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KIM Hong Lae (KOR)
Reserve Umpire
Video Umpire
NEL Deon (RSA)
Technical Officer
DE SALES Claudius (IND)
Technical DirectorMcCRACKEN Jason (NZL)

Shot-stopper Manchester guides Black Sticks to 7th

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New Zealand take shoot-out win over Spain in 7-8 classification match

Devon Manchester produced a goalkeeping masterclass to help New Zealand to a 7th place finish at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup courtesy of a shoot-out victory over Spain. 

New Zealand's Kane Russell and Xavi Lleonart of Spain  were both on target as the two sides finished the match locked together at 1-1, but Manchester produced fantastic saves to deny both David Alegre and Roc Oliva as the Black Sticks powered to a 4-1 in the shootout. 

New Zealand converted all four of their opportunities in the shoot-out, with Hugo Inglis, Blair Hilton, Steve Edwards and Simon Child getting the goals. 

The goalkeepers were the stars of the show in the first half, with Spain's Quico Cortes and Devon Manchester of New Zealand both making a string of fine saves to keep the score at 0-0 for the majority of pretty even first period. Cortes pulled off a miraculous stick save with a low dive to his right to deny Black Sticks veteran Phil Burrows, while opposite number Manchester produced an equally impressive block from a Spanish penalty corner.  

With both shot-stoppers in such sparkling form, it seemed likely that it was going to take something special to break the deadlock, and that was exactly what New Zealand produced five minutes before half time. The opening goal came from the stick of Kane Russell, who sent a ferocious penalty corner drag-flick arrowing into the bottom right corner of the net to give the Black Sticks the advantage at the break. 

The goalkeepers continued their excellent work throughout the second period, although New Zealand's Manchester was eventually beaten when Xavi Lleonart flicked a penalty corner into the net with 16 minutes of the match remaining.

The Black Sticks had the ball in the back of the Spanish net five minutes from the end of the game, although a smart video referral from the Europeans saw Simon Child's strike ruled out for an infringement. Spain used the video referral system to good effect just before the end, overturning a New Zealand penalty corner before the Black Sticks won the match in the shoot-out to secure a 7th place finish at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. 

Official Match Report (PDF)