The Black Sticks Women defeated India comprehensively in the opening game of the World League Semi Final.The Black Sticks dominated India in all areas of the game in 7-0 victory.
The statistics highlighted what a comprehensive performance it was for the Kiwis – they had 62 circle penetrations, 15 shots on goals and 64% of the possession.
It was the perfect start to the World League for New Zealand with constant pressure resulting in a first up goal from Charlotte Harrison thanks to a speedy run down the right hand flank and then an own goal eight minutes later.
North Harbour’s Petrea Webster almost scored a third soon after but it was well blocked by the Indian keeper. Controlling the ball and playing with confidence, Webster’s chance was one of many opportunities that the Black Sticks created.
In the 26th minute, Katie Glynn got a soft touch to the ball in the circle and with her back to the goal, she cleverly deflected it between her legs and it rolled passed the keeper.
Even with a three goal lead, the Black Sticks continued to run hard and were unstoppable, turning over the ball and creating space in the circle to make the most of their chances. With three minutes left on the clock in the first half, Harrison set up another goal which was deflected in by Sian Fremaux.
New Zealand almost added another to the scoreboard right on half time after converting their only penalty corner of the game, but the decision was overturned by the video umpire.
In the second half, the fifth goal came when Punt crossed to Harrison who didn’t hesitant to put her body on the line, diving into position to tap it in. Moments later, Harrison and Glynn helped set up a nice goal for Krystal Forgesson who was waiting patiently in position to get her stick to it.
In the 69th minute, Glynn got her second goal, rattling the backboard after she received a great cross from Punt.
The top three teams from the World League Semi-Final automatically qualify for the 2014 Hockey World Cup, although it is possible to earn qualification at the tournament with a lower ranking. New Zealand will also have a chance to qualify at the Oceania Cup in Taranaki this October.
“At the end of the day a win is a win, but the reality is that our next opponent [Germany] is going to be significantly stronger so we can’t be complacent. A key area we need to improve is our decision making when we have the ball in the circle – and turning those opportunities into goals,” says head coach Mark Hager.
“It definitely helped that we have recently played India, every time you play a team you learn things about the side,” says Hager.
New Zealand 7 (Charlotte Harrison 2, Own goal, Katie Glynn x2, Sian Fremaux, Krystal Forgesson) India 0. HT: 4-0