8 Jun 2014

Black Sticks women keep semi-final dream alive

9:15 am on 8 June 2014

The New Zealand women's hockey team have kept their faint World Cup semi-finals hopes alive with a 4-1 win over Japan in the Netherlands.

Anita Punt scored a double with other goals from Sophie Cocks and Katie Glynn lifting the Black Sticks to victory and up to six points in Pool A with one group game left to play.

To progress to the semi-finals, New Zealand must beat arch-rivals Australia in their final pool game tomorrow night at 8.30pm (NZ time) and hope a superior goal difference gets them through.

Head coach Mark Hager said it was good to come away with a win but that concedes there's plenty of work to be a chance at making the semi-finals.

"We did well today to come away with a result. We still lacked some finishing up front but we were able to put away some goals and two penalty corners," he said.

"Unfortunately we had a bad game against Korea and that could come back and bite us in the bum. We need the Dutch to beat Australia and then it's down to our game against the Aussies and goal difference."

Meanwhile, the Black Sticks Men are set for a crucial Pool B game against Germany at 8.30pm tonight (NZ time), victory would leave the Black Caps needing just a draw from their final pool game to secure their place in knockout phase