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FIH-Hockey Pro-League-(Black Stick’s Women’s-Netherlands)

Late Dutch goal sinks Black Sticks Women’s hopes
The Vantage Black Sticks Women and Netherlands have battled it out in an outstanding match which has seen the Netherlands side sneak away with a 3-2 win over a fast finishing New Zealand side. The Black Sticks found themselves down by two goals early in the match, however they managed to battle their way back into the contest and scored their equaliser with five minutes to go in the contest. The Netherlands stayed composed and found the match winner moments later through a powerful Xan de Waard forehand shot. 
 
The opening quarter of the match saw both sides look to hold onto possession for large periods of time and construct some positive attack. The Vantage Black Sticks Women had the first penalty corner of the match after Amy Robinson found a Dutch players foot in the circle. The Netherlands defence stopped the shot to keep the score at 0-0. The first quarter was an even contest with both sides having a good amount of possession and circle entries, the Dutch side did hold a slight advantage with seven circle entries to the Black Sticks four. 
 
The Netherlands started the second quarter strongly and earned their first penalty corner of the match. Brooke Neal pulled off a great save on the line to deny the Netherlands. The Dutch side continued to apply pressure on the New Zealand side and were rewarded in the seventh minute of the second quarter when Kelly Jonker was left open in the circle and powered a shot past the Grace O’Hanlon to put the Netherlands up 1-0. The Dutch Women then extended their lead moments later when the Kiwi Women couldn’t clear their circle and the Netherlands Women seized on the turnover and passed the ball around O’Hanlon and into the goal. Overall it was all the Netherlands in the second quarter as they had 63% possession and 12 circle entries as they thoroughly dominated the second quarter which put them in the box seat in the match. 
 
The Vantage Black Sticks started the third quarter off confidently looking to find their way back into the match, it was the Netherlands who had the best of the early chances in the quarter, however Black Sticks goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon pulled off some outstanding saves to keep the Dutch team out of the goal. Late in the third quarter Stacey Michelsen found a foot in the circle to earn the Black Sticks a penalty corner. Olivia Merry then swept the penalty corner shot into the goal to give New Zealand a chance heading into the final quarter. 
 
The final quarter started with end to end play as both sides looked to ramp up the pressure and take control of the match. Midway through the final quarter the Black Sticks earned a penalty stroke after Kirsten Pearce was deliberately hacked in the circle. Olivia Merry stepped up and calmly put the stroke into the goal. The Dutch side almost immediately stormed down the field and then put a fantastic shot in past O’Hanlon to put the Dutch side back in front in the match. The Black Sticks continued to push late but couldn’t find their way through the outstanding Netherlands defence. 
 
Vantage Black Sticks Women 2 (Olivia Merry 44, 54 min)
Netherlands Women 3 (Kelly Jonker 21 min, Felice Albers 24 min, Xan de Waard 55 min) 
 
By the numbers:
  Vantage Black Sticks Women   Netherlands Women 2 Score 3 50% Possession 50% 4 Shots 15 12 Circle Entries 38 3 Penalty Corners 4 48.25% Passing Accuracy 54.5%  
 
 
 
 
 

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