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Black Sticks men beat Pakistan

NZN 9/04/2016

Nic Woods grabbed two goals, both from penalty corners, as the Black Sticks downed Pakistan 5-3 to remain unbeaten at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup men's hockey tournament in Malaysia.

The decisive period of the match was in the third quarter, when with the score at 2-2 defending champions New Zealand found the net three times in five minutes.

Man-of-the-match Woods was twice on target with drag flicks before Kane Russell added a fifth, also from a penalty corner.

The win was New Zealand's first at the seven-nation tournament in Kuala Lumpur after draws against Malaysia and Canada.

Coach Colin Batch says the Black Sticks' improved penalty corner conversion - three from six - made a big difference.

"It's great to get the win and some valuable points but we now have to back that up and consolidate our quality of play for the next game," he said.

New Zealand's next round-robin opponents are Japan.

Pakistan were first on the board through Muhammad Qadir in the eighth minute but Stephen Jenness equalised three minutes later with a diving deflection.

The Black Sticks then hit the front through Simon Child's solo run and reverse shot, but were pegged back by Muhammad Irfan Jr's aerial defection.

After New Zealand's three successful penalty corners, Pakistan closed the gap in the final quarter when Qadir got his second goal.

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