The Vantage Black Sticks went 3 from 3 this afternoon in their final round robin game of the Ready, Steady, Tokyo test series against Malaysia with a 3-1 win.
The game opened with a scoreless first quarter against No.12-ranked Malaysia who were coming off of back-to-back losses against India (6-0) and Japan (3-1).
In the second quarter Malaysia’s Najmi Jazlan found the back of the net off a penalty corner to give the Malaysian team a 1-0 lead over New Zealand.
Our Vantage Black Sticks didn’t want to head into the sheds without having their turn at goal though. Just before the first half ended Jared Panchia got one in to even the game, 1-1.
In the 3rd quarter Nic Woods put New Zealand ahead, 2-1, for the first time in the game off a penalty corner in the 39th minute of play.
The game just got better from there for the Kiwi’s. With just three minutes remaining on the clock, Hugo Inglis slotted in a late goal to put the Vantage Black Sticks comfortably ahead by 2 (3-1) to tally the win.
The victory gives the Vantage Black Sticks an unbeaten record in round robin play at the Ready, Steady, Tokyo Olympic test event with back-to-back-to-back wins in the tournament.
The men will now face the winner of the India vs Japan round robin game in the Gold Medal match tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. NZT.
Vantage Black Sticks: Jared Panchia (’30), Nic Woods (’39), Sam Lane (’57)
Malaysia: Najmi Jazlan (’21)