Fate wasn’t kind to the New Zealand women’s hockey team in Birmingham.

The team missed out on a medal when they lost to India in a penalty shootout in the third place play-off. Two days earlier they had also lost in a penalty shootout to England in their semi-final.

India proved a skilful and imaginative side and for the first 35 minute or so made most of the running. They were rewarded when Salima Tete scored just before halftime so put the Indians ahead 1-0.

New Zealand looked to have levelled soon after the resumption, but had a goal disallowed.

Thereafter they finished very well, putting India under increasing pressure.

They were rewarded in the final minute when they earned a penalty stroke, which co-captain Olivia Merry converted to send the game into a shootout.

India won the shootout 2-1.

New Zealand assistant coach Verity Sharland said the team had a lot to be proud of.

“Once they get over the hurt, they’ll reflect on how the last eight weeks have gone and realise what they’ve done.”

Before travelling to Birmingham, the New Zealanders played in the World Cup in Amsterdam, where they finished fifth and scored wins over India and England.

In Birmingham, they held the super-strong Australian side to 1-0 (a penalty stroke), and then came out on the wrong side of two flip of the coin penalty shootouts.

Merry was pleased with how the team fought their way back into the match with India. “We were up against a side that made most of the play for the first 45 minutes and in that last quarter we were really chasing the game and managed to put enough pressure on them to force the penalty stroke. I was proud of how they played.”


Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
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