With an Olympic berth on the line, the New Zealand men's hockey team put together a clinical performance to see off a strong challenge from South Korea and book their passage to Tokyo.

After winning the first match of the series 3-2 on Saturday, the Black Sticks needed only a draw to book their spot at the Games but came out firing and put Korea under early pressure. However, they couldn't crack a resolute Korean defence and went into the first break tied at 0-0.

A minute into the second quarter, New Zealand's dominance was rewarded when Stephen Jenness deflected home a great cross for his third goal of the series to put the hosts in a commanding position with a two-goal aggregate lead.

The Black Sticks continued to play with confidence throughout the quarter and were rewarded in the 23rd minute when Sam Lane finished off some slick passing to touch in the second goal.


Korea needed three goals in the second half to force the match to a penalty shootout and forced New Zealand keeper Leon Hayward into some spectacular saves.

After the Black Sticks broke downfield and secured a penalty corner late in the third quarter, experienced drag flicker Kane Russell ripped a shot into the top netting of the goal to give New Zealand an almost unassailable lead.

Into the final quarter and needing four goals, the Koreans pulled their keeper and were rewarded with several penalty corners.

The visitors dominated possession through the last quarter but the Black Sticks held their nerve to book their place at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The side now take a break after a long season which started in January with the inaugural FIH Pro League, before returning to the turf at the start of February for season two of the Pro League.

The Black Sticks will begin their Olympic year against world champions Belgium at the new National Hockey Centre in North Harbour.

Black Sticks Men 3 (Stephen Jenness 16', Sam Lane 23', Kane Russell 42')
Korea 0