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New Zealand hold Spain to 2-2 draw, qualify for cross-overs

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

fought back from two goals down to hold to a 2-2 draw in their penultimate Pool A match and qualify for the knock-out stages of the men's here on Thursday.

World no. 8 scored two field goals in the opening two quarters through (9th minute) and (27th) to go into the halfway break with a comfortable 2-0 lead.

But the Black Sticks made a stupendous comeback in the final 10 minutes of the game and scored through Hayden Phillips (50th) and (56th) to share the spoils and secure their place in the cross-over round of the tournament.

Olympic champions are atop Pool A with six points from two wins followed by (4 points) and (2 points).

Irrespective of the outcome of the last pool match, will top Pool A while are expected to finish second.

As per the format of the tournament, the top four teams from four pools will directly qualify for the quarterfinals while the second and third placed sides will play cross-over matches against teams of other pools for the remaining four last eight berths.

In the encounter between Spain and New Zealand, it was the Black Sticks who had the first shy at the goal in the sixth minute but strike from close range was saved by Spain

It was Spain who struck first when Beltran scored from a through ball from Pau Quemada.

Thereafter both the teams made a couple of good moves but they lacked the final touch inside the box.

Spain earned their first penalty corner in the 25th minute but failed to utilise the opportunity.

Spain extended their lead in the 27th minute when Iglesias scored from close range in the midst of a crowd of Black Sticks from a Ricardo Santana feed.

After an uneventful third quarter, New Zealand pulled a goal back in the 50th minute through Phillips, who received a pass from Inglis on the left side and took his time to smash it into the roof of the net.

Pumped by the goal, New Zealand went all out in search of the equaliser and four minutes away from the final hooter their efforts bore fruit when Russell found the back of the net from Black Sticks' only penalty corner of the match.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 19:05 IST