MEN’S FIH WORLD CUP NEWS : It was New Zealand’s second straight defeat in the FIH Hockey Pro League after a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Spain. Starting right off the bat, Spain’s forwards were aggressive, earning four penalty corners, one of which was scored on by Pau Cunill.
George Enersen, the NZL’s goalie, had a hectic day, as he faced constant shots on goal. Spain’s Enrique Gonzalez flashed his talent by evading opponents and making a couple threatening circle penetrations for the Black Sticks.
The Black Sticks scored twice in the last two minutes of the first half to rally from a 2-0 deficit, with to goals from Hayden Phillips (26′) and Simon Child (27′). The Spanish giants had a rough first 12 minutes until Marc Reyne scored with a perfect finish inside the penalty area in the 39th minute.
Spain defeated New Zealand ( FIH Hockey Pro League )
The Black Sticks’ inability to maintain possession allowed the Spanish strikers to capitalize on their opportunities. NZL paid a heavy price in the 47th minute when Pere Amat broke through the defense and sent a shot past George Enersen from inside the penalty circle.
In the last seconds of the game, NZL were awarded a penalty corner, but they were unable to score, and Spain won, 3-2.
“We had an excellent defensive effort. We were well aware that New Zealand had a formidable squad and came into the game accordingly prepared. We are delighted to have earned three points in the season’s first game. We trailed by a goal at halftime but managed to rally. Enrique Gonzalez, who represented Spain and was named Player of the Match, remarked, “We have our next match against India and we would organize appropriately after understanding the errors we committed in this match.”
Despite conceding eight penalty corners and feeling their defense wasn’t fantastic, NZL captain Nic Woods was all smiles at the post-match presentation. Our second-half ball control was still subpar, but we made some noticeable strides. Before our next game, we’ll work hard to get back in form so that we can come out even stronger.