4 Dec 2018

Black Sticks go down 3-0 to Argentina at World Cup

6:50 am on 4 December 2018

The New Zealand men's hockey side have lost 3-0 to the world's number 2 hockey team Argentina in their second Hockey World Cup pool match.

Darren Smith

Darren Smith Photo: Photosport

The Black Sticks are now playing for the position of second in their pool in their final match against Spain at 12.30am New Zealand Time on Friday.

Coach Darren Smith said the game overnight had been "a tough day at the office".

He said; "Argentina was clinical in the circle and were able to take the opportunities that they created. Although we created some good opportunities ourselves we just weren't able to find the finishing touches. It sets up a really big game for us against Spain on Friday morning".

Argentina was the more clinical team in front of goal which saw them secure the three points from the match and take top place in Pool A with one round to go.

The first quarter was tied at 0-0 with neither side able to capitalise on chances.

The second quarter, which was played at a frantic pace, saw both sides construct some good chances but it was Argentina which struck first. Agustin Mazzilli scored after 23 minutes then Lucas Vila in the 41st and Lucas Martinez in the 55th.

The Black Sticks have one win and one loss and sit second in their four team pool behind Argentina.

A top three finish would guarantee their place in the knockout stages while first in the pool goes straight to the quarter-finals.