JAKARTA: Japan moved closer to a semi-final berth in Group A of the women’s hockey event after a 6-0 win over Hong Kong China at the GBK Hockey Stadium.
Japan ranked 14t in the world were far more potent than Hong Kong, but they had to struggle in the initial stage. It was their second win of the tournament.
On the opening day, the Japanese had beaten Chinese Taipei 11-0. They now have a three-day break before meeting former champions China on Saturday. Credit must go to the Hong Kong goalkeeper Yip Ting Wai for keeping the score down in the first half. She was under siege for almost the entire match.
Japanese coach Anthony Farry said the players were impatient and wanted to run up a high scoreline. “It is still a learning process for the players. My main concern will be the misses if they had played a top side. Maybe that is where we will be able to show our better performances.
I am pleased that we had plenty of chances. The finishing should have been better but I am sure the players will get it right if they continue to be consistent with their game,” he said.
It took the Japanese almost 10 minutes to break down the Hong Kong defense, though they were parked inside their opponent’s 25-yard line. From a goalmouth melee, Aki Yamada scored a field goal from close range. The second goal came in the 25th minute when Natsuki Naito earlier direct flick from the penalty corner set-piece move was stooped on the line by a Hang Kong defender and a penalty stroke was given. Mayumi Ono successfully converted the penalty stroke.
In the third quarter, the Japanese scored three goals. Shihori Oikawa scored a field goal in the 32nd minute followed by Emi Nishikori and Aki in the 37th and 41st minutes respectively. The final goal in the 58th minute was scored by Emi from another penalty corner attempt. Japan had 17 penalty corners in the match but only managed to score three. They also had 24 shots at goal but three was on target.
It was not a good statistics for a team aiming for the top position but the coach said he was not overly concerned when they playing the weaker teams.