New Zealand have suffered a nailbiting 4-3 loss to Spain in their hockey World League Semi Final pool match in Johannesburg.
In a seesawing game, first Spain and then the Black Sticks took the lead before the Spanish sank the Kiwis' hearts with a winning goal in the final 30 seconds.
Black Sticks coach Darren Smith said the result was disappointing, but his team had given their all after substituting the goalie for an extra field player during periods of the game in a bid to better attack the Spanish goal.
Despite the loss, the Black Sticks still finished third in their pool and will advance to the knockout phase, where they'll play a "cross-over" quarter final against Belgium.
"We took a calculated risk with the goalkeeper off the field, but it allowed us to hold the ball well in the defensive midfield and then create some good attacking pressure and score three goals," Smith said.
"It's a disappointing final result for us, but we are certainly up for our next challenge and know we'll have to be on our game."
Marcus Child also brought up his 100th Black Sticks cap in the match.