Black Sticks men lose bronze playoff in shootout
MATT RICHENS IN GLASGOW
Two crucial games, two losses, no medals.
That's how the New Zealand men's hockey team's Commonwealth Games ended.
Just 48 hours after the side were unbeaten and looked to have the game to take on world champions and four time defending gold medallists Australia, they'd been upset by India then beaten by England in the bronze medal match.
The Black Sticks had beaten England 2-1 in pool play, but lost in a shootout tonight (NZT) in rainy Glasgow after they two sides finished regulation time locked at 3-3.
After getting back into the match with Simon Child's second goal of the match, with 11 minutes to play, New Zealand struggled in the shootout, losing 4-2.
New Zealand keeper Devon Manchester was unable to save any of the English penalty shots while Blair Hilton and Child both had their shots saved by George Pinner.
Earlier, a quick-thinking Child gave New Zealand an early lead in the 12th minute.
He made a run into the English circle but his initial shot was repelled by Pinner.
The ball returned to Child and he calmly lifted the ball over the keeper and into the open net.
England looked to have scored within 25-seconds of the restart but, after a number of reviews, it was decided an English attacker had used the back of his stick and New Zealand's review was upheld.
But it started a determined run by the English.
Kiwi keeper Devon Manchester was forced to make a handy save after his defence was opened up too easily, but he was unable to keep his clean sheet.
In the 29th minute, Manchester had kept out an English shot, but failed to clear the ball and Alastair Brodgon was able to dink the ball over the sprawled goalie to score England's first.
They pushed ahead just two minutes later when Ashley Jackson blasted in a flick from a penalty corner.
In their semifinal loss to India, New Zealand heads dropped after the opposition scored, but this time they struck back immediately, rushing up the field, earning a penalty corner then converting it through a typically fierce Andy Hayward strike.
Both teams scored once more. Jackson scored his ninth of the tournament from the English's second penalty corner before Child grabbed his second with 11 minutes remaining.
England 3 (Ashley Jackson 2, Alastair Brodgon) New Zealand 3 (Simon Child 2, Andy Hayward). HT: 2-2. England win 4-2 in shootout