The Black Sticks Men have continued their winning streak with an emphatic 5-0 rout over Canada at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015 in Malaysia. Black Sticks started the campaign with a 4-2 win over hosts Malaysia, followed by a 2-1 win over India.
Leading by one goal at halftime, the Kiwis put together a highlight reel of hockey late in the third quarter with three goals in four minutes. A double from man of the match Hugo Inglis and another strike from captain Simon Child took Canada out of contention in a matter of minutes.
The result sees the Black Sticks solidify second spot with three wins from three matches behind Australia on goal difference with two round robin games still to play against Australia and Korea.
Head coach Colin Batch said the result has given them a great platform at the tournament that they need to capitalise on. “We scouted Canada well and stuck to the game plan. It took us a little bit to really get into the game but we put a lot of pressure on them and overran them in the third quarter. We’ve been working on our combinations a lot lately and the players certainly have a lot of trust in each other which showed in some of those goals. So far we’ve played ourselves into a really good position at the tournament, so we’re in good shape going into the Australia game which we are all looking forward to.” he said.
The Black Sticks controlled the majority of possession in the first half but found little reward on the scoreboard for their dominance. Four minutes out from halftime striker Blair Hilton found the breakthrough, taking the ball from left to right around the goalkeeper before drilling home off his reverse stick.
Coming out of the break the momentum stuck with the Kiwis as they began to put the hammer down and run the Canadians around the turf. Inglis sparked his side in the third quarter when he flicked home a goal after a penalty corner variation went out to Stephen Jenness on the right post before sending a ball across the face of goal to Inglis.
Captain Simon Child finished a great team goal in the 44th minute off the back off a George Muir run through midfield and quick pass into the circle from James Coughlan. Inglis then scored his double less than a minute later after a scything run into the circle left him one on one with the keeper for a reverse flick into the back of the net. Shay Neal capped off a dominant performance three minutes out from fulltime with a solid finish on another phase of well worked team play.
In the match against Malaysia, the Black Sticks Men held off a late charge to defeat hosts 4-2. The Kiwis started strongly and dominated the first quarter, leading 2-0 after 10 minutes with a penalty corner strike to Nick Haig and cracking field goal from captain Simon Child. Malaysia pulled one back to go into halftime down by one goal, before Sharun Nabil delivered an equaliser with seven minutes remaining in the match.
The Black Sticks weren’t about to let the game slip though and poured on the pressure to seal the result with two late goals. Defender Andy Hayward put New Zealand up 3-2 with a penalty corner drag flick and striker Shay Neal put it beyond doubt with a field goal in the final minute.
The Black Sticks face another tough challenge tomorrow night against trans-Tasman rivals Australia, with live coverage from 10pm on SKY Sport 1.