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Black Sticks edge India in Spain

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/06/2016

New Zealand have downed world No.5 India 1-0 to register their first win of the Six Nations men's hockey tournament in Valencia.

Ranked eighth in the world, the Black Sticks took the lead in the 18th minute.

Striker Stephen Jenness showed impressive poise in front of goal with a quick touch to send the ball around goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya and into the cage.

The win is New Zealand's first of the tournament, their last hit-out before the Rio Olympics next month.

Previously, the Kiwis were beaten 2-0 by hosts Spain before crumbling 6-1 to world No.3 Germany.

The Black Sticks defended strongly throughout the second half, holding much of the possession although India created some dangerous scoring chances in the fourth quarter as they hunted for an equaliser.

New Zealand coach Colin Batch said it was good to shake off earlier results and put together a strong team effort.

"It's a pleasing performance for us and shows our maturity in rebounding from a few tough losses earlier in the tournament," he said.

"Both teams had a few corners, but we outplayed India in the field today and showed some really good signs in terms of our development.

"We're a resilient team and we will take away this win and look to keep our momentum going in our next game."

The Black Sticks meet Ireland on Saturday (NZT).

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