8 May 2015

Black Sticks beat Pakistan

7:00 pm on 8 May 2015

The New Zealand men's hockey team has come back from two goals down to beat Pakistan 4-2 at the International Challenge tournament in Tasmania.

They lost 3-0 to Australia in their opening game.

Andy Hayward

Andy Hayward Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Pakistan opened the scoring after two minutes and then doubled their lead eight minutes later.

However the Black Sticks were level at half-time after a penalty stroke was converted by Andy Hayward before striker Jared Panchia hit a field goal just before the break.

New Zealand then found the lead for the first time in the 39th minute when veteran Phil Burrows found the goal from a well-worked penalty corner variation, while Marcus Child put the result beyond doubt with just over 10 minutes remaining after scoring his side's fourth goal.

The win was retribution a long time in the making for the Black Sticks, having last played Pakistan more than two years ago at the 2013 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, where they were beaten 4-3.

Head coach Colin Batch says it was pleasing to respond so strongly after going down by two goals.

He says they played ok in the first quarter, although they did come up with a few errors in defence and that saw Pakistan take the lead.

Batch says the pleasing thing was they maintained their belief and knew they could be successful and eventually the goals came.

"The second half was good for us, especially the third quarter, and I thought Jared [Panchia] put together the best game he's played for the Black Sticks which really helped us up front."

"We need to do some fine tuning but are looking forward to having another crack at Australia to see how much we have developed since or first game against them."

The Black Sticks have a day off the turf on Friday before a rematch against Australia on Saturday night.

The International Challenge is important preparation for the World League Semi-Final in Argentina next month, where the Black Sticks have an opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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