Bhubaneswar, 15th June: The match began with the USA team’s first attempt to score, but failed. Japan took control over the ball but couldn’t score a goal, even with a clear opportunity thanks to a penalty-corner. USA took advantage of their penalty-corner in the last 5 minutes of the 1st quarter, scoring their first goal, by Aki Kaeppelerl. Japan lost no time and thanks to a penalty-corner Kazuma Murata made their first goal, putting the match even.
With a strong defense, the USA team was really tough on Japan, and they couldn’t score any difference at the beginning of the second quarter. With a clear chance of scoring a penalty-shot, Japan missed the opportunity when the ball hit the post. Then they got a second penalty chance, and this time Yoshiki Kirishita scored it, putting themselves ahead, 2-1. During the 1st half, it was remarkable how the Japanese team attacked more than the USA.
The second half of the match started with a good chance for the American team to make their second goal, but they missed it. Japan had various opportunities to extend their lead with a very good performance by Kenta Tanaka, but the American goalkeeper was always on point protecting the goal.
The last quarter found the Japanese team on control of the ball but couldn’t penetrate the American goal, missing a good change during a penalty-corner. Four minutes to the end, Japan lost a player, putting themselves at a disadvantage, USA took the opportunity to level the score but Japan make it tough. A yellow card for Masaki Ohashi gave the USA the opportunity to shoot their fifth penalty-corner to draw the match, putting the game 2-2. But with a quick reaction and counter-attack (and USA’s missing goalkeeper), Japan made their third and fourth goals, winning the match 4-2 and getting the bronze.