The Vantage Black Sticks Men have been defeated 4-1 by hosts Australia at the International Festival of Hockey in Melbourne.
The world number two ranked Kookaburras sealed their place in Sunday’s final thanks to two goals in each half against the Kiwis.
Australia opened a 2-0 lead at the end of the fourth quarter after field goals from Blake Govers and Aaron Kleinschmidt.
Just after the halftime break Kleinschmidt scored his double before the Black Sticks pulled a goal back through a great individual effort in the circle by Jared Panchia.
The Kookaburras secured the result 10 minutes from fulltime when Kiran Arunasalam slipped a ball past goalkeeper George Enersen for his side’s fourth goal.
Assistant coach Bryce Collins said it was a frustrating match in which his side played well in patches but weren’t able to capitalise on their chances.
“I think when we look back at the game film we will be disappointed with some of the goals we conceded, and up front we created a fair bit throughout the game but weren’t good enough to finish them off,” he said.
“We played some really good hockey particularly in the fourth quarter which is encouraging, and we are improving but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“Our focus is now on Pakistan and we are determined to do well and score some goals against them to make it through to the final.”
The Vantage Black Sticks have a day off before going up against Pakistan at 5:30pm on Saturday night (NZ time), with live coverage on SKY Sport.
CLICK HERE for more on the International Festival of Hockey
VANTAGE BLACK STICKS: 1 (Jared Panchia)
AUSTRALIA: 4 (Aaron Kleinschmidt 2, Blake Govers, Kiran Arunasalam)
Halftime: Australia 2-0