22 Jun 2016

Black Sticks score first win

9:56 am on 22 June 2016

The New Zealand women's hockey team has scored its first win at the Champions Trophy tournament in London, beating Great Britain 1-nil.

Stacey Michelsen

Stacey Michelsen Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A first minute strike from Stacey Michelsen proved to be enough for the Black Sticks.

The result gave New Zealand their first points of the competition, but leaves Great Britain with just one point and facing a near impossible task of qualifying for the event final.

The Black Sticks were outstanding in the early stages of the match and thoroughly deserved their lead, with Michelsen taking advantage of some slack defending to brilliantly weave her way through the GB defence before slotting home with a cool finish.

Great Britain had numerous chances to level in the latter stages, but found themselves thwarted by some outstanding goalkeeping from Sally Rutherford to guide her team to victory.

"I think it was good for us to make a good start to today's game, and we certainly came out with a lot more energy than we had in the two previous matches", said winning goalscorer Stacey Michelsen after the match. "We almost surprised ourselves with how well we started because we struggled a little bit in the first two games, to be honest. Having a good start was so positive, although we gave them far too many opportunities, particularly in the last quarter."

New Zealand lost to the Netherlands and Australia in their first two matches.

Their next two games are against Argentina and the United States.

After three rounds the Netherlands top the standings with nine points, Argentina haveseven, Australia four, New Zealand three and Great Britain and the United States one each.

After pool play the top two teams meet in the final.

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