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Black Sticks wrap up series against Korea with a draw

The Black Sticks men have drawn 1-1 with Korea in the fourth and final test at in Auckland to take a 2-0 series win.

Following on from Saturday’s 6-1 result, the Black Sticks found it tougher work today against a more structured Korea side.

Nic Woods’ 13th minute penalty corner drag flick equalised the score after an early Korean goal, and that was how it would remain for the rest of the game.

The Black Sticks come away with the series thanks to two wins and two draws, while midfielder George Muir brought up his 50th test for New Zealand during the game.

Assistant coach Bryce Collins said it was a much tougher task today with Korea desperate for a result in the final fixture.

“Korea were much better in this game than they have been, we struggled in the first quarter and they had a lot of ball which frustrated us,” he said.

“We come away from this series with a lot of positives and that will help our development a lot going forward towards Rio.

“The ability to score goals has been a big focus for us so to come away with two big wins [7-1 and 6-1] highlights we’re heading in the right direction but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Following a frenetic opening few minutes Korea were first to strike when Jihun Yang delivered from a sixth minute penalty corner.

The Black Sticks then composed themselves and built some good attacking pressure, leading to their first penalty corner of the match with Nic Woods powering a flick into the back of the net.

Both sides created chances in the third corner but couldn’t capitalise on them. Goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex make several brilliant saves late in the period to keep the score level.

New Zealand put together some good attacking phases in the fourth quarter but couldn’t find the winning goal.

The Black Sticks now get back into training ahead of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia from 7-17 April, where they are defending champions having beaten Australia in last year’s final.

Courtesy of RNZ

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