Semis heartbreak: Black Sticks go down to England in shootout

Source: 1News

The New Zealand women’s hockey team has lost to England in a nail-biting penalty shootout at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Saturday morning.

That’s after normal play ended in a nil-all draw.

An assertive Black Sticks side largely dominated possession for most of the game, a noticeable improvement from their mostly spiritless pool match against Australia.

However, they were unable to convert off a number of chances in the first quarter.

A yellow card for Rose Tynan for sliding saw the squad down a player for 10 minutes but England failed to capitalise on the opportunity and missed several of their own chances to pull ahead.

This continued in the second half, despite finding their stride and Hope Ralph being sent off for five minutes with a yellow card.

Meanwhile, the Black Sticks continued to apply the pressure and used the space well, keeping their composure despite the roars of the home crowd.

The Black Sticks look on after their semi-final loss to England.

Tensions were high as England were re-awarded a penalty corner after referring for a foot, before New Zealand lost their own referral debating a foot in the circle.

However, the game ended with no goals on the scorecard.

Neither side could find the goal in the first two extra-time penalties from both sides however England’s Isabelle Petter changed that, sending the team one ahead.

Forward Olivia Shannon then also missed for the Black Sticks, leaving Hannah Martin from the English side to seal New Zealand’s fate.

An emotional but proud captain Megan Hull said her young side would hurt from the result but they'd bounce back for the upcoming bronze medal match.

"One word comes to me is 'proud' because that performance tonight was nothing short of incredible from our girls," Hull said.

"There's a lot of hurt and a few shattered hearts but boy am I proud to be a part of this group and what was achieved out there tonight.

"We put literally everything into it - our heart, our grit - and sometimes it just doesn't go our way.

"We'll go home tonight and take the time we need but I know our group and we'll come back."

New Zealand will now play the loser of the other semi-final match between Australia and India in the bronze medal match.

READ MORE: Full coverage from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham