31 Jul 2012

Black Sticks beaten by Korea

5:42 am on 31 July 2012

The New Zealand men's hockey side have made a disappointing start to their Olympic campaign, beaten 2-0 by Korea.

Hyosik You scored the goals for Korea in the 18th and 33rd minute in their opening pool game at the Riverbank Arena at Olympic Park on Monday.

The Black Sticks started strongly, but after losing a player to the sinbin in the first half, South Korea capitalised.

New Zealand's two shots at goal came in the first half from Simon Child and Ryan Archibald, but both were saved by goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho.

The Black Sticks created more scoring opportunities in the second spell - particularly in the last 15 minutes - with two penalty corners awarded and more pressure being put on the Korean side.

Coach Shane McLeod said the loss is a setback, but there is still a long way to go.

"It is not the ideal start, but it is a long tournament and anything can happen. We need to deliver a better game, many players who have been playing well of late, didn't play their best today.

"They (Korea) scored a couple of opportunist goals early on and it made it tough for us to get back into the game."

New Zealand's next Group B pool match is against India on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Australia thumped South Africa 6-0, while Spain and Pakistan drew 1-1 in Group A matches on Monday. The Netherlands beat India 3-2 in their Group B match.