Rio Olympics 2016: Black Sticks book spot in semifinals

The Black Sticks women's quarter-final match against the Hockeyroos played out just as Anita Mclaren had envisioned.

A 4-2 win over the Australians has powered them into a Rio semi-final against either Great Britain or Spain and the chance of a first Olympic women's medal in the sport.

"I played this game a few times in my head over the night, but to come out with the win was amazing," she told NZ Newswire.

She had visualised them winning, but not by scoring four goals against the No.3-ranked Australians.

McLaren, Kelsey Smith, Gemma Flynn and Olivia Merry all got on the scoresheet for the fourth-ranked Black Sticks while Kathryn Slattery scored two consolation goals for the Australians.

McLaren chose the perfect time to open her penalty corner account in the tournament to shoot over the head of Jodie Kenny in the seventh minute.

"I finally backed my drag flick," she said.

But No.3-ranked Australia came back with gusto, forcing goalkeeper Sally Rutherford into two smart saves from penalty corners before Smith deflected home skipper Kayla Whitelock's penalty corner effort to give New Zealand a 2-0 lead at half-time.

The Hockeyroos reduced the deficit early in the second half when Slattery latched onto a pass from Madonna Blyth after a penalty corner scramble.

Any fears of a comeback were soon snuffed out by Flynn who volleyed home Stacey Michelsen's cross and then Merry got a stick to Charlotte Harrison's effort to squeeze it past Rachael Lynch in Australia's goal to cap a dominant display.

Slattery fired home late on after seizing on a stray touch from Whitelock, but it was too late for the Australians.

McLaren said their goal glut was reward for the attention they had paid to that facet of the game.

"This whole year we've been getting the chances, creating so many opportunities but they haven't been falling.

"To start getting those goals now for us is great. We've worked really hard, especially after the Champions Trophy, we've been working on goalscoring and to see it pay off is great."

Whitelock said the key to the win was their work off the ball.

"We stuck to our guns. We knew what we needed to do to beat Australia.

"We just had to believe in ourselves, execute the game plan and chase. That's the key to us - if we chase, we're going to win games."

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