2 May 2014

Black Sticks suffer surprise loss to Malaysia

11:51 am on 2 May 2014

A horror first half combined with a poor penalty shoot-out has cost the New Zealand men's hockey team their quarter-final against hosts Malaysia, at the Champions Challenge tournament.

The Black Sticks trailed 4-1 at half-time before three penalty corner flicks from Andy Hayward brought the Black Sticks back into the game, which finished at 4-4 at full-time.

The New Zealanders, who are seven places higher than Malaysia on the world rankings at sixth, converted their first two attempts while Malaysia missed theirs.

But the Black Sticks then missed three shots in a row, while Malaysia converted theirs to snatch victory and progress to the semi-finals.

The loss leaves New Zealand out of medal contention and having to play the loser of the Canada-Poland game on Saturday in the fifth to eighth classification round.

The New Zealand coach Colin Batch says the loss is hard to take having gone into the quarter-finals on the back of three straight wins.

The Champions Challenge doubles as a qualifier for the 2016 Champions Trophy with the winner earning an automatic berth and is also important preparation for the Hockey World Cup starting in the Netherlands later this month.