JAKARTA: Japan was given a scare by host Indonesia in their second Group A match when they scrape through with 3-1 win at the GBK Hockey Stadium.
For the Indonesians, who are playing in only their second Asian games, scoring the goal was an achievement. In the opening game, they had lost 0-17 to India. They last played in the 1962 Games which were also held in Jakarta.
At that Games, they scored two goals. But conceded 18 in the four matches played.
Indonesian coach Gusmana Ahriandi said that they played one of their better games in recent times. “Our preparation period was short and not enough. But today the players showed they can be molded into a good team. They had the fighting spirit and played with a structure. I am sure we can improve from here,” he said.
Japan only managed to score in the 13thminute when Hirotaka Zendana slot home a field goal.
But the Japanese had a scare in the 17thminute when the Indonesians scored their first goal of the tour made a further inroad with an0otment. From a quick counter-attack, Astri Rahmad netted a field goal to level the score.
That put the Japanese side under tremendous pressure as they Indonesians managed o hold out until the 41st minute.
In the 42nd minute, Kazuma Murata scored after a goalmouth melee and eased the pressure on the Japanese.
In the 48th minute, Kenta Tanaka made sure of full points when he also scored with a field goal.
Japan coach Siegfried Aikman said the match is a wake-up call for the players.
“Full credit to the Indonesian team for a splendid job and they showed good fighting spirit. I felt we would win the match and so was not overly worried when they scored.
“Indonesia showed that there is no easy match in this kind of tournament. Every team wants to win and they are no different. We play India next and the players have to learn from this match. You cannot make the same mistakes and expect to win,” he said.