Thursday, March 10, 2016
Tauranga 4th Test: Mas 0 NZ 0
Photo: Planet Hockey
THE Black Sticks battled out a goalless draw with Malaysia in the fourth and final test at Blake Park in Tauranga.
Both sides played a strong defensive game which allowed very few opportunities in the attacking circle.
The result sees the Black Sticks take out the four Test series with two wins (4-1 and 4-2), one loss (2-3) and a draw (0-0).
Head coach Colin Batch said it was a frustrating game on attack but the way his side defended was pleasing.
“It was pretty tough to find a goal out there tonight, we only got one penalty corner all game so that was a bit disappointing,” Batch said.
“It was pleasing we created some chances towards the end and it would’ve been nice to get a late winner and finish with another win but it wasn’t to be.
“This was the type of game we need to get better at – when we’re defending well and not creating much we have to find ways to do more on attack and find space.”
The first half which was highlighted by several crucial saves from New Zealand goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex.
Malaysia created the best chance of the half in the second quarter after earning a penalty corner, with Pontifex making a super save diving low to his right.
The Black Sticks earned a lone penalty corner in the third period thanks to some impressive lead up play from Simon Child, but Nic Woods’ drag flick was well defended.
The Black Sticks now head north to prepare for four Tests against South Korea from 16-20 March at Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium.