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Black Sticks improve ahead of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

The Black Sticks men have bounced back from their horror loss to draw with Malaysia in their final warm-up ahead of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

New Zealand lost the opening test 8-2 on Sunday but rebounded with a 3-3 result.

It will put them in a better frame of mind as they head to Ipoh to prepare for their opening game at the high-profile tournament. They play Australia first-up on Saturday (10pm NZ time).

Malaysia certainly proved a handful over the two preparation internationals.

The score was 1-1 for much of the match before a flurry of goals from both sides in the final 10 minutes.

Canterbury’s Sam Lane opened the scoring for the Kiwis in the 19th minute through a well worked penalty corner shot.

Malaysia equalised thanks to a Marhan Jahlil penalty corner three minutes later and finally took the lead in the 53rd minute after Fitri Saari struck from the field.

But two goals in the 55th minute saw the Black Sticks surge into the lead when Stephen Jenness and Nick Ross both delivered field goals to put New Zealand up 3-2.

The hosts snatched a draw in the final minute of the game through a last minute penalty corner, which Faizal Saari sent into the goal.

– Courtesy of Stuff.co.nz

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