Black Sticks women fail to qualify for Olympics

The Black Sticks react to losing 1-0 to the United States in their women's hockey Olympic...
The Black Sticks react to losing 1-0 to the United States in their women's hockey Olympic qualifying tournament in Ranchi, India. Photo: NZ Hockey
The Black Sticks women have failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in 28 years after a gut-wrenching loss to the United States in India.

The 1-0 defeat in their final pool game at Olympic qualifying tournament in Ranchi, followed by India's 5-1 win over Italy, was enough to leave New Zealand third in their group.

With only the top two teams advancing to the semi-finals, the Black Sticks' hopes of competing at Paris this year are over, meaning the Olympic women's tournament won't feature them for the first time since the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

Coming off a 3-0 win over Italy and a 3-1 loss to India, the 10th ranked New Zealanders needed victory over the US to ensure they advanced but weren't at their best against opponents ranked two places below them.

After an even start, the Americans hit the front early in the second quarter through an Elizabeth Yeager goal from a penalty corner.

New Zealand earned their first penalty corner of the game five minutes into the second half but began to create chances in the final quarter as they sought goals.

Two goals were disallowed from penalty corners with the first being deemed too high off a hit and the second was overruled for a Black Sticks player obstructing a defender.

Black Sticks men beat Germany

The unbeaten Black Sticks men kept their qualifying hopes alive with a 2-2 draw against reigning world champions Germany at their qualifying tournament in Oman.

In a game that showcased the improvement the side has made in the past year, New Zealand stayed in the fight throughout the contest against their fifth-ranked opponents.

Having opened with a 3-1 win over Chile, the 10th-ranked Black Sticks remain level at the top of their pool alongside Germany on four points.

Victory over winless Canada on Friday morning will guarantee New Zealand advance to the semi-finals, although a draw or even a loss could yet be enough, depending on the result of the other game between Germany and Chile.

Sam Lane set up Sean Findlay for a stunning goal in the opening minute but Germany led 2-1 at halftime courtesy of goals to Gonzalo Peillat and Tom Grambusch in the second quarter.

New Zealand posed more of a threat in the second half and found an equaliser when Kane Russell delivered a classy assist for Hayden Phillips to deflect the ball into the roof of the net.

Black Sticks goalkeeper Leon Hayward made three excellent late saves to ensure New Zealand ended the match level-pegging.