New Zealand have won the Bronze medal at the Rabo FIH Champions Trophy in dramatic fashion thanks to a last gasp strike from Charlotte Harrison. The team defeated Korea 3-2, with Harrison’s strike arriving with less than 40 seconds of the match remaining. The win gave New Zealand their first ever medal at an FIH Champions Trophy, a fact that was not lost on Black Sticks coach Mark Hagar.
“Whenever we looked at the statistics it always says that New Zealand has never won a medal at a Champions Trophy, so it is nice to change it”, said the delighted coach. “It was probably a match we were lucky to come away with in the end, but I’m so pleased for players like Kayla (Sharland) and Krystal (Forgesson). They are stalwarts of New Zealand hockey and have been in the team for a long, long time. They deserve this.”
The Black Sticks – who today wore all white – took a 1-0 lead in the contest thanks to a ripper of a penalty corner from Katie Glynn, who rattled the back-board with a fearsome strike in the 15th minute. Less than 60 seconds later Krystal Forgesson doubled the advantage from close range following a typically slick attacking move from New Zealand.
Although 2-0 down, Korea competed well but struggled to create any meaningful chances. Eventually though, their incredible work-rate and persistence won them a penalty corner and a chance to get back in the medal hunt. Cho Eun Ji sent a powerful flick towards the left of the goal, but Sally Rutherford dived at full stretch to pad the ball away to safety.
It proved to be their only decent chance of the first half, but the Koreans came out fighting at the start of the second period, clearly determined to get their hands on that bronze medal. Kim Jong Eun made space for herself before chipping the ball over the diving Rutherford with a reverse stick shot, but Emily Naylor intercepted the chance and cleared the danger.
However, Kim Jong Eun got the goal that she deserved in the 42nd minute, receiving the ball on the right of the circle before crashing a thunderous strike through the legs of the goalkeeper to drag her team back into the match.
Korea were in the ascendency, pressing the Black Sticks deep into their own half and looking increasingly confident going forward, although they were thwarted on various occasions by excellent defensive work from New Zealand.
The pressure told when Stacey Michelsen was shown a yellow card for a poor challenge outside the circle, with umpire Stella Bartlema doubling the punishment by awarding a penalty corner. Korea took full advantage of the opportunity, slamming a drag flick into the bottom corner to tie the scores.
With the prospect of extra time looming large, both sides went in search of a winner in the final ten minutes of the match. New Zealand forward Katie Glynn won a penalty corner for her team with just over one minute remaining, but Clarissa Eshuis could find the back of the net with her flick.
However, a goalmouth scramble in the dying seconds of the match was bundled over the line by Charlotte Harrison, sparking wild celebrations from her team mates who knew that they had just claimed their first ever Champions Trophy medal.
Korea played in the Bronze medal match following a successful protest and appeal by Argentina team late on Saturday evening. For more information about this, please click here.
Review 23. Final 3-4 Korea vs New Zealand (2-3) - Rabo FIH Champions Trophy 2011
> Charlotte Harrison scored the winning goal for New Zealand in the last minute of the match to hand the Black Sticks their first CT medal ever.
> New Zealand are the ninth team ever to collect a medal in the Women's Champions Trophy.
> Korea finished 4th, having won just 1 of their 6 matches at the 2011 Champions Trophy.
> Korea scored their first penalty corner goal of the tournament to finish Amstelveen 2011 on 1 from 22.
> New Zealand’s penalty corner success rate for the tournament is 3 for 14.
> Katie Glynn and Charlotte Harrison are New Zealand's top goalscorer at Amstelveen 2011 on 3 goals.
> Charlotte Harrison and Katie Glynn also became New Zealand's all-time top scorers in CT competition on 5 CT career goals.
> Korea’s Kim Jong-Hee finishes the tournament on 4 goals.
> Korea have scored 12 goals at Amstelveen 2012. New Zealand and China have scored 11 times.
> Korea have netted most field goals (11).
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