The Black Sticks Women have been beaten 4-1 by world champions Netherlands at the World League hockey Final in Argentina.
The New Zealanders battled hard throughout the game but couldn't stem the flow of goals from the Dutch, who were clinical in their movement and finishing.
Petrea Webster scored the lone goal for the Black Sticks in what was Midlands midfielder Rose Keddell's 100th international appearance for New Zealand.
"It was pretty tough out there, we did well for first quarter but then we fell away. Their speed and skill got us," Webster said after the game.
"We improved our press and stuck at it for the whole game which is good but there's a bit to work on for the next game."
Netherlands opened the scoring early in the first quarter when Caia van Maasakker's hard penalty corner flick picked up a slight deflection and soared into the top left corner.
The Black Sticks defended hard throughout the quarter and then managed to turn the pressure into some impressive attacking moves.
Webster drew the score level in the 16th minute when she pounced on her own deflected shot and hammered home on the reverse stick.
The Dutch pulled ahead once more just two minutes out from halftime after Kelly Jonker slipped a shot past Sally Rutherford in goal from a hard crash ball into the circle.
The second half belonged to the world's top side, with further goals coming from Ellen Hoog and a second for Jonker.
New Zealand put together some impressive phases of play and had several clear shots at goal but couldn't break the Dutch defence.
Earlier in the other game in the group Germany and Korea drew 1-all.
So the Netherlands are unbeaten with six points, New Zealand have three and Korea and Germany one each.
New Zealand play Germany on Wednesday before all the teams go into the quarter-finals.