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New Zealand Field Hockey Mens National Team, The Black Sticks  have Won The Prestigious Sultan Azlan Shah Cup for the 1st time in the tournaments 21 year history.

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The Black Sticks defeated Argentina 1 to 0. The only goal came from a penalty corner and a nice drag flick by veteran Andy Hayward in the 18th minute. Argentina were later awarded two penalty corners but they failed to convert.

“It was a grind rather than a true showcase of hockey tonight – it was very hot conditions and seven games of hockey over 10 days was taking its toll on players. The ball was turned over more than we would have liked,” said Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod

“Our defence has been outstanding throughout this tournament and despite Argentina’s continual pressure, we held strong and were fortunate to have scored from our only penalty corner,”

McLeod played down the importance of the win as far as the Olympics were concerned. “Sure, it is great to have won our first Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. It is no mean feat considering the opposition we have had to face. But we still have a fair bit of work to do before the Games start in July,” he said.

"This has been a good tournament for us and playing five other Olympic-bound teams is a bonus as we now know a lot more about these teams."

The tournament in the Malaysian northern city of Ipoh is an important pre-Olympic warm-up for London qualifiers Argentina, Britain, India, South Korea and Pakistan.

In the match to decide the bronze medal, India came from a goal down to defeat Britain 3-1.

 

New Zealand players celebrate by performing the Haka after defeating Argentina to win the 2012 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

 

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Awards

Fairplay Trophy: Great Britain

Best Player of Tournament: Sardar Singh (India)

Best Goalkeeper: Kyle Pontifex (New Zealand) - Player of the Game in Championship Match

Top Scorer: Ashley Jackson (Great Britain)

Man of the Final: Kyle Pontifex (New Zealand)

Final Standings

1    New Zealand

2    Argentina

3    India

4    Great Britain

5    South Korea

6    Malaysia

7    Pakistan

Stephen Jenness played in his 50th international test match.

Argentina, New Zealand, 2012, Field Hockey, Malaysia, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, Black Sticks

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