JAKARTA: Japan continued their ways as they clinch a 1-0 victory in the semi-final with against Pakistan at the GBK Hockey Stadium. This is their first ever final in the Asian Games and they will meet Malaysia in the final on Saturday.
The Japanese played a high-pressure tactic against Pakistan and one penalty corner goal in the 17th minute from Shota Hamada proved to be the winning goal. This is the first time in 16 editions of the Men’s Hockey Event at the Asian Games that a new country, being Japan or Malaysia, will take the gold medal.
Japan coach Siegfried Aikman said that they did not have any pressure going into the match and were able to keep the fight going till the end.“Pakistan was under tremendous pressure and we have beaten them before this year, which enhanced our morale going into the match.”
“It showed that they did not want to leave the defense alone and this gave us the chance to attack and keep them out of our area,” he said. Pakistan will now play defending champions India for the bronze medal scheduled for tomorrow.
The match was played at a very fast pace and the Japanese were able to keep up the consistent pressure. Pakistan proved to be not as effective in their conversion of penalty corners.
Pakistan has won the gold medal eight times. The last was in 2010 when they defeated Malaysia 2-0. Japan on-the-other hand have never made the final. Their best outing was third place in 1966 and 1970. Shota Yamada scored his second goal of the tournament when his drag flick in the 17thminute sailed into the D.
Now Japan like Malaysia will go all out to create another history on Saturday, for the Gold and Tokyo 2020.