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Black Sticks men lose Test to Belgium

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/06/2017

A late penalty corner goal to Belgium has sunk New Zealand 3-2 in the first of two men's hockey Tests in Brussels.

The home side scored two minutes from the end of a closely-fought match between two teams preparing for the World Hockey League Semi Final tournament in Johannesburg in July.

Earlier, New Zealand had launched a late fightback after conceding goals to Victor Wegnez and Cedric Charlier in the first and third quarters respectively.

Sam Lane and Stephen Jenness both scored counter-attacking goals either side of the third-quarter break to level proceedings.

Tom Boon snatched the win for world No.5 Belgium over the eighth-ranked Black Caps with a pin-point penalty corner flick.

New Zealand coach Darren Smith described his team's performance as solid, given they had arrived just two days earlier.

"Belgium are a classy side - they were able to hold a fair amount of possession and caused us some problems on both sides of the ball," he said.

"I was pleased that we were able to respond after going down by two, and we certainly strung together some good hockey in patches."

The teams meet again on Thursday morning (NZT) before leaving for South Africa.

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