10 Oct 2015

Black Sticks beaten in Christchurch

11:39 am on 10 October 2015

The New Zealand men's and women's hockey teams have lost to India and Argentina, respectively, in Christchurch on Friday night.

The Black Sticks Gemma Flynn in action.

The Black Sticks Gemma Flynn in action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It was the final game for the Black Sticks women who walk away with a 2-2 series draw, while the Black Sticks men now trail 2-1 with their last game at the same venue on Sunday.

Both the New Zealand sides were outdone by just one goal - the winning goals coming in the last few minutes of each match.

The Black Sticks women lost 2-1 to Argentina, while the men were beaten 3-2 by India.

In the women's game it was end-to-end hockey in the first half with the Black Sticks unable to break through some solid Argentinean defence.

There were two penalty corners awarded to Argentina in the first half and they made it count on the second attempt when Noel Barrionuevo got it passed goalkeeper Amelia Gibson to give her side a 1-0 lead.

The tempo stepped up in the second half and the Black Sticks were awarded numerous penalty corners and it was Kat Henry that converted and found the equaliser in the 50th minute.

As the clock counted down, both teams fought hard to find the series winning goal and with a sold-out crowd the Black Sticks had the locals off their seats and on their side.

But it was Julia Gomes who spoiled the hosts' party, converting a penalty corner with three minutes left to secure the win.

Striker Olivia Merry was playing her 100th international and she described it as a "bitter-sweet" experience.

"Playing your 100th in front of a sold-out Christchurch home crowd is an absolutely awesome feeling, but to not come away with the win is gut-wrenching," said Merry.

"We didn't come out firing in the second quarter and once Argentina went 1-0 up it was hard. They are a very skilful side, and they had the confidence and were able to get another goal with little time left to play," said Merry.

In the men's game, India was the first to get on the scoreboard when Rupinder Singh scored from a penalty corner in the 10th minute.

The Black Sticks began to settle into the game during the second quarter and in the 22nd minute Auckland's Jared Panchia superbly beat the keeper in a one-on-one contest at close range to tie it up.

The score remained until some nice counter-attack resulted in Ramandeep Singh scoring a field goal to make it 2-1 to the visitors late in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the hosts really put the pressure on and North Harbour's Steve Edwards found the space at the top of the circle and clinically smacked it home to get his team back in the game.

It could have gone either way in the final five minutes, but it was Dharamvir Singh who scored a field goal to give the visitors the win.

The Black Sticks men face India in their final game at 1pm Sunday in Christchurch.