The women's Blacks Sticks had a setback when they were beaten 2-1 by Germany in their second pool A game at the Olympics today.
They had been hoping to build on an encouraging 4-1 first up win over South Korea but instead, after starting well, they struggled to press on in the second half.
New Zealand coach Mark Hager was disappointed with the Black Sticks' performance.
"We fought hard but in the end our set pieces were poor, they ran us down and we just need to execute better," he said.
"They outplayed us in three of four quarters. We needed to get at least a point out of this game and we're now stuck back in the pack which is disappointing."
The result moved Germany, albeit briefly, to the top of the standings, but with world No 1 the Netherlands to play Korea and Spain facing China later today.
Petrea Webster gave world No 4 New Zealand the lead in the ninth minute, diving forward to convert Charlotte Harrison's cross.
Smart reactions from German goalkeeper Kristina Reynolds shortly after saved the Germans from a 2-0 deficit, her right foot tipping wide a powerful Gemma Flynn strike.
Germany equalised through Pia-Sophie Oldhafer in the second quarter, before Anne Schroder got the winner two minutes before the end of the third quarter.
On rankings, this was a game New Zealand would have expected to win, Germany being ranked five places lower.
But their failure to capitalise on penalty corner opportunities - they failed to score from all six attempts - cost dearly.
It won't have gone unnoticed that Schroder's winner was slammed in from one of Germany's three penalty corner attempts.
Goalkeeper Sally Rutherford had to be on top of her game as the Germans, gaining in confidence as the game progressed, exposed New Zealand's defensive frailties.
The Blacks Sticks now have a day off to ponder their situation before facing world No 14 Spain early on Thursday (NZT).