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Black Sticks finish third in Malaysia

Fierce competition for the ball between Malaysia and the Black Sticks  which saw the New Zealand win the game and take third overall
Fierce competition for the ball between Malaysia and the Black Sticks which saw the New Zealand win the game and take third overall PHOTO: MALAYSIAN HOCKEY CONFEDERATION:

The Black Sticks men's hockey side have finished a creditable third at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.


In their sixth match in eight days they beat the host nation and defending champs 3-2 to take bronze in front of a capacity crowd.


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The Malaysians scored first after just three minutes when Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal converted from a pass by Faizal Saari.


However the tenth ranked New Zealand side replied swiftly, scoring two goals in five minutes through a Scott Cosslett penalty corner goal in the fifth minute and a Jonty Elmes field goal in the 10th minute.


Malaysia, ranked world No 13, had a great chance to level the score when they were awarded a penalty stroke in the 39th minute after the ball hit a kiwi defender and went wide.


Black Sticks Dane Lett then pushed out the lead for the visitors to 3-1 with a penalty corner goal in the 48th minute.


Fitri Saari reduced the deficit 44 seconds before the final whistle but it was just too little, too late for Malaysia, who had beaten the kiwis 2-1 in a friendly on May 1 and 6-4 in the round-robin stage of the tournament.


The Black Sticks return home for a week and then head to Europe for the FIH Nations Cup.



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