New Zealand's men's hockey team have lost the opening game on the European tour against Spain in Madrid.
World No 6 Spain beat the Black Sticks 4-1, the only New Zealand goal coming from North Harbour defender Cory Bennett from a penalty corner rebound late in the game.
"We created six to eight quality chances - we probably had double the opportunities of Spain - but we just couldn't find the back of the net and weren't good enough defensively," coach Colin Batch said.
Spain scored twice in the first half, then two more in quick order early in the second spell.
New Zealand, who are ranked seventh and preparing for their World League 3 tournament in Rotterdam starting next weekend, play the Spanish again tomorrow night.
One bit of good news is that Northland midfielder Shay Neal is over a back injury and got some game time.