Black Sticks blow lead against Germany

NZ Newswire August 8, 2012, 11:16 am

New Zealand's men's hockey team blew a three-goal lead to draw 5-5 with Germany in their final pool match at the London Olympics.

The Black Sticks, who were out of medal contention before the match, were up 5-2 with 30 minutes remaining before the Germans launched a thrilling comeback.

New Zealand were aiming to get into the play-off for fifth while the defeneding champions had already had their spot in the semi-finals confirmed after South

Holland's win over South Korea meant the defending champions' second place in Pool B was safe, with New Zealand trying only to get into the play-off for fifth.

The Black Sticks raced into a 4-2 half-time lead with goals from Simon Child, Nick Wilson, Richard Petherick and Stephen Jenness, with Osckar Deecke and Florian Fuchs briefly making it 2-1 and then 3-2.

Child's second five minutes after the break extended their lead before a brace from Christopher Zeller and one for Thilo Stralkowski levelled things up in the tournament's highest-scoring match.

Wilson had a chance to snatch it in the final minute, but two point-blank saves by Germany goalkeeper Max Weinhold denied him.

Coach Shane McLeod said the game typified the Black Sticks' tournament in which they won just one match.

"Our results haven't been ones you want to be on the end of. You play teams like Germany, with the quality they have and it's never over. There's 70 minutes in a hockey game and you have to play well for the 70 minutes. Our guys are really disappointed, they don't consider that a draw, they very much consider it a loss," he said.

New Zealand faces Argentina for ninth place, while Germany plays Australia in their semi-final.

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