The Black Sticks Men have collected their second victory at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup with a 5-2 win over Argentina in Ipoh, Malaysia last night.
With a number of the squad still recovering from gastro illnesses, the Black Sticks were expected to struggle in the 30 degree heat and 100% humidity after their first up victory over India.
But assistant coach Darren Smith said the Black Sticks made the best of the trying conditions.
“Thanks to all the conditioning work we’ve been doing, our athleticism was one of the key differences between the two teams today.”
Argentina opened the scoring in the third minute and the Kiwis weren’t able to equalise until the 32nd minute when Phil Burrows deflected the ball brilliantly into the roof of the goal.
Richard Petherick converted with a drag flick in the 44th minute and despite Argentina clawing one back the Black Sticks were able to regain the lead with another penalty corner goal this time to Andy Hayward with a superb drag flick into the top right hand corner.
Minutes later Shay Neal, who had just arrived from New Zealand as a replacement player for the ill Blair Hilton, tapped in a field goal. Arun Panchia made sure of the victory in the 64th minute with a reverse shot.
Kyle Pontifex finished off an impressive Kiwi effort by saving an Argentinian penalty stroke with a few minutes left in the game.
Burrows was named player of the match.
The Black Sticks have a much needed rest day today before meeting Pakistan on Sunday night (NZ time).
Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.
Full time: 5-2 (New Zealand win)
Half time: 1-1
New Zealand goalscorers: Phil Burrows, Richard Petherick, Andy Hayward, Shay Neal, Arun Panchia.