The New Zealand junior men's hockey side remain undefeated in the Sultan of Johor Cup after beating the hosts 5-2 in Malaysia last night (NZT).
The junior Black Sticks put together a strong performance in front of 7000 spectators, which coach Grant Edwards said was a big step up from their first game against Pakistan.
"I was pleased with our pass rate, speed and attack. Defensively, I thought the team was well organised, marked tightly and denied Malaysia the chance to attack,'' Edwards said.
New Zealand scored in the 17th minute as Canterbury's Angus Hazlett passed to Ben Radovonich who deflected it into the goal. The next two goals came from Malaysia - a penalty stroke and then a successfully converted penalty corner - to give them a 2-1 lead.
But New Zealand fought back and scored twice in two minutes - Brennan Alexander-Parker found a loose ball in the circle and tapped it in and then Radonovich scored his second goal of the game to give New Zealand a 3-2 halftime lead.
The junior Black Sticks continued to dominate in the second half, with goals coming from Kane Russell in the 47th minute and Michael Ritchie used his speed to weave through the Malaysian players and score New Zealand's final goal of the game in the 52nd minute.
The game started an hour later than scheduled due to a torrential storm which passed through the host city of Johor Bahru.
New Zealand play Germany tomorrow evening (NZT) in their next game and will have high hopes of remaining unbeaten with Germany bottom of the table after defeats to Malaysia (3-2) and India (3-1).
New Zealand 5 (Ben Radovonich 2, Brennan Alexander-Parker, Kane Russell, Michael Ritchie) Malaysia 2. HT: 3-2.