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New Zealand hammer Argentina 5-2; Malaysia hold Britain 3-3

Ipoh (Malaysia): Continuing their impressive show, New Zealand coasted to a 5-2 victory over Argentina while hosts Malaysia rode on two goals from junior striker Faisal Saari to hold Great Britain 3-3 in the 21st Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, here on Friday.

Dominating the second session of the encounter, the Kiwi side ran over the Argentina defence after the two teams were 2-2 level until the 57th minute.

This victory gives New Zealand the maximum six points from two outings, having outplayed five-time champions India 5-1 in the first outing on Thursday.

Argentina, the Pan-American champions, have lost both their matches, after suffering a 2-4 defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the first match.

Great Britain, the highest ranked team in the tournament, seemed set to take full points from their first outing until Saari scored two outstanding field goals in the 67th and 68th minutes to the delight of the spectators.

This draw gives Malaysia two points from as many games, after having held South Korea to a 1-1 draw on Thursday.

Great Britain opened the scoring in the fifth minute through Glenn Kirkman, only to see Azlan Misron draw parity for Malaysia in the 10th minute.

Strikes from Ashley Jackson (20th minute) and Rob Moore (35th) gave Great Britain a 3-1 lead at the interval and were on course until Saari`s two late goals.

New Zealand failed to make adequate use of the 10 penalty corners they earned, converting only two of them but capitalised on the openings created in field play.

New Zealand`s defence let in an early goal to give Argentina the initial lead in the third minute as Fernando Callioni broke away on the left flank and sent in a pass for Lucas Cammareri to flick in after sidestepping rival custodian Kyle Pontifex.

Phil Burrows equalised for New Zealand in the 32nd minute on a cross from Simon Child and the teams were level 1-1 at the interval.

New Zealand went 2-1 ahead in the 44th minute on the first of their two penalty corner conversions as Richard Petherick shot in after he was squared the ball by Andy Hayward.

Argentina got the equaliser in the 53rd minute Lucas Vila beat goalkeeper Pontifex with a rasping shot, but New Zealand were ahead again within four minutes as Hayward scored with his penalty corner attempt in the 57th minute to make it 3-2.

Shay Neal, arriving in Malaysia last night to replace Blair Hilton who had to undergo an emergency appendicitis surgery, scored a field goal in the 59th minute and Arun Panchia rounded off the scoring in the 64th minute - boosting New Zealand`s goals to 10 in two outings.

Argentina`s seasoned player Pedro Ibarra had his penalty stroke saved by Pontifex two minutes from the hooter.

PTI

From Zee News

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