18 Jul 2017

Black Sticks suffer loss to Spain

8:30 am on 18 July 2017

The New Zealand men's hockey team have been beaten 4-3 by Spain in their final pool match at the Hockey World League semi final in Johannesburg.

Black Sticks vs Spain

Black Sticks vs Spain Photo: FIH/Getty Images

The loss means the Black Sticks finish third in Pool A and will take on second placed finishers in Pool B in a cross-over quarter final on Thursday morning (NZ time).

Spain came out firing with two goals from Josep Romeu and Enrique Gonzalez in the 23rd and 35th minutes.

In the third quarter New Zealand substituted goalkeeper Devon Manchester for an extra field player, a move which paid off when Shea McAleese scored.

A shot from Nic Woods equalised the game in the 54th minute, the Black Sticks then took a 3-2 lead after Kane Russell scored a penalty corner shot.

The Spanish side leveled the match before scoring the winning goal in the final 30 seconds of the match.

Black Sticks coach Darren Smith said his side put everything on the line.

"We were a bit slow early on but I thought we played well in the second half and showed some real intent and determination.

"We took a calculated risk with the goalkeeper off the field but it allowed us to hold the ball well in the defensive midfield and then create some good attacking pressure and score three goals," Smith said.

He said the final result was disappointing but the team is up for the next game no matter who they come up against.

"It's a disappointing final result for us but we are certainly up for our next challenge and we know we will have to be on our game no matter who we come up against."

Forward Marcus Child celebrated a milestone with his 100th international cap in the match.