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Black Sticks draw with United States

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/06/2016

A disappointed New Zealand will play off for fifth place at the Champions Trophy women's hockey tournament in London after notching a 1-1 draw with the United States.

The Black Sticks' hopes of contesting for a medal disappeared with a mixed display against the lower-ranked Americans.

It was their first draw of the tournament, complementing a win and three losses to leave them fifth.

Saturday's play-off game will be against winless hosts Great Britain, who New Zealand beat 1-0 earlier in the tournament.

The world's top-two ranked sides, the Netherlands and Argentina, will contest the final while Australia and the USA play off for bronze.

New Zealand's defence was breached by an early goal to Kelsey Kolojejchick before replying through Olivia Merry's goal from a penalty corner soon after halftime.

The Black Sticks could have no complaints about the result, with their goalkeeper Brooke Neal forced to make a handful of sharp saves to deny the Americans.

New Zealand forward Charlotte Harrison said her team were frustrated by their form in London, at the last tournament for all the teams ahead of the Rio Olympics in August.

"We weren't clinical enough up front today so that was a bit of a shame," she said.

"We needed a win to play-off for the bronze. Unfortunately that didn't quite come through so we are pretty gutted. Onwards and upwards for Rio."

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