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Black Sticks rebound after two losses

The Black Sticks Men have ended a two-match losing streak but are out of the running at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

The New Zealand men's hockey team defeated South Korea 4-1 on Wednesday at Stadium Sultan Azlan in Ipoh, Malaysia, a day after losing 6-4 to hosts Malaysia in an entertaining high-scoring match.

Unlike the previous day, when the Black Sticks fell behind 4-0 in the opening quarter, New Zealand had the match against 12th-ranked South Korea well in hand by halftime, up 3-0.

George Baker, fresh off a hat-trick earlier in the tournament, opened the scoring in the fourth minute, before Jonty Elmes and Jake Smith, from a penalty stroke, both rattled the cage in the second quarter.

South Korea got one back in the third period, but Isaac Houlbrooke wrapped up the win with a penalty corner goal seven minutes from time.

Smith, Elmes and Houlbrooke also scored against Malaysia but it was mostly in vain after Darren Smith's team leaked four goals in the first quarter, including three in the first six minutes.

Smith scored from the field, before Elmes slotted a penalty stroke just before halftime at trail 4-2. After a scoreless third, Houlbrooke netted a double from penalty corners but Malaysia's lead never dipped below two goals.

The Black Sticks Men complete the round-robin phase against current leaders Pakistan on Friday (8pm start), before a play-off for third or fifth on Saturday.


Malaysia 6 (Faizal Saari, Abu Kamal Azrai 3, Azimuddin Kamaruddin, Rauf Muhajir Abdu) Black Sticks Men 4 (Jake Smith, Jonty Elmes, Isaac Houlbrooke 2). 1Q: 4-0, HT: 4-2, 3Q: 4-2

Black Sticks Men 4 (George Baker, Jonty Elmes, Jake Smith, Isaac Houlbrooke) South Korea 1 (Sim Jaewon). 1Q: 1-0, HT: 3-0, 3Q: 3-1


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