Pakistan captain Abdul Haseem Khan led from the front with a first half double as the Vantage Black Sticks Men went down 2-1 in front of a vocal crowd at the Trust House Hockey Wairarapa complex.

Head coach Darren Smith said despite the loss, there were some good passages where we his young side was able to dictate parts of the game.

"It was a mixed game with an element of softness in the two goals we gave away which were not particularly well earnt from Pakistan, and thats frustrating when you see those ones go in," he said.

"We just werent able to create enough chances in front of goal, and itll be interesting to see the stats but Id be surprised if it was more than 10 which is not where we want to be."

Pakistan started the brighter of the teams with Haseem Khan striking an early lead after 10 minutes before Jonty Keaney drew the Kiwis level with his first international goal in just his third test.

The Black Sticks exploded to life with a goal one minute into the second quarter, after Keaney finished off a strong attack following a lung busting run from Harry Miskimmin leading to the well taken goal in a scrap at the Pakistan goal mouth.

However, Pakistan reclaimed the lead seven minutes later with a second goal from Haseem Khan, taking a 2-1 lead into halftime.

The Black Sticks had their chances to equalise but couldnt find the finishing touch.

Their closest chances were in the third quarter, after a sprawling dive from Stephen Jenness saw the ball rolling just past the outside post with the Pakistani keeper left stranded.

New Zealand almost scored again just seconds before the end of the third quarter but a great save from Pakistan keeper Mazhar Abbas tipped a rocket of a shot over the bar.

Despite some late pressure and the crowd cheering the hosts on, a goalless second half ensured the score remained 2-1 at fulltime.

Pakistan now lead the five test series 2-1, giving the Vantage Black Sticks one last chance to level the series in the final test at 6:30pm tomorrow night at Trust House Hockey Wairarapa complex in Clareville.

Presale tickets are still on sale through the Hockey New Zealand website, and gate sales are also available for the final test.


PAKISTAN: 2 (Abdul Haseem Khan 2)

Halftime: Pakistan 2-1

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