Black Sticks crush Korea in opening game

Music 08/08/2016

The Black Sticks women have scorched Korea 4-1 on a sizzling day in Rio to get their Olympic hockey campaign under way in emphatic fashion. 

They blasted out of the blocks to score three unanswered goals in the first half to Kirsten Pearce, Charlotte Harrison and Gemma Flynn before Petrea Webster added a fourth after the interval as the mercury hit 33C at the Olympic Hockey Centre. 

Korea, who did manage to force a series of quality saves from goalkeeper Sally Rutherford, got a late consolation to Hyunji Kim.Mark Hager's charges were in the ascendancy early and got their reward when Pearce found the net in the 10th minute. 

They posed a threat on attack, moving the ball well across the slick surface and added to their lead when Harrison won the ball high up the field and then slapped a diving reverse stick shot home. 

Flynn, who had gone close earlier, deflected home a well-worked penalty corner variation to put them almost beyond reach at halftime. 

Webster made absolutely sure when she got a touch to skipper Kayla Whitelock's pass to deviate it past Sooji Yang in the Korean goal. 

Rutherford, who produced a smart double save early in the second half, was finally beaten when Kim bundled the ball home from close range after a goalmouth scramble. 

The Black Sticks face Germany next on Monday.