Rio Olympics 2016: Black Sticks off to perfect start

By Jeremy Redmore

New Zealand's Charlotte Harrison celebrates with teammates after scoring against South Korea during their opening group game of the Olympics. Photo / AP
New Zealand's Charlotte Harrison celebrates with teammates after scoring against South Korea during their opening group game of the Olympics. Photo / AP

New Zealand's women's Black Sticks have begun their Olympic campaign in style after defeating a tough South Korean side 4-1.

Up against the eighth-ranked side in the world and one the Black Sticks had an even 7-7 all-time record against, the result was the perfect momentum-builder as group play began today.

New Zealand led 1-0 after the first quarter with Kirsten Pearce's slap home from close range the difference between the sides in a scrappy opening period.

The Black Sticks extended their lead four minutes into the second quarter as Charlotte Harrison showed great commitment in attack to dive and shoot the ball past the Korean goal keeper.

Within two minutes Gemma Flynn had added the team's third score with a beautiful finish of a set play from a penalty corner.

New Zealand's commitment in numbers at both ends of the field frustrated a Korean side that struggled to gain any consistent possession or pressure in the first three quarters of the match.

What pressure they did convert into chances was expertly deflected by Kiwi goalkeeper Sally Rutherford who made a number of key saves throughout the fixture.

With a 3-0 lead at half time, the Black Sticks refused to let the Koreans back into the game.

Petrea Webster scored the second diving goal of the game four minutes into the second half to give the Kiwis a comfortable lead heading into the final period.

With six minutes left to play Korea scored their first goal of the match via Kim Hyun-Ji as they found momentum in the game far too late to seriously trouble the Black Sticks.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 29 May 2017 12:54:43 Processing Time: 569ms