THE Black Sticks women have made the semifinals of the Olympic hockey tournament for the first time.
They only required a draw to make it through, which they achieved with a 0-0 result with Germany this morning.
It was a close run thing however, with Germany, who needed to win by three goals to progress themselves, pressing hard throughout, but a committed team effort and another strong performance by keeper Bianca Russell saw them through.
They end pool play on 10 points, which will see them finish second behind the winner of Australia’s match with Argentina.
Twice Germany had the ball in the back of the net, only for the goals to be ruled out, and they had a 7-3 penalty corner advantage, but New Zealand fought tough.
Much of the 17,000 strong crowd were supporting the Black Sticks’ side, Fairfax NZ reported, and were delighted when the final hooter sounded.
Their previous best result at an Olympics was sixth, in 1984, 2000 and 2004, while the men won in Montreal in 1976.
The Black Sticks’ women are likely to meet Great Britain or China in the semis.