The Black Sticks Men will go through to the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament, despite losing 1-0 against Korea tonight in Ipoh, Malaysia.
The Black Sticks created numerous opportunities throughout the game, but it was Korean player Jang Jong Hyun who scored in the 68th minute from a penalty corner which went high into the net.
“We tried a different game plan tonight and overall I was happy with how we played and we learnt a lot. It was obviously disappointing to lose in the final minutes, we wanted to win and we had our opportunities throughout the game but just didn’t make the most of them,” says McLeod.
New Zealanders dominated play in the first half, holding most of the possession and having numerous shots on goal.
Captain Dean Couzins played his 250th international test tonight, joining Ryan Archibald and Phil Burrows as the only other players in the squad to have reached this significant milestone.
It is still to be determined which side the Black Sticks will face in the final at 12.35am on Monday (NZ time), but the Black Sticks are looking forward to the challenge.
“It is the first time we have been in a final at this tournament, so we will be giving it our all,” says McLeod. It will be the Black Sticks final international game before the London Olympic team is named.
Archibald and Simon Child were rested tonight, but are likely to play in the final.
New Zealand 0. Korea 1. HT: 0-0