The Black Sticks Women have concluded their third and final match against China in Beijing today with a 1-0 loss. The loss lacked the spark of the previous two wins, with the team never quite getting out of the starting blocks in the first half. Their game however, picked up in the second half.
Black Sticks coach Mark Hager said although the team created more chances to score in the second half, it was a disappointing performance with the frequent loss of possession and turnovers.
“We lacked midfield control today and then in the end, were really quite lucky to come away with only a 1-0 defeat.”
Chinese player Zhao (#21) was the only goal scorer of the match, claiming a field goal in the 23rd minute. Another opportunity came for the Chinese side in the 26th minute; however they failed to convert missing a penalty stroke.
The standout player in the Black Sticks side was experienced midfielder/defender Emily Naylor who put in a solid performance picking up the loose ball against a strong attacking side and marshaling the team’s defense well.
It was also striker Charlotte Harrison’s 150th test cap for the Black Sticks.
“I was chuffed to reach the 150th milestone, but clearly would have preferred to win the game today,” says Harrison.
The Black Sticks now head to Taeneung to play four matches against Korea. Their first match will be played as an unofficial friendly match on 3 June at 18:30 NZ time.
Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.
China 1. FG, New Zealand 0. HT: 1-0.