Hockey: Malaysia level series with Black Sticks

Blair Hilton. Photo / Greg Bowker
Blair Hilton. Photo / Greg Bowker

Malaysia have levelled the four test series with a 3-2 win over a below-par men's Black Sticks in last night's second test at Blake Park in Tauranga.

After coming away convincing 4-1 winners in yesterday's opener, the Black Sticks couldn't slow the resurgent visitors who were never behind on the scoreboard.

Despite the result, it was a special milestone for Capital striker Blair Hilton who earned his 150th international cap.

Head coach Colin Batch was unimpressed, describing it as a disappointing result, and performance.

"It was a very disappointing game for us. We were looking to play four good matches and as we have seen in the past we've had a good result and then not performed the next game," Batch said.

"At 2-2 we had some momentum and it was disappointing we allowed them to come back into the game with too many rushed and emotional decisions in defence.

We need to improve greatly around overcoming those situations."

The world No 8 Black Sticks began slowly and were behind, to a Razie Rahim penalty corner in the second minute.

Hugo Inglis equalised with a penalty stroke after 21 minutes but Malaysia, ranked No 13, regained the initiative in the third quarter through Joel van Huizen.

Eight minutes from fulltime defender Cory Bennett created some magic to equalise again, pouncing on his own penalty corner deflection to put the ball into the roof of the net on his reverse stick.

But Malaysia silenced the crowd five minutes from the end when Rahim nailed his second goal of the game with another penalty corner flick.

The third match is at the same venue on Wednesday night.

- NZ Herald

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