Commonwealth Games: Black Sticks miss out on bronze

By Nik Simon in Glasgow

England players celebrate as they win bronze after a shoot out in the bronze medal match against New Zealand. Photo / Getty Images
England players celebrate as they win bronze after a shoot out in the bronze medal match against New Zealand. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand's rotten luck in shootouts continued as the Black Sticks lost out to England in the bronze medal match at the Commonwealth Games.

Having watched the women's team also suffer shootout heartbreak in their third-place play-off, the Kiwis were beaten 4-2 after drawing 3-3 in normal time.

Blair Hilton and Simon Child both missed their attempts, before England's Ashley Jackson kept a cool nerve to convert a penalty flick to snatch the bronze.

Hit by a torrential downpour at the start of the match, England fared better in the 'Glasgow summer' and had New Zealand on the back foot, but Devon Manchester marshalled his defence as the Black Sticks staved off the early pressure.

When the Kiwis did eventually venture upfield, Child made England pay for not capitalising on their territory and charged into the shooting circle to flick in the 113th goal of his international career.

New Zealand had the opportunity to double their lead, missing a penalty corner and also forcing a fine save from England keeper George Pinner in open play.

England began to show signs of frustration. Iain Lewers and Ashley Jackson were both sent to the sin-bin but, after having a goal ruled out following a lengthy review, the home nation salvaged an equaliser when Alastair Brogan reacted quickest in a goalmouth scramble.

Jackson and Andy Hayward both exchanged penalty corners to leave the half-time score at 2-2, but Jackson gave England the lead when - following a controversial call to have the set-piece re-taken because of a New Zealand infringement - he converted another penalty corner early in the second half.

At 3-2, there was a chance for England to put the game out of sight. But they missed a penalty corner and New Zealand responded through Child, who scored his second of the game to set up the shootout.

- NZ Herald

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