4 May 2017

Russell penalty shot leads Black Sticks to a win

6:51 am on 4 May 2017

A strong defence effort and a penalty goal helped the New Zealand men's hockey team defeat Malaysia 1-0 at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

New Zealand men's hockey player Kane Russell

Black Sticks player Kane Russell Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In the 25th minute defender Kane Russell sent a penalty corner into the right hand corner for what would be the only goal of the match.

The Black Sticks converted their only penalty corner of the game while host Malaysia squandered all seven of their set piece chances in the face of unrelenting defence.

The result means the Black Sticks sit fourth on the six team table, seven points behind Australia who have 10 points and Great Britain and India on who have seven.

The win also guarantees the New Zealand side at least a place in the bronze medal match - they still have a chance to make the final if results go their way on the last day of round robin.

Head coach Darren Smith said it was good to secure the second win in a row at the tournament.

"We have guaranteed ourselves a chance for a bronze medal but will be putting everything on the line in our next game against Great Britain to give a good run at making the final," he said.

"I thought we played well in defence today - we were fluid and tackled very effectively while our penalty corner defence kept them off the score sheet.

"We will rest our bodies as much as possible now and prepare for a tough match up against Great Britain who are playing really well at the tournament."

The Black Sticks play Great Britain in their final round robin match at 8:00pm tomorrow night.