The Fans of HockeyWorld Hockey NewsNetherlands Beat New Zealand to Finish 3rd at Rotterdam

The Black Sticks Men have finished fourth at the World League Semi-Final in Rotterdam after being defeated 4-1 by Netherlands in Sunday’s bronze medal playoff.

Phil Burrows netted a goal early and the score was level at halftime, but the Black Sticks were outmuscled in the second half with the Dutch capitalising on a high percentage of possession.

The result means the Black Sticks Men will need to wait until the conclusion of the other World League Semi-Final being played in Malaysia next week to find out whether they will progress to the World League Final in India in January. The top three sides from each World League Semi-Final progress to the World League Final along with the hosts (India), and the final spot goes to the fourth placed team with the highest FIH World Ranking.

Head coach Colin Batch said it was a disappointing way to finish a tournament that has on the whole shown many positives for his youthful side.

“I think tiredness set in during the second half. We fell behind and never got back into the game which wasn’t good enough,” Batch said.

“We played very well throughout the pool stage and against Spain in the quarter-finals so we have mixed feelings at the moment. We’ve got to develop further as a group but we continue to evolve our program and have made huge steps forward.”

Tonight’s contest was the epitome of hard running hockey with both sides playing strongly on defence while also creating chances up front.

The Black Sticks opened the scoring against the run of play in the 13th minute with veteran striker Burrows going on a solo run before cracking a shot past the goalkeeper from a tight angle.

Netherlands responded five minutes later thanks to a deflection by Jeroen Hertzberger to draw the game level, with the score-line remaining static going into halftime.

The Dutch took control in the second half though, with Hertzberger recording his second goal of the night before Valentin Verga and Jalle Gallema both scored to put the game out of New Zealand’s reach.

After missing out on a coveted top three placing at the World League Semi-Final, the Black Sticks Men’s next chance to qualify directly for the 2014 Hockey World Cup is by winning the Oceania Cup in Taranaki in October and progressing as one of five Continental Champions.

If they don’t win the Oceania Cup, world rankings could still come into play and see them through depending on which countries automatically qualify as Continental Champions or finish in the top three at the World League Round 3 tournament in London.

CLICK HERE for all World League Semi-Final Men’s results

CLICK HERE for all World League Semi-Final Women’s results

RESULT:

Black Sticks 1: (Phil Burrows)
Netherlands 4: (Jeroen Hertzberger x2, Valentin Verga, Jelle Gallema)
Halftime: 1-1

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