7 Dec 2011

Home crowd spurs on Black Sticks men

1:07 pm on 7 December 2011

The future looks rosy for the New Zealand men's hockey team after their dramatic qualification for the semi-finals of the elite eight-nation Champions Trophy tournament on the North Shore.

The Black Sticks came up with one of the best results in their history on Tuesday night, overcoming a three-goal deficit to snatch a 3-3 draw with world number three the Netherlands, finishing second in their group at the expense of the Olympic champions Germany.

The home captain Dean Couzins converted the match-saving penalty stroke in the last couple of minutes and says the Harbour crowd lifted them in the last 20 minutes.

The Black Sticks are now guaranteed a place in next year's Champions Trophy tournament in Australia.

In other results, Germany and South Korea also drew 3-3, Australia beat Pakistan 6-1,

and Spain beat Great Britain 8-1.

The first semi-final Thursday night is Australia-Netherlands, followed by New Zealand-Spain.