Vantage Black Sticks beaten on finals day

Vantage Black Sticks beaten on finals day


<p>The Vantage Black Sticks have been defeated 4-1 by Japan in a shoot-out at the University of Waikato Four Nations
The Vantage Black Sticks Men have been defeated 4-1 by Japan in a shoot-out after the third place playoff went into fulltime level 1-1 at the University of Waikato Four Nations in Hamilton.<br>
Both sides played out a high energy contest despite searing hot temperatures above 30 degrees out on the turf.<br>
Japan struck early through Shota Yamada before the Kiwis forced an equaliser in the 37<sup>th</sup> minute from a rocketing Kane Russell penalty corner flick.<br>
Japan’s goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa proved the hero in the deciding shoot-out, making two key saves while his attackers converted all their chances to seal the result.<br>
Head coach Darren Smith said despite the final result, the series had been valuable for the New Zealand squad’s build-up ahead of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.<br>
“I thought the end result was pretty fair, Japan started well and played some good hockey and we played a solid second half but weren’t as efficient on the ball as we would have liked,” he said.<br>
“We would have liked to finish off with a win, but the series both here and in Tauranga has been the perfect scenario to go up against three other world class teams who all play different styles.<br>
“Over the past two weeks we’ve had the opportunity to get more high quality experience and that all helps us hone our skills as a team leading into the Commonwealth Games.”<br>
In the gold medal match, Belgium secured their second series win following a 3-0 shoot-out result over India with the score locked up 4-4 at the end of regulation time.<br>
It was a thrilling final with India leading 1-0 at halftime before a flood of attack at both ends saw seven goals scored in the final 20 minutes.<br>
Belgium cruised to a win in the shoot-out with goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch shutting out all three Indian attempts.<br>
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<strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br>
VANTAGE BLACK STICKS:</strong> <strong>1 </strong>(Kane Russell)<br>
<strong>JAPAN:</strong> <strong>1</strong> (Shota Yamada)<br>
<strong>Halftime:</strong> Japan 1-0<br>
<em>Japan won shoot-out 4-1<br>
BELGIUM:</strong> <strong>4 </strong>(Tanguy Cosyns, Cedric Charlier, Amaury Keusters, Felix Denayer)<strong> <br>
INDIA:</strong> <strong>4 </strong>(Ramandeep Singh 2, Nilakanta Sharma, Mandeep Singh)<br>
<strong>Halftime:</strong> India 1-0<br>
<em>Belgium won shoot-out 3-0</em><br>


  • January 28th, 2018 in
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