Sunday, November 15, 2009

We blew it...

THE Black Sticks Men capped off a fantastic weekend for New Zealand sport becoming the second team in two days to qualify for a World Cup.

New Zealand came from behind to beat Malaysia 2 – 1 today in freezing Invercargill conditions, in the final of the BDO World Cup Qualifier.

The Black Sticks were down 1 – 0 with 13 minutes to play and looked well and truly shaken by the gutsy Malaysians, who had scored from a penalty corner in the 18th minute. The Malaysians defended very well, particularly at the top of the circle, dispossessing the New Zealand strike force which had run rampant up until the final scoring 28 goals in five games.

Break through player Andy Hayward, scored both of the New Zealand goals, from penalty corner drag flicks in the 57th and 60th minute.

Black Sticks Men’s Coach Shane McLeod said after the match his feeling was mainly one of relief: “A final is tough when there is such a prize at stake,” he said. “I don’t think we played overly well. We haven’t been challenged through the tournament and Malaysia could taste they had an opportunity.”

McLeod played tribute to Hayward’s efforts: “We have put a lot of work into Andy and I am so pleased for him. When you flick well often your hockey goes the same way.”
The World Cup will be held in New Delhi, India, next Febuary.

New Zealand 2 (Andy Hayward 2) Malaysia 1 (Razie Abd Rahim) H:T 1 – 0 Malaysia
Scotland 5 (Stephen Dick, Kenneth Bain) China 3 (Yixian Liu, Fengui Lu) (penalty strokes extra time, after score tied 2 – 2 full time. )
Austria 3 (Georg Jelinek 2, Michael Korper) Wales 2 (Benjamin Croxall, Matthew Ruxton) H:T 2 – 0 Wales

Final placings
1st New Zealand
2nd Malaysia
3rd Scotland
4th China
5th : Austria
6th : Wales

Player of the Tournament – Ryan Archibald (New Zealand)
Goal Keeper of the Tournament – S Kumar (Malaysia)
Top Goal Scorer – Andy Hayward (New Zealand)
Fairplay – Scotland