The New Zealand women’s hockey team earned a bronze medal today with a comprehensive 5-2 victory over South Africa in the third place play-off.
After their disappointing penalty shootout defeat in the semi-finals by England yesterday, the New Zealanders were determined not to be leaving Glasgow without anything to show for their efforts.
They got away to a good start when Anita Punt scored after six minutes. However, South Africa levelled the score at 1-1 after 24 minutes.
New Zealand regained the lead a moment or two later when Krystal Forgesson converted a penalty corner and it stayed at 2-1 until halftime.
South Africa equalised for a second time after 49 minutes and it seemed as if despite looking the better side, New Zealand might be pushed to record a victory.
But three goals in the space of 13 minutes sealed matters.
Jordan Grant scored in the 55th minute, Gemma Flynn in the 62nd and Grant again in the 68th to stretch the final margin to 5-2.
New Zealand coach Mark Hager said his team played much better today.
“There was more confidence there. It was important they got a medal after losing that match to England,” he said.
New Zealand captain Kayla Whitelock said that once her side got on top she felt the goals would come.
“It was great that they made the most of the chance to score some goals,” she said.