Both teams wanted to redeem themselves after losing their opening matches and play was immediately animated. England drew first blood in the 14th minute by James Gall, cleverly pulling away from traffic in the circle to find space and blast a shot on goal.
They nearly doubled their tally when Nicholas Bandurak arrived alone in the circle after stealing a ball in midfield but he was thwarted by Richard Joyce in the Black Sticks goal. England however did not miss their chance on the resulting penalty-corner and Luke Taylor increased their lead to 2-0 with a high drag-flick.
New Zealand came back firing on all cylinders after the break and immediately forced a couple of penalty-corners. They bobbled the first one but Kane Russell’s low flick hit the target on the second one, bringing back the Kiwis within reach of England in the 39th minute. They kept the momentum and created time and again mayhem in the English defense but could not capitalize on the next penalty-corner.
England had trouble keeping their head above water in this period. They managed to maintain their structure but were at times individually outplayed by the skilled New-Zealanders. English goal-keeper Harry Gibson kept his team alive with a fantastic save on a penalty-corner, but he could not do anything on a shot from close range by Matt Rees-Gibbs to tie the game in the 68th minute!
Neither team was satisfied with a tie that makes a quarter-final berth problematic, but the English players were the most disappointed after having blown away a 2-goal half-time lead.