Published Monday 04 August 2014

The New Zealand men’s hockey team lost their bronze medal match against England in cruel circumstances today.

After the score was locked at 3-3 at fulltime, England won the ensuing shootout 4-2. It was the second time a New Zealand team had lost an important shootout in three days.

The New Zealand women lost their semi-final to England in the same circumstances.

As Simon Child, who scored two goals in the bronze medal match, said: “It's really not a nice way to lose.”

The match was played in torrential rain, which slowed down the pace.

New Zealand went into the play-off quietly confident, having beaten England 1-0 in pool play.

Child scored a good goal after 12 minutes. He fired a shot, then latched on to the rebound to flick the ball into goal.

However, England took the initiative with two goals within three minutes, in the 29th and 31st minutes.

Just before halftime, Andy Hayward converted a penalty corner to get it back to level terms, 2-2.

In the second spell England quickly regained the lead. Finally Child got it to 3-3 11 minutes from the end.

In the shootout, Blair Hilton and Child could not convert their opportunities, but New Zealand goalie Devon Manchester was unable to save any from England.

New Zealand captain Dean Couzins said the players were naturally very disappointed afterwards.

"It's really hard. We hung in there until the end but we just didn't take enough chances," he said. "It was 50-50. We had similar opportunities. It's a real shame."