Black Sticks men's medal hopes over

Last updated 21:05 05/08/2012
Fairfax NZ

Rowing mania continues as the Daily Wrap comes from Kiwi House in Kings Cross where they were mixing with fans and fellow countrymen.

Nicholas Wilson
MEDAL DREAM OVER: Nicholas Wilson on the charge against Belgium.
Phil Burrows
Black Sticks striker Phil Burrows gets a rub on the head from Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch.

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The men's Black Sticks' Olympic medal dream is over after a 1-1 draw against Belgium.

With New Zealand's chances of reaching the semifinals hanging by a thread - needing to beat the Europeans and also hope other results go their way - the stalemate ends a disappointing tournament for Shane McLeod's team.

The Kiwis struggled desperately against Belgium, ranked four places below them in the world at 11th, struggling to cope for most of the match with goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex keeping them in it a number of times.

A scoreless first half had New Zealand riding their luck, and that luck ran out in the 54th minute when Tom Boon lifted the ball over Pontifex.

A brilliant piece of individual skill from Nick Wilson brought the scores level 16 minutes from the end, beating two players before tucking past Vincent Vanasch form a tight angle.

But it wasn't enough to prevent the end of New Zealand's slim London 2012 hopes.

The Black Sticks will play one more game to determine their lower ranking, with the team and date dependent on results overnight.

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- Fairfax Media

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