|November 5th, 2009|
|11||Round-Robin||1:30pm||JPN - PAK||1 - 6 (0 - 2)||Final|
The second game was followed anxiously by the local crowd, as France needed a win by Pakistan to keep a chance to reach the final on Sunday. Japan started the match at full speed and immediately earned a penalty-corner but they could not exploit it. They maintained control of play under the impulsion of their captain Kazuhiro TSUBOUCHI, extremely active in midfield, and Pakistan were reduced for a while to absorbing the pressure.
The first Pakistani opportunity was only in the 15th minute, but Rehan BUTT’s shot could not threaten Katsuya TAKASE in the Japanese goal. However, the momentum had now shifted in favor of Pakistan, and a superb run by Shakeel ABBASI through the entire Japanese defense earned a penalty-corner, converted high by Sohail ABBAS.
Rejuvenated by the lead, and the bright sun, Pakistan picked up the pace. To their credit, the Japanese players matched them step for step for the longest time, resulting in a very attractive period of attacking hockey with spectacular plays at both ends. After a swift exchange of passes in the circle, Rehan BUTT added a second goal for Pakistan before half-time.
With rain unfortunately back, the physiognomy of the match changed in second period to a less spectacular game. Katsuyoshi NAGASAWA reduced the score in the 42nd minute and Japan nearly tied the game a few minutes later on a penalty-corner. They maintained their pressure, exposing some weaknesses in the Pakistani defense, but could not close the gap. Pakistan were more efficient at the other end, with Sohail ABBAS on another penalty-corner, Muhammad ZUBAIR and Rehan BUTT on field goals, putting the game out of reach in a span of four minutes.
The remaining of the game turned to an impressive demonstration of speed and technical skills by Pakistan, much to the pleasure of the crowd. Japan had a final push to try and salvage some pride, but the score remained a decisive 6-1 win for Pakistan.