Experienced Black Sticks mid-fielder Ryan Archibald said his team's focus on the defence paid dividends in the hockey World Cup match against Korea on Friday.
“We are happy to beat a top-six side like Korea, we have a good record against them. We defended well and slowed down the game to prevent their attackers from the sidelines,” he said.
Archibald, however, was not happy with the penalty corner conversions though New Zealand managed a 2-1 win. “We did not execute the penalty corners well,” he said.
He lauded the effort of fellow team mate and goalkeeper Kyle Pontiflex, who achieved the feat of playing 100 international matches.
On regular captain Philip Burrows's absence, Archibald said, “He had injured his calf muscle in the game against the Dutch. I hope he recovers for the rest of the tournament.”
With two games left against Argentina and Germany, the mid-fielder said New Zealand had to do well in the rest of their matches to book a berth in the last four.
Hyo Sik You of Korea said his team was not up to the mark. “New Zealand had a very good defence. We were a little down today, we need a little bit of stamina. But we still have a chance (to make the semis),” he said.
Following the Netherland's facile 6-0 win over Canada, captain Teun de Nooijer drew satisfaction that his side remained unbeaten to gather nine points.
“The first half was tough. In the second half, they were tired and we got more space to attack,” he said.
Despite his team missing out on converting some penalty corners, de Nooijer said he had confidence in his short corner specialists.
“We will think about Germany after some rest,” the Dutch skipper said.
Canada suffered because of the unavailability of a few players. Ranjeev Deol, who injured his finger during a practice session, was ruled out for the tournament after a surgery while Mark Pearson, whose father was hospitalised after suddenly falling ill, missed part of the match.
“I am yet to know the reason (what has happened to his father), I will discuss with him. But it is great that he came back and played for us,” Canadian captain Ken Pereira said.
“It is difficult to shut a team like the Netherlands for 70 minutes. They got some chances and capitalised on those,” he said.