A classy snap shot by Dominic Newman nine minutes from the end gave New Zealand a 1-1 draw in their opening Azlan Shah hockey tournament match against Australia in Malaysia.

The match was a pretty even contest, with Australia having more penalty corner opportunities but unable to cash in against New Zealand's industrious defence.

Sam Lane had an opportunity in the second quarter, clear on his own on the right of the penalty area but drove his shot wide.

Defending champions and world No 2 Australia took the lead at the start of the third quarter with a goal from Tom Craig, after a ball was swept in from the right hand side. A New Zealand stick was involved in the deflection past Joyce.

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Chances were created by the Black Sticks and Jonty Keaney had a great opening in front of goal but couldn't control the bouncing ball driven in from the left.

Newman's equaliser was an impressive piece of work.

The Black Sticks pressed into Australia's defensive circle from the right, the ball rebounded out to Newman near the top of the circle. He swivelled sharply and banged his shot into the goal past the goalkeeper's left hand.

''We had a few opportunities today," New Zealand coach Darren Smith said.

''But I must commend the players for the hard work in winning the equaliser. Overall a 1-1 draw is acceptable in a tough match."

The other two games on the opening night in Ipoh, which was delayed by poor weather by two hours, were also drawn.

Hosts Malaysia finished 1-1 with Japan and India and Britain drew 2-2.

In the second round of matches tonight, world No 8 New Zealand will play No 6 India.