New Zealand's men's Black Sticks hockey team will have a
tough quarter-final ahead of them at the Champion's Trophy in
Melbourne after they were held to a 1-1 draw with England in
their final pool game this afternoon.
The Colin Batch-coached outfit were in dire need of a victory
having dropped their opening two Pool A encounters against
Germany (3-2) and India (4-2) earlier in the week.
But despite a late rally the Black Sticks were unable to find
a winner and the result meant they finished pool play as the
fourth seed and will meet the No 1-ranked side from Pool B in
the knockout stages.
Pool B is tightly contested with Australia, Pakistan and the
Netherlands all in with a chance of claiming top spot pending
the result of their final pool game.
New Zealand had to come from behind this afternoon after an
early defensive lapse saw goalkeeper Hamish McGregor caught
out of position and England's Mark Gleghorne took advantage
as he put his team in front early in the first half.
After absorbing plenty of English pressure the Black Sticks
eventually worked their way back in to the game and won a
couple of penalty corners late in the first spell but they
were unable to convert their chances.
After their early worries the New Zealanders also managed to
add some steel to their defence as they kept the English
attackers largely in check.
As the game progressed the Black Sticks managed to assert a
level of dominance on the contest but struggled to find the
elusive last touch.
Wellington striker Stephen Jenness started the game from the
bench with a hand injury and he appeared to play through the
pain as he had a glove on his hand.
Jenness managed to turn provider with only seven minutes left
in the contest as he laid on a ball for veteran Phil Burrows
who found the back of the net to draw the sides level.
New Zealand surged in the final few minutes but were unable
to find a winner.
New Zealand's quarter-final will be played on Thursday.
England 1 (Mark Gleghorne 11) New Zealand 1
(Phil Burrows 63) HT: 1-0