Both Germany’s men’s and women’s teams picked up wins, while Spain sealed a dramatic comeback victory over The Netherlands on matchday 11 of the International Hockey Federation Pro League today.
Action began at the Naga Puna Wai Hockey Stadium in Christchurch when New Zealand hosted Germany.
On the women’s side, Commonwealth Games champions New Zealand looked to build on an incredible 5-1 win over the Olympic gold medallists Great Britain last week (February 8), but it was not to be as instead they fell to a 3-1 defeat.
The Black Sticks took the lead inside the first minute when Amy Robinson tapped in from close range, only for Germany to reverse the deficit in the second period.
Charlotte Stapenhorst levelled the scores with a classy flick finish over Sally Rutherford in the Kiwi goal before Pia Maertens forced home a close range penalty corner after an initial shot was blocked on the line.
Spain, who lost to Australia in a shootout last weekend (February 10), then added to their lead through Hannah Gablac from another penalty corner in the third quarter and that proved to be how the match ended.
In the men’s match, Germany won again by the same score.
At half time the score was still 0-0 but Germany took control in the third quarter and opened up a 2-0 lead through Marco Miltkau and Niklas Wellen.
Captain Blair Tarrant pulled one back for the Black Sticks but a brilliant third German goal from Florian Fuchs sealed another European win.
In the day’s second men’s match, in Spain at the Estadio Betero in Valencia, The Netherlands were 2-0 up by the end of the first quarter and extended their lead to three in the third quarter, thanks to goals from Thierry Brinkman, Mirco Pruijser and Jelle Galema.
Any sort of result for Spain at that point seemed unlikely, but they pulled one back at the end of the third quarter through Pau Quemada and reduced the deficit to one when Albert Beltran scored in the 51st minute.
With time virtually up the hosts forced a shoot-out when Marc Serrahima fired home from a penalty corner, and they went on to seal one of the most unlikely victories by winning the shoot-out 3-1.
The Dutch remain third in the men’s standings, despite the defeat, while Spain sit sixth.
Germany’s victory over New Zealand sees them move into fourth.
Germany also sit fourth in the women’s table thanks to their win today.
Tomorrow Australia are due to host Great Britain in both the men’s and women’s event in Perth.
Another women’s match will go ahead in Winston-Salem where the United States are scheduled to play The Netherlands.