions Challenge final

12:07 pm on 18 October 2009

The New Zealand women's hockey team is through to the final of the Champions Challenge in Capetown and will meet South Africa tomorrow morning for a shot at the title.

The winner of the tournament gains promotion to the Champions Trophy, contested by the top six teams in the world.

The Black Sticks progress to the final despite a 1-0 loss to Japan overnight. The Japanese scored through a Kana Nagayama field goal with just two minutes on the clock, but would have needed to win by three goals to prevent New Zealand's progress to the final.

For most of the match, New Zealand controlled the game and a had a more cohesive performance, but the Japanese defence stood strong.

Emily Naylor continued her strong tournament and Bianca Russell performed well in goal making some excellent saves.

New Zealand was awarded three penalty corners in the second half, but could not convert.