Black Sticks beaten by Spain in opener

By Hockey NZ

The Black Sticks Men have been defeated 2-0 by hosts Spain in their opening game at the Six Nations in Valencia.

New Zealand played well in large patches and created plenty of goal scoring opportunities but werent able to put any into the net.

With the game scoreless at halftime, Spain made the most of their chances with a 33rd minute penalty corner goal to Pau Quemada and a field goal strike from Xavi Lleonart in the 46th minute.

Head coach Colin Batch said it was pleasing to be creating chances on attack but they need improve on execution.

"We played a pretty good game for the most part but had a few lapses and allowed them to score two goals," he said.

"Going forward its a good learning experience for us and we need to make sure we capitalise on those chances and put them into the goal."

The Black Sticks opened with purpose and were quickly making moves through the midfield and attacking quarter.

Nick Wilson earned a penalty corner in just the second minute but Kane Russells drag flick was well defended by the Spanish.

The Black Sticks had another great chance midway through the second quarter with a penalty corner awarded for a foul on Simon Child, Russells flick this time going just wide of the post.

Following a goalless first half, Spain mounted an attack from the push back and quickly earned a penalty corner which Pau Quemada flicked into the top corner to give his side the first lead of the game.

Stephen Jenness created a chance for the Kiwis to equalise in the 45th minute with a great run which found a defenders foot for a penalty corner, Nic Woods went low and hard with the flick but it was well saved by the goalkeeper.

Spain doubled their lead at the start of the fourth quarter when a long crash ball connected with Xavi Lleonart on the back post to flick into an open goal.

New Zealand created several goal scoring chances in the final 10 minutes but werent able to put any into the back of the net.

The Black Sticks go up against Germany next at 4am tomorrow morning (NZ time), with live streaming at


SPAIN 2: (Pau Quemada, Xavi Lleonart)

Halftime: 0-0

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Hockey NZ

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