- England defeated 3-1 in Amstelveen
- Lily Owsley opened scoring on 100th England appearance
- Ellie Rayer wins 50th England cap
- Final pool game vs China at 3:30pm UK time on Thursday; England must win to guarantee progression
Centurion Lily Owsley’s early strike couldn’t prevent England from slipping to a 3-1 defeat to New Zealand at the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup.
A close-range poacher’s effort from Owsley on the occasion of her 100th cap gave England an early lead as they hit the front for the second game running in Amstelveen.
But David Ralph’s side were pegged back by Katie Doar late in the second quarter and further goals from Doar and Tarryn Davey gave the Black Sticks victory.
England’s massive third and final Pool B match comes against China on Thursday at 15:30. A win would guarantee David Ralph’s side progression into at least the crossover phase. Depending on the outcome of the India vs New Zealand, there is a slim chance that a draw would be enough to reach the crossovers, but the women will of course be going all-out for victory.
With Ellie Rayer making her 50th appearance, England started strongly and some good stickwork just inside the circle from Fiona Crackles forced a first penalty corner, having failed to win any PCs against India.
Giselle Ansley’s initial effort was blocked but England kept the ball alive and Owsley leapt on a rebound to steer home from close range.
England pressed on and Hannah Martin won a corner after being body checked on a run into the circle, with Anna Toman seeing both of her efforts charged down.
New Zealand countered at high pace and a reverse stick ball was flashed across the face of goal, with enough pressure placed on Aniwaka Haumaha to force a foot.
England were on the front foot at the start of the second when Izzy Petter stole into the circle only to see the ball escape her stick and roll behind.
From another penalty corner, Balsdon’s low drag was bound for the left-hand corner only to be acrobatically saved by Brooke Roberts.
It was nearly two when Fiona Crackles fed Tess Howard in down the left-hand side for the forward to fire a reverse stick strike just wide.
England were hit by a sucker punch when a quick free hit found Tyler Lench, who ran mazily down the right and played in Katie Doar, whose reverse strike beat Hinch.
There was controversy in the third quarter when Grace Balsdon dragged the ball into the net but it was disallowed for dangerous play with the ball taking a deflection off the forearm of a Kiwi defender.
New Zealand took the lead minutes later when, moments after Shona McCallin was green-carded, Doar wriggled into the circle and her reverse stick effort deflected off Giselle Ansley’s foot and past Hinch.
The response was nearly immediate as Giselle Ansley dragged England’s corner towards the right side of the goal only for Tessa Jopp to hack off the line from the post.
Hannah Martin led the charge early in the fourth with her reverse snuffed out by Stephanie Dickins.
New Zealand went down to ten players with Rose Tynan yellow-carded, but it didn’t prevent them from doubling their lead and pulling clear.
Pearne-Webb was penalised for running early from a corner and Lench pounced on the loose ball from a Hinch save, steering into the path of Tarryn Davey to tap home.
England tried everything in their power and mixed up routines to try to convert one of the ten penalty corners they won with Balsdon once again denied by Jopp on the goal-line.
England earned countless corners in the fourth quarter but each time the Black Sticks got something in the way, Jopp again involved as they saw out the win.
England: Maddie Hinch, Laura Unsworth, Anna Toman, Hannah Martin, Ellie Rayer, Isabelle Petter, Giselle Ansley, Hollie Pearne-Webb (c), Fiona Crackles, Sophie Hamilton, Lily Owsley
Subs: Darcy Bourne, Holly Hunt, Tessa Howard, Shona McCallin, Grace Balsdon, Lily Walker
Subs unused: Sabbie Heesh (GK)
With thanks to England Hockey