Published Monday 30 July 2012

The New Zealand men’s hockey team suffered a 2-0 defeat by Korea today in their first outing of the Olympics.
With the Koreans ranked sixth in the world and New Zealand seventh, it always loomed as a close match, and one the Black Sticks were desperate to win.
New Zealand, hoping to emulate the Black Sticks women’s team’s success yesterday over Australia, were up against it throughout.
They matched the Koreans for possession and aggressive intent, but were unable to score goals when they needed to.
Things looked good early on when Simon Child and Ryan Archibald both had genuine scoring chances, but after that the Koreans gradually got on top.
You Hyo Sik scored in the 10th minute, when New Zealand were down to 10 men after Nick Haig’s two-minute sin-binning for a raised stick. Right on halftime You Hyo Sik again beat New Zealand goalie Kyle Pontifex, and after that Dean Couzins’ team was always playing catch-up.
The Koreans had seven shots at goal to the New Zealanders’ four. Though New Zealand earned three penalty corners to the Koreans’ one, they were unable to convert any of them.
The New Zealand men’s next match is against India on Thursday. With tough games against Germany and The Netherlands looming, they will need a good result against the Indians.