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The New Zealand mens hockey team saved the best till last in their Olympic campaign, beating Argentina 3-1 today to finish ninth overall. The result follows their 5-5 draw with world No 2 Germany on Tuesday, a match in which the Black Sticks led 5-2 at one point. The New Zealanders, ranked seventh in the world, struggled to get their campaign on track after losing their opening match to Korea. They finished the tournament with losses to Korea and the Netherlands, draws with Germany and Belgium and wins over India and Argentina. Against Argentina, who have a world ranking of ninth, Dean Couzins team looked clearly superior. They took the lead in the fifth minute with a field goal by Stephen Jenness and increased it to 2-0 after 21 minutes when Richard Petherick converted a penalty corner. The gap widened to 3-0 eight minutes later when Nick Wilson, one of the Black Sticks players of the tournament, scored. In the second half the Argentinians fought back, but could score only once, when Pedro Ibarra converted a penalty corner. The Black Sticks had 18 shots at goal, four from penalty corners, and the Argentinians 11, five from penalty corners.
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