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Black Sticks Women into Belgium quarters

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017 Angelo Risso

The Black Sticks Women have booked themselves a quarter-final berth in the World League Semi Finals after downing Malaysia 1-0 in Brussels.

In an entirely dominant display, including 33 shots on goal, only the Kiwis' profligacy prevented a scoreline blowout.

However striker Olivia Merry did the business with a breakaway first-half goal, slotting home on the second attempt, to assure victory for her side.

They'll now face either South Korea or Italy in Friday's quarter-finals (NZT), dependent on a final pool match between Spain and hosts Belgium.

Kiwi coach Mark Hager said serious improvement was required.

"I thought we were pretty disappointing today - Malaysia put us under pressure but we created plenty of goal shots and corners, (so) we just weren't clinical enough," Hager said.

"We need to get our basics right, we're not quite switched on - hence we didn't end up putting more in the back of the net."

The Black Sticks Women had previously defeated Spain and Australia with gritty defensive showings, before losing to Belgium on Monday morning (NZT).

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