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The Southern Dogs conceded two goals in the final 10 minutes to go down 2-1 to Capital in Wellington last night.
Playing its final pool game in the National Hockey League, Southern played out a goalless first half with the home side. But Southern went ahead after 37 minutes when Kieran O'Connor scored from a penalty corner.
The home side was rattled but managed to stay focused and hit back with just under 10 minutes to go when Oscar Wookey scored from another penalty corner.
Then, just under three minutes later, Daan Jongejan, with a reverse stick, found the back of the net in the circle to give the Capital team the lead.
It managed to hang on as Southern looked for an equaliser in the dying stages.
Coach Mark Kake said the side was disappointed but had played well. It had some opportunities and had a couple of close calls at the end. It dragged the goalkeeper with five minutes to go and poured on to attack.
The Capital team played deep and let Southern have the territory near the end and held tight.
Southern, with a win and two losses, finished third in its pool and will take on the Central Mavericks in the quarterfinals at 7.15pm today.
Central was an unorthodox team which was sharp and quick on attack, and the Southern side would have to stay disciplined and be alert, Kake said.
The Southern Storm women's team finished bottom.