The Vantage Black Sticks Women secured a 1-0 win over Japan in their fourth round match at the Vantage Hawkes Bay Festival of Hockey.
After 60 minutes of hockey played in steady rain, the Kiwis got the result they needed thanks to a first half goal from Kirsten Pearce.
The Black Sticks came into the match with a win and a draw from their opening three matches but more importantly, were looking for redemption after being beaten 2-1 by Japan in the opening match of the tournament.
The first half was played in a predictable style by both teams; the hosts pressing forward on attack while Japan fell back in defence and were quick to stifle any opportunities that were created.
The Black Sticks broke the deadlock in the 20th minute from a penalty corner after Japan goalkeeper Megumi Kageyama made the initial save but Pearce flicked the rebound into the net.
The second half belonged to the Kiwis who pushed forward through the midfield and created more opportunities for the strikers.
At the end of four rounds Australia tops the table with eight points, the Vantage Black Sticks have climbed to second with seven, the early leaders Japan are on six and the USA has just one.
Tomorrow is a rest day at the tournament before the Vantage Black Sticks take on Australia at 5:30pm on Thursday night.
VANTAGE BLACK STICKS 0: (Kirsten Pearce)
Halftime: Black Sticks 1-0
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Hockey NZ