New Zealand ended Malaysia’s hopes of making the 3/4 placing in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup following a 1-0 win.
The win ensured the Blacks Sticks seven points the same as India and Great Britain.
The Kookaburras, however, lead the table standings with 10 points.
Malaysia rested veteran goalkeeper S. Kumar and introduced Hafizuddin Othman against New Zealand.
It is the first time the National Junior squad goalkeeper featured in the 26th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
There was so much at stake in this encounter as the host had lost two consecutive matches (Australia 6-1 and Great Britain 1-0) and drew 1-1 against Japan.
A chance of making the final was long out of reach.
Reeling at the bottom of the six-team standings with just one point, a defeat against the Kiwis condemned Stephen van Huizen’s boys to playing in the fifth-sixth classification match though they still have a game in hand against India on Friday.
A win against World No 6 India on Friday will not change Malaysia’s fate as the host would have picked four points in five matches.
Nothing went right for the Malaysians tonight. They had four consecutive penalty corners in the 21st to 23rd minutes and drag-flick specialist Razie Rahim was stopped in two occasions by a fortified Kiwis defence and saw his third and fourth attempts go wide.
Malaysia’s folly turned out to be New Zealand’s gain in the 26th minute. In a quick counter attack the Black Sticks scored from their only penalty corner of the match when Kane Russell sent a low drive past Hafizuddin.
The third quarter and fourth quarters was a tale missed chances as the Malaysians came close but could not find the goals.
And when the hooter was sounded it was a night of another agony for the Malaysian team.