Photo: Planet Hockey
The Vantage Black Sticks Men have been defeated 5-1 by hosts Australia in their opening match at the Oceania Cup in Sydney.
The world number two ranked Kookaburras took a narrow 1-0 lead into halftime before scoring two goals in each of the third and fourth quarters.
Striker Daniel Harris made his debut for the Vantage Black Sticks and scored his side’s lone goal through a 57th minute penalty corner.
Head coach Darren Smith said it was a tough challenge with the Kookaburras capitalising on their chances in the attacking circle.
“I thought at times we played some good hockey and our outletting was well controlled, but Australia created opportunities in the circle and were pretty ruthless in their finishing,” he said.
“There were a couple of loose goals late in the game which inflated the score line but we certainly need to tidy up parts of our game and put them under more pressure.”
The Vantage Black Sticks Men face Papua New Guinea next up at 5pm on Saturday night (NZ time) followed by the Vantage Black Sticks Women versus Hockeyroos.
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VANTAGE BLACK STICKS MEN: 1 (Daniel Harris)
AUSTRALIA: 5 (Jeremy Hayward 2, Jake Whetton, Tom Craig, Dylan Wotherspoon)
Halftime: Australia 1-0