Hockey: Russell goal secures win

Southern defender Kane Russell scored from a penalty corner to help the Junior Black Sticks beat Malaysia 2-1 in extra time yesterday.

The win meant the Junior Black Sticks finished fifth at the Sultan of Johor Cup. Russell was the tournament's leading scorer.

It was 0-0 at halftime before Malaysia scored the opening goal. Jared Panchia (Auckland) equalised before Russell found the back of the net with a drag flick in the 72nd minute.

Malaysia was awarded nine penalty corners throughout the game, but converted only one.

"Good goalkeeping by Sam Greaney kept New Zealand in the game," coach Grant Edwards said.

"Our passing improved throughout the game. We moved the ball effectively in the last quarter and were able to hold the ball under pressure ... All athletes will need to significantly improve their core skills of passing and receiving as we look towards the junior world cup in India."

With 14 players new to the team, the tournament was a chance to expose players before the junior world cup qualifier in the Gold Coast in February.

Other teams competing in the qualifier are Australia, Papua New Guinea and Samoa. The top two teams will progress to the junior world cup in December.


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