New Zealand's World Finals campaign got off to a grim start when they were beaten 2-0 by China in Tucuman, Argentina today.
The world No 3 Black Sticks had five penalty corner opportunities but couldn't capitalise and many more shooting chances than the Chinese.
China, ranked No 7, got an early lead, with a close range tap in by Cui Quixia from a penalty corner and sealed the win in the second half after poor marking left Huang Ting with an open chance.
Their goalkeeper Li Dongxiao had a strong game, while New Zealand counterpart Sally Rutherford also save a penalty stroke from Wang Mengyu.
The Black Sticks, without experienced trio Katie Glynn, Stacey Michelsen and Emily Naylor, play world No 2 Argentina on Monday and end their pool play against Australia on Wednesday.