The New Zealand men’s hockey team’s medal chances evaporated in heartbreaking fashion when they were beaten 3-2 by Germany in the dying second today.
The Germans, unbeaten in Rio, scored three goals in the final four minutes to snatch a match that had seemed New Zealand’s for the taking.
Coach Colin Batch said it was a disappointing finish to what had been a great game from New Zealand.
“We came into this game with a lot of confidence and played really well until the final six minutes, which is hugely disappointing,” he said.
“We knew the Germans were going to fight back. They have won the last two Olympic gold medals and have the ability to score right at the death.
“We are good enough to be in the semis so to be knocked out like that is hard to take. We surprised a few people here in Rio and finally got it together as a team so it’s hard to be cut short.”
Batch said his players were hugely disappointed, having played so well and established what looked to be a winning lead.
“To finish like that is a bitter pill and something that will hurt for a long time.”
New Zealand opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Hugo Inglis slipped the ball over the diving goalkeeper.
Veteran defender Shea McAleese doubled the lead in the 48th minute when he converted a penalty corner.
Moritz Furste put the Germans on the board four minutes from fulltime with a well-worked penalty corner flick, before levelling the score at 2-2 three minutes later with another drag flick.
Germany dealt a cruel blow when Florian Fuchs scored the winning field goal with just one second remaining on the clock.