IPOH: New Zealand beat Argentina 1-0 in a tough and thrilling final clash in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup men’s hockey tournament Sunday that bodes well for the Black Sticks in the London Olympics.
Defender Andy Hayward scored the solitary goal off a penalty corner in the 18th minute. It was his fifth goal of the tournament.
The Kiwis also defeated the Pan American champions 5-2 in the preliminary round.
Argentina looked more dangerous in attack and came close to taking the lead in the ninth minute but Enrique Parede’s push from close range was saved by goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex.
The Kiwis took the lead off their first penalty corner in the 18th minute. Hayward’s low flick sailed past goalkeeper Manuel Vivaldi.
Argentina earned a penalty corner in the 33rd minute but Gonzalo Peillat’s flick was saved by Pontifex.
Argentina went all out in the second half in search of the equaliser but all their attempts were thwarted by Pontifex, who was named the best keeper of the tournament.
He was also named the man of the match.