Some good saves from Devon Manchester helped the Kiwis hold the score at 1-2 for the majority of the first half, but the flood gates opened and New Zealand were unable to match the relentless play of the Germans in the second spell.
The encouraging aspect of the game for New Zealand were the opportunities created and the possession being close to equal between the sides. New Zealand had 12 shots on goal compared to Germany’s 18 and were awarded seven penalty corners but were only able to convert the one.
Speaking post the win Germany Coach Markus Weise said “It’s a good start for us for the tournament. The team was lucky to have scored 3 goals in 5 minutes in the second half of the match. The defence was very good but somehow we gave many too many corners and I think if New Zealand would have been successful in converting those corners then the score card would have showed a different picture”.
“Days like this are hard. Germany took all their chances and we didn’t. We knew it was going to be tough, but they played very well. We need to regroup and talk about what happened, but I think that we will come out tomorrow determined to hold the ball more, get into the circle and take our chances,” said Black Stick Alex Shaw.
The match started at breakneck pace as Germany’s Christopher Wesley opened the scoring with less than 20 seconds played. Kane Russell equalised converting a penalty corner, but Germany snatched the lead back when Thilo Stralkowski scored in the 11th minute. New Zealand did well to hold the score at 1-2 until just before half time when Florian Fuchs stretched it to 3-1. In the second half, the Kiwis were put under more pressure with Stralkowski scoring a second penalty corner as well as Tobias Hauke and Jan Philipp Rabente knocking home a field goal.
The Black Sticks now play India at 8:00PM IST / 3.30am tomorrow (NZ time) before taking on England in their final pool game at 9.30pm (NZ time) on Monday. All Black Sticks games, plus semis and the finals are LIVE on Sky Sport. Click here to see the full schedule.