Black Sticks face must-win World Cup match

03:02, Jun 08 2014
Colin Batch
COLIN BATCH: The Black Sticks coach and his team face a must-win match against Germany at the World Cup in Holland tonight.

The Black Sticks men's hockey team need to rebound quickly after suffering their first loss at the World Cup in Holland.

New Zealand lost 3-1 to Argentina at Kyocera Stadium yesterday.

They now face a crucial game against Germany tonight (8:30pm NZ time).

There were some encouraging signs against Argentina, although the team came unstuck in a poor second half.

After a goalless first half, Argentina powered home thanks to a second-half hat-trick from Gonzalo Peillat who scored all three from penalty corner drag flicks.

Down 0-1, the Kiwis scored a brilliant goal to equalise with Phil Burrows drilling a free hit into the circle where Stephen Jenness put a pin-point deflection through the goalkeeper's legs.

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With the score locked up, the Black Sticks went searching for the winning goal but conceded two more penalty corners that Argentina were able to put away.

The result now sees New Zealand and Argentina both on six points in Pool B, although the Black Sticks hold an advantage with a better goal differential.

Head coach Colin Batch said the difference in the game came down to Argentina's success from penalty corners.

"If you look at the facts they scored three of four penalty corners and we got none out of three, so obviously the game was won in those areas," he said.

"Our first half was quite good, we created two very good chances and they defended well to their credit.

"It would've been nice to score that goal and go into halftime up 1-0 which could have really changed the game.

"We feel a bit disappointed in our final 15 minutes, we got to 1-1 and then pushed for a victory but unfortunately conceded two more penalty corner goals."

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