NZ rally past Malaysia to book WC spot

New Zealand booked their ticket to February’s hockey World Cup tournament in India when they came from behind to beat Malaysia 2-1 in the final of the qualifying tournament in the southern city of Invercargill.

Malaysia did not follow the script and took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute of the final when Razie Abd Rahim found the net from a penalty corner.

It was the first time in the tournament New Zealand had trailed and it took until late in the second half before they were able to draw level and then take the lead.

The tournament’s top scorer Andy Hayward provided both goals with drag flicks from penalty corners, the first in the 57th minute and again three minutes later.

New Zealand coach Shane McLeod said his squad had watched and been inspired by the football win.

All Whites overcame Bahrain 1-0 in the World Cup playoff match to seal their berth for the finals in South Africa next year.

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