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New Zealand level Belgium series

[img_assist|nid=3512|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=220|height=104]The Black Sticks Men have beaten Belgium 3-1 in the second of a series of Olympic hockey warm-up matches in Brussels, Belgium yesterday.

After a travel weary team went down 2-1 in the opening game, the Black Sticks returned to the level expected from the seventh ranked side to comfortably beat the Belgians, ranked 11 in the world.

Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod said the team made a much better start. “We were a lot more patience and balanced, and in the second half we were controlling possession and running all over the Belgians.”

The home side opened the scoring from a penalty corner in the fifth minute to Jerome Dekeyser. The Kiwis took until the 31st minute to reply with a Andy Hayward drag flick.

The Black Sticks dominated the second spell, and goals to Richard Petherick from a penalty corner and to Simon Child with a field goal put the result beyond doubt.

Reserve goalkeeper Hamish McGregor played the first half of the match and made a couple of fine saves.

The Black Sticks now head to the Netherlands for two unofficial tests against the Dutch in Utrecht on July 13 and 15.

Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.

RESULT

New Zealand 3 (Andy Hayward, Richard Petherick, Simon Child) Belgium 1 (Jerome Dekeyser) HT:1-1.

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