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Black Sticks draw fifth test with Pakistan

Black Sticks draw fifth test with Pakistan

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<p>The Vantage Black Sticks Men have fought back to a 1-1 draw against Pakistan in the fifth and final test</p>
<p class="">The Vantage Black Sticks Men have fought back to a well-earned 1-1 draw against Pakistan at Trust House Hockey Wairarapa complex in the fifth and final test.<br>
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Head coach Darren Smith said his side’s performance was better than yesterday, doing a better job defending and managing their threats. <br>
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“My feeling is that we would have had more opportunities and more quality opportunities, which is good for a young group,” he said.<br>
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“We had an emphasis around starting well, being proactive and communicating better. We were a lot more compact and read the play a lot better.”<br>
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It was a fast start to the game and the Kiwis played with better pace and cohesion than last night, but both teams went into the halftime break locked at 0-0.<br>
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The Vantage Black Sticks dominated the third quarter, receiving a couple of penalty corners along the way but couldn’t hammer home the advantage.<br>
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Their best chances in the third quarter came from penalty corners, with Cory Bennett on target but his shot was swatted away after a great reflex save from Pakistan keeper Amjad Ali.<br>
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New Zealand’s second penalty corner resulted in a green card to Muhammad Arslan Qadir but Sam Lane’s bullet of a shot sailed just wide of the post. <br>
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Pakistan broke the deadlock just two minutes into the final quarter with captain Abdul Haseem Khan again the goal scorer following his double in last night’s test. <br>
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However, the Black Sticks showed their steel and struck back courtesy of a Sam Lane screamer from the edge of the circle with a wonderfully taken reverse stick shot with 10 minutes left to play.<br>
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Coach Smith said Pakistan were impressive throughout the series, which they won 2-1, especially through the defensive midfield area.<br>
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Smith, speaking about his first series in charge said “personally it’s been good, I have got to know the guys a bit and they’ve gotten to know me. I’ve really enjoyed it but I can also see opportunities where we can do better, both on and off the pitch. It’s a pretty impressive hockey team with some young guys in there."<br>
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<strong>VANTAGE BLACK STICKS: 1</strong> (Sam Lane)<br>
<strong>PAKISTAN: 1</strong> (Abdul Haseem Khan)<br>
<strong>Halftime:</strong> 0-0&nbsp;<br>
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2017-03-23T08:46:00+11:0013000true

  • March 23rd, 2017 in
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