Head coach Danny Kerry admitted New Zealand adapted to the soaring heat better as England Women fell to a 3-1 defeat in the quarter-finals of the Champions Trophy in Argentina.
England had defeated New Zealand in a dramatic shoot-out to reach the final of this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow but there was to be no repeat victory as the world number four side booked their spot in the semi-finals.
The Blacksticks opened the scoring through Rose Keddell after 11 minutes but England, who were still without Alex Danson following a heavy collision in the first match of the tournament, equalised two minutes later via Laura Unsworth.
But Kerry’s men were unable to make any further mark as Anita Punt fired in off Shona McCallin’s stick to restore New Zealand’s lead before half-time while Stacey Michelsen made the game safe at the end with a third.
The result means England have failed to win a single match at the tournament in Mendoza, although they do get a chance to correct that record when they play Japan in the first of two 5th-8th place classification matches on Saturday.
Kerry said: “It was a bright opening spell for us across the first seven minutes or so and we had some good chances, however we rapidly went off our game after that.
“Three of our squad are suffering with heat stroke following the match and I think it was clear how tough it was out there; it’s hard enough to play these matches with a full squad of 18.
“New Zealand have some quick players and they capitalised on our errors in the high heat. They played with great execution and pace across the game and thoroughly deserved their win and place in the semi finals.”
© Sportsbeat 2014