The Japan men’s hockey team pulled off a sensational 4-2 win over Chile in the first match of the three-nations tournament at Club Manquehue in Chile.
Hirotaka Wakuri (39′ 43′), Koji Yamasaki (48′) and Shota Yamada (58′) scored for Japan while Jose Hurtado (7′) and Juan Amoroso (13′) scored for Chile.
Chile dominated the first half, and made sure the visitors have it tough. Chile’s top marksmen Jose Hurtado and Juan Amoroso opened the scoresheet with two back to back penalty corners, in the 7th and 13th minute respectively.
The second half saw Japan shake off the starting jitters and showed a tighter defence.
It was only in the third quarter when, Japan finally made a breakthrough with Hirotaka Wakuri scoring a perfect field goal in the 39th minute that narrowed the lead to 1-2.
The final quarter saw Japan test the Chilean defenders as they made strong forays into the striking circle.
Wakuri continued his brilliant run off a penalty corner, equalising Japan’s score to 2-2 in the 43rd minute.
In the 48th minute, Koji Yamasaki’s remarkable field goal gave Japan the lead.
With the score-line reading 3-2, Japan won a crucial PC with two minutes remaining on the clock. Shota Yamada was spot-on as he powerfully converted Japans’s fourth goal making the scoreline 4-2.
Coach Siegfried Aikman’s Thoughts
“We started slow in the first half, not focused enough while Chile was sharp and worked hard. At halftime, they were leading with 2-0. In the second half, we were back to normal and followed our game plan and managed to win 2-4,” said Siegfried Aikman, Japan Men’s team Coach, through Facebook.
Japan next take on Argentina, on 16th January.