Published on Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Vantage Black Sticks fire to overcome Japan
Photo: FIH/Getty Images
The Vantage Black Sticks Men have defeated Japan 3-1 at the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johannesburg.
It was a dominant performance from the Kiwis, who once again created plenty of scoring opportunities throughout the game.
The result puts New Zealand in a good spot on the table with four points from two games so far at the tournament.
Experienced midfielder Arun Panchia said it was pleasing to put together a solid performance and bank three points.
“We needed three points today and it was good to be able to get some connections working well on the field and put some goals into the net,” he said.
“The result puts us in a great position now with a couple of days off before a really tough match against the Aussies.”
The Black Sticks were first to score in the 18th minute when Jared Panchia picked up a deflected penalty corner drag flick from Kane Russell and hit back past the keeper.
Just out from halftime Nic Woods doubled his side’s advantage, ripping a powerful flick into the side of the net from another penalty corner.
The Black Sticks opened a 3-0 buffer midway through the third quarter after Hugo Inglis found Stephen Jenness wide open at the top of the circle for a venomous forehand shot into goal.
Japan scored a consolation goal in the 59th minute when Hirotaka Zendana managed to beat the New Zealand circle defence.
The Vantage Black Sticks have the next few days off before a huge trans-Tasman clash against Australia at midnight this Saturday, with live coverage on SKY Sport.
CLICK HERE for more on the World League Semi Final in Johannesburg
VANTAGE BLACK STICKS 3: (Jared Panchia, Nic Woods, Stephen Jenness)
JAPAN 1: (Hirotaka Zendana)
Halftime: New Zealand 3-1
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