The Vantage Black Sticks take on the reigning Olympic Champions Argentina at 2:30am on Tuesday the 4th December on Sky Sport 3.
After starting their campaign in great fashion by beating France 2-1 in their opening game the Vantage Black Sticks will be looking to secure 3 points against a formidable opponent. The winner of this game is looking likely to earn top place in the pool and automatically qualify for the quarter finals.
In game one both Kane Russell and Stephen Jenness got on the score board with two well-constructed goals. The Vantage Black Sticks will be needing to get production out of their whole strike line if they are going to beat a clinical Argentina team.
Argentinas key player to watch is Gonzalo Peillat who is one of the most feared drag flickers in the world. In Argentinas first game against Spain, Gonzalo scored two drag flicks including the 4th goal which the victory for Argentina. Gonzalo has an enviable goal scoring record in international hockey, he has played 132 matches and has scored 159 goals. Keeping Argentina from having penalty corner opportunities is essential to shutting down Argentinas chances.
On the Vantage Black Sticks side, the key player to watch is going to be Kane Russell. He got on the score sheet in game one with a great run down the right-hand side of the field and got a great field goal. His set piece play is a strength of his though. The Vantage Black Sticks didn’t have any penalty corners in their first game and will be looking to correct this in game 2 and give Kane the opportunity to add to his 53 goals that he has scored for his country so far.
Coach Darren Smith talked about the upcoming fixture “This is an exciting opportunity for us to match up against the Olympic Champions at the World Cup. They are a high-quality team with very skillful strike forwards, composure and a deadly corner. We also know that the points for this game are critical to get to the next round so we will be targeting the 3 on offer and are looking forward to matching up against them”.
Last 3 Matches
03/07/2016 Vantage Black Sticks Win 4-1
06/06/2014 Vantage Black Sticks Loss 1-3
15/01/2014 Vantage Black Sticks Draw 1-1
The FIH Pro League is Coming
The FIH Pro League - Presented by Sentinel Homes will see home and away games btween the world's top 9 Men's and Women's hockey nations played between January and June, starting in 2019, culminating in a winner takes all Grand Final