New Zealand cruise past Austria as hosts Poland edge Korea

New Zealand worked on their shortcomings from the first game and settled in at the FIH Hockey Men’s Nations Cup Poland 2023/24 with a comfortable 3-0 win over Austria.

In the other game of the day, Poland earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory to get their first points in the bag against an unlucky Korean side.

New Zealand 3-0 Austria 

New Zealand controlled the game in the early stages, closing down and maintaining possession with some good exchanges. Halfway through the first quarter, it reflected on the score line as Isaac Houlbrooke squared an easy ball for Jonty Elmes to give them the lead. A lacklustre 30 seconds towards the end of the first quarter almost cost them, but Austria were not able to replicate their deadly penalty corner form from Friday.

The Black Sticks started the second quarter finely and thought they had secured an early penalty corner, only for the video referee to say otherwise. Otherwise, there was not a lot of action near the circle despite New Zealand frustrating the Austrians with the ball.

The strategy to sit back and hit on the counter did not prove to be successful for Austria, who started energetically after the first half. They managed to keep the New Zealanders quiet until a deadly 90 seconds changed the fate of the game. Elmes got his second of the day in what was almost a carbon copy of his first, with Hugo Inglis feeding him. The cherry on the cake came courtesy of a young Joseph Morrison, who scored his first international goal like a seasoned pro.

Hugo Inglis of New Zealand, who was judged player of the match, said: “We stepped it up a notch today. It was a slow start against Poland yesterday and it was nice to get more rhythm today.”

Korea 0-1 Poland 

Korea showed intensity from the first minute of the match and deservedly earned a penalty corner in five minutes, but failed to capitalise. The Poles gifted them one more after sloppy defending and this time, it was well-saved. With five minutes to go in the first quarter, the hosts failed to find the back of the net from another penalty corner.

The well-matched contest saw Poland showing more assertiveness in the second quarter and almost scored when the Koreans switched off, only for Gracjan Jarzyński to miss the target by a whisker. But they kept knocking on the door and finally broke the deadlock thanks to a lovely finish from Mikołaj Głowacki. A sensational save from Maciej Pacanowski with four minutes to go before half-time helped Poland maintain the slender lead. While both teams were lively going forward, the back line was shaky and resulted in a penalty corner each. Once again, it did not bear fruit.

It was one-way traffic in the last quarter as the Koreans had nothing to lose and earned two more penalty corners that were squandered. It was a comedy of errors from both teams in Gniezno in that department as Poland did enough to secure three points.

Jacek Kurowski, who won player of the match, said: “We were waiting for so long for this and we can be happy with the effort. We are making a great effort to grow our hockey in Poland. It is very difficult to play 15 minutes without one player. But in the end, we have to create more chances. We have two days off and let’s see how we can play the rest of the games.”

To see the current standings in the FIH Hockey Men’s Nations Cup, click here.

FIH Hockey Men’s Nations Cup  – 1 June 2024 

Hockey Stadium – Gniezno, (POL)

Result: Match 5 (M)

New Zealand 3-0 Austria

Player of the match: Hugo Inglis (NZL)

Umpires: Federico Silva (ARG), Haroon Rashid (PAK),Michael Dutrieux (BEL-video)

Result: Match 6 (M)

Korea 0-1 Poland

Player of the match: Jacek Kurowski (POL)

Umpires: Munashe Mashoko (ZIM), Paul Van Den Assum (NED), Harry Collinson (ENG-video)



Skip to content