The Black Sticks Men have lost 1-0 against Korea at Papatoetoe Sports Centre tonight in a game full of speed and skill that was arguably their best game of hockey so far in the six-test series.
“It was a good performance from us tonight and although it was frustrating to concede a goal early on, we were disciplined and played a good game of hockey. It is really pleasing that we are improving with every match, we just need to work on finishing off the opportunities that we create so we can get the goals on the scoreboard,” says head coach Colin Batch.
It was not the start New Zealand were hoping for, letting in an unfortunate soft goal in the first two minutes from Korean Nam Young Lee. A compelling attacking effort from the Koreans followed for the next 30 minutes and the Black Sticks held strong in defence to avoid conceding a second goal.
Early in the second half, Korea were awarded two penalty corners, the first of the match for either team, but goalkeeper Devon Manchester belted both to the sideline and play continued.
Five minutes later, the Black Sticks were awarded two penalty corners of their own but Andy Hayward’s impressive drag flick could not seal the deal. Playing his 100th international test match, Hugo Inglis played well creating numerous opportunities up front along with Auckland striker Phil Burrows.
The Black Sticks kept up the intensity to the final whistle, including bringing the goalkeeper into the field of play, but unfortunately the Kiwis didn’t get the win they were after.
Both sides play their final game against Korea tomorrow at 7pm at Papatoetoe Sports Centre. Entry is FREE.
The Junior Black Sticks Women play their second match against the Korean Under-21’s at 4.30pm.
Korea 1(Nam Young Lee) Black Sticks 0. HT: 1-0 (Korea lead)