JAKARTA: Japan booked their place in the semi-finals of the women’s competition after their win against China 4-2 at the GBK Stadium in Jakarta. The win gives Japan nine points from three matches with second-placed Malaysia on 7 points, courtesy of two wins and a draw leaving China on 4 points from one win, draw and a loss from three matches.
Malaysia can claim the second semis slot if they defeat Japan on Monday or hold them to a draw. A defeat could see the spot determined by goal difference. The defeat means that China will have to defeat Hong Kong by a big margin and hope that Malaysia loses to Japan.
“The two early goals helped us settle down” said Japan coach Anthony Farry.
“Although we have qualified for the semis, we want to top the group so we will try to win our final group match against Malaysia.”
While beat on the night, Chinese coach Jamilon Mulders was not giving up hope of making the last four.
“All is not lost as we still have a chance to make the semis and we will give it our best “, said Jamilon.
Song Xio Ming came close to China in the first minute but hurried her shot and the chance went to waste. Japan countered back right away as the attempt by Kawamura Motomi was charged down by a defender in the 2nd minute.
But the Japanese were not to be denied and went ahead in the 4th minute via Minami Shimizu. Shimizu doubled the advantage for Japan with a powerful flick into the goal in the 8th minute. China staged a fightback as Gu Bing Feng converted a penalty corner in the 12th minute to reduce the deficit.
Japan doubled their efforts to extend their lead and after three consecutive penalty corners, the ball was relayed to Shihori Oikawa whose shot sailed through a sea of legs to give Japan a 3-1 lead in the 18th minute. Akiko Kato, later on, went to score a field goal to increase their lead to 4-1 in the 26th minute. Gu scored her second of the night through a penalty corner in the 32nd minute to reduce the deficit to 4-2.