|March 5th, 2010|
|16||Pool A||4:30pm||KOR - NZL||1 - 2 (0 - 2)||Final|
Korea and New Zealand had met only once before at a World Cup, when the Kiwis won 3-1 in 1998. Unfortunately, as for the other days when neither India nor Pakistan are playing, the stands were nearly empty, creating an eerie atmosphere for a World Cup match…
New Zealand was immediately dangerous and they scored on their first penalty-corner in the 4th minute, by Andrew HAYWARD finally on target in this competition. Korea immediately forced a similar chance at the other hand but Ryan ARCHIBALD on the post deflected the ball wide. Korea then dominated for a long period, but without generating any clear goal chances, while New Zealand forced a penalty stroke on one of their rare incursions in attack when a shot by Priyesh BHANA was stopped on the line by the foot of a retreating defender. Dean COUZINS, Captain of the Kiwis for the day, made no mistake to increase their lead to 2-0.
Korea had a series of penalty-corners at the start of second period but could not trouble Kyle PONTIFEX in the New Zealand goal. The Kiwis had a narrow escape when a ball eluded their goal-keeper and rolled slowly on the goal line but no Korean player was around to tap it in. Korea’s penalty-corner units were clearly on a bad day and were unsuccessful on five attempts. One of them was countered by runner Shea MCALEESE who then proceeded to dash the whole length of the pitch and deliver a perfect cross for Blair HILTON who shot high in the stands.
Kyle PONTIFEX had another strong performance in goal and managed to keep the Koreans at bay until a penalty-stroke was whistled in the final minute of play. Nam Yong LEE scored it, but it was too little too late and the Kiwis earned their second win of the competition.
Match Facts (Korea v. New Zealand):
> New Zealand won 2-1 to collect their second straight WC win over Korea, following their 3-1 victory in 1998.
> The Kiwis (6 points) have now overtaken Korea in the Pool B Standings (4 points).
> This match saw two PS goals. The last WC match to see 2 PS goals was ENG-GER 1-2 in 2006, which saw Simon Mantell (ENG) and Christopher Zeller (GER) score PS goals.
> Dean Couzins (NZL) and Lee Nam Yong (KOR) scored only the second and third PS goal at Delhi 2010. The first PS goal was scored by Australia’s Jamie Dwyer, who has also missed a PS this tournament.
> NZL might be heading for their best WC finish. Their best finish in the competition so far is seventh place, which they achieved in Amstelveen 1973, Kuala Lumpur 1975 and Bombay 1982.