New Zealand produced a gritty performance to hold Olympic Champions and host nation The Netherlands to a 0-0 draw, a result which put them into the Medal round at the Rabo FIH Champions Trophy in Amstelveen.
Even though there is still three rounds of matches left to play, New Zealand are now guaranteed a top four finish at an FIH Champions Trophy event for the first time in their history. However, Black Sticks coach Mark Hager will be focussed the minds of his rapidly developing young team, with the aim of achieving a podium finish at the very least.
The match itself was a very tense contest, although both sides had some chances to score what would have been a match winning goal. Netherlands captain Maartje Paumen had two very good chances to score from penalty corners, but failed to establish an advantage. Lidewij Welten and Kim Lammers also went close for The Netherlands, while the Black Sticks players Katie Glynn and Kayla Sharland had the best of the chances for the Black Sticks but could not find a way past Netherlands keeper Floortje Engels.
The result completes the first phase of the competition, with the line ups for Pools C and D now known. Pool C contains the teams that are still in with a shot of winning the title, with Argentina, Korea, Netherlands and New Zealand doing battle. The results of their matches today will count towards their standing in Pool C, with all four teams taking one point into the group as Argentina and Korea also ended with the scores level today.
Pool D will eventually decide the 5th to 8th placed teams, with Australia, China, England and Germany fighting it out. Australia currently lead that group thanks to today’s victory over Germany, who are currently bottom of the pool. England and China’s 0-0 draw earlier in the day sees them sitting mid-table with one point.Before the match between The Netherlands and New Zealand, Dutch striker Kim Lammers was given credit for playing her 150th game, while Black Sticks stars Katie Glynn and Elizabeth Gunson were given credit for playing their 50th internationals as well as Alana Millington who was celebrating her 21st birthday.
Review 12. Netherlands vs New Zealand 0-0 - Rabo FIH Champions Trophy 2011
> Netherlands and New Zealand both progress to Pool C. All four teams progressing bring a draw to Pool C.
> New Zealand record their best Champions Trophy result ever by finishing in the Top 4. They were ranked fifth or sixth in all eight of their previous CT appearances.
> This marked only the second time New Zealand avoided defeat against the Dutch in CT competition after a 2002 draw at the 2002 Champions Trophy.
> The Dutch have now converted 1 of 12 penalty corners awarded at the 2011 Champions Trophy (8%).
> New Zealand have failed to convert any of their 4 penalty corners awarded at the 2011 CT, including one in this match.
> This was New Zealand’s 50th Champions Trophy match. They have now won 7, drawn 11 and lost 32.
> 29 goals have been scored in 12 CT matches so far at Amstelveen 2011. That is 2.4 goals per match, the lowest average ever in a CT edition.
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