Published Thursday 31 July 2014

The New Zealand women’s hockey team cemented top spot in their pool by demolishing Canada 6-0 today. They have earned themselves a semi-final match against the improving England team on Friday.

It didn’t take long for New Zealand to assert themselves today. Anita Punt slotted home a goal after just 38 seconds.

After that it was one-way traffic. Petrea Webster and Krystal Forgesson added further goals in the first half to make it 3-0 at the break.

Early in the second half, New Zealand captain Kayla Whitelock scored an outrageous goal. She was almost on the baseline and lifted the ball towards the goal, looking to pass to a team-mate. Instead the ball found its way into the net, from an angle that would have defied most mathematicians.

There were also second goals for Forgesson – she has been a real goal machine in this tournament – and Punt.

Afterwards New Zealand coach Mark Hager was understandably pleased with how his team had played.

“I liked how consistent we were all the way through,” he said. “We created lots of opportunities and actually we could have scored even more goals.”

Hager warned that England would not be an easy proposition in the semi-finals.

“We’ll have our work cut out. They’ve been improving throughout this competition.”