A gutsy second half and a last minute goal has seen the
junior men's Black Sticks draw 3-3 against Pakistan in their
first game of the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia today.
Pakistan had a three-goal advantage after 30 minutes, thanks
to a successful penalty corner and two field goals, but the
New Zealand under-21 team fought back and made it count in
the final 20 minutes of the game.
The first goal for the Kiwis came in the 50th minute when
Brennan Alexander-Parker made his way into the circle and
passed to Jared Panchia to deflect in. Benedict van Woerkom
then hit a cracking reverse stick hit to reduce the deficit
to just one, before a trademark drag flick from Southern
player Kane Russell levelled the score.
"We struggled in the first half with poor passing and
trapping skills and Pakistan really dominated," coach Grant
Edwards said. "But it was much improved in the second half,
we moved the ball quickly through the midfield and managed to
stretch Pakistan from side to side.
"However, we will be looking for better execution of core
skills in our game tomorrow, the connection between defence
and midfield will need to improve."
The next game is against Malaysia at 1.05am (NZT) tomorrow
morning. The Kiwis will also play Germany, India and