Hosts New Zealand will take on Canada in the play off for fifth on the final day of the World League Intercontinental Cup in Auckland.
With Australia and the USA already through to the final, the minor placings were being contested on day five and New Zealand picked up their second win of the tournament, 10-7 against China.
Japan and Kazakhstan will play for bronze and Argentina take on China for seventh. New Zealand’s second team will play Saudi Arabia to avoid the wooden spoon.
Quarters: 1-4; 2-0; 1-1; 3-1
Canada scored first, after a Ramiro Veich exclusion, with Nicolas Bicari. But Tomas Alfonso didn’t waste the following shot and tied the score at 1-1. Before the end of the first quarter, Canada raced away to a 4-1 lead with Bicari scoring again and David Lapins and Aleksa Garduan getting a goal each. Sean Spooner and Scott Robinson got their first goals as Canada eased out to a 6-1 lead on the second quarter.
Argentina was the first to score in the second half with German Yanez, but Constantin-Bicari made his 3rd goal and Canada went to the last quarter with a 7-2 lead. Canada scored three times in the last quarter, twice with Galean Patterson and Devon Thumwood got his first goal. Ramiro Veich made up for his exclusion in the first quarter and scored for Argentina, but they lost by 10-3.
Quarters: 3-2; 2-0; 4-3; 6;3
The match started with both teams attacking and one goal for each in the first 3 minutes. Miras Aubakirov scored first for Kazakhstan, but Benjamin Fleming got a goal for New Zealand seconds after. Calum de Jager putted New Zealand ahead, but before the end of the quarter Ruslan Akhmetov fourth level things and Alexandr Godovanyuk gave Kazakhstan the lead. New Zealand 2 was playing their best match in the tournament, but they couldn’t stop Kazakhstan attack.
Godovanyuk and Yulian Verdesh scored in the second quarter to move Kazakhstan further to a 3 goals lead, 5-2. New Zealand’s goalkeeper was working hard to get the shots, but Kazakhstan got further on the third quarter with Sultan Zhonzhigitov double scoring and Ruslan Akhmetov getting his first goal. But New Zealand also scored with Ryan Pike and Callum Maxwell. Ravil Manafov goal in the end of the quarter ensured a 5 goals gap for Kazakhstan, 9-4.
In the last quarter, Kazakhstan scored six times, twice with Yulian Verdesh and Sultan Shonzhigitov. Ruslan Akhmetov got his third goal in the match and Miras Aubakirov made his second. New Zealand also scored, twice with Calum de Jager and the captain Joshua Potaka got his first goal in a penalty. New Zealand team 2 made a great match, but they lost by 15-7.
Quarters: 1-3, 2-1, 2-4, 2-2
New Zealand will play off for fifth against Canada after picking up their second win, this time against China. While they struggled to get inside China’s defense, New Zealand were effective with their long range bombs, Nick Paterson rocketing home two huge shots in the third quarter. They lost Matt Lewis, who scored two goals, to a red card for misconduct but he should be okay to play tomorrow.
With a fired up crowd behind them, New Zealand recovered from a patchy second quarter which they lost 1-2, to win the third quarter 4-2 and set up the win. Two superb saves late in the fourth quarter by New Zealand’s Sid Dymond protected New Zealand’s lead. Then Iosefa Tuiasau whacked in his first goal of the game to ensure New Zealand’s win and Dymond saved another goal on the hooter to bring the crowd to their feet.
New Zealand coach, Davor Carević, commented:
“That win was excellent. We went into the match very focused and prepared. We won this game last year but we haven’t played since that tournament. We are a better side now.”
Quarters: 5-0, 4-1, 7-1, 2-3
Japan confirmed they will play for bronze with an 18-5 thrashing of Saudi Arabia in what was little more than a practice romp. They led 5-0 at the end of the first quarter and 9-1 at halftime before hammering it home in the second half ahead 16-2 after three quarters and though they were outscored 2-3 in the final quarter that game was little more than a toss around by then. After a day of exciting drama it was limp end to proceedings.
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