The Vantage Black Sticks took on Spain in their second match in the FIH Pro League this morning NZT.
After an absolute thriller in Bhubansewar saw India come away with the win the Black Sticks were hopeful of a strong start.
Spain took advantage of their fresh legs and started the brighter of the two teams, winning some early penalty corners. Goalkeeper George Enersen acquitted himself well with a couple of strong saves but the Spanish were able to take one of their chances to put themselves 1-0 up through Pau Cunill.
Much like the game against India, midfield turnovers stopped Kiwi momentum but the Black Sticks started to make some inroads into the Spanish circle late in the first quarter.
Spain came out of the quarter break and continued to put the pressure on the New Zealand defence, with Enersen again making some fine saves to keep the scoreline at 1-0
A repeat of the first quarter the Black Sticks turned the pressure on resulting in two exquisite goals within 30 seconds. Hayden Phillips with a fantastic reverse shot from just inside the circle, and then Simon Child firing an absolute belter to take the lead.
Spain again started the fresh quarter on the front foot and were rewarded with a well taken equaliser by Marc Reyne.
The second half was significantly quieter than the first with the Spanish able to see out the win. The Black Sticks did threaten late, winning their first and only penalty corner of the game with 26 seconds to spare.
Spain took full advantage of the fatigue shown by the Kiwis, who played only 24 hours earlier, registering 16 shots on goal to NZs 3, 8 penalty corners to 1, and 29 circle penetrations to 15.
The Black Sticks next take on India Saturday Nov 5 at 2.30am NZT – live on Spark Sport.