Great Britain celebrate deserved victory over Japan
Pool A – Great Britan 3-0 Japan
Great Britain continue their history of staying unbeaten in Champions Trophy if Crista Cullen scores. The 26 years old scored the opening goal and Great Britain have never lost a Champions Trophy match when her name was mentioned on the score sheet.
Great Britain started with great pace in their first match against Japan. They controlled the game, had more ball possession but although they penetrated the Japanese circle several times they couldn’t score. However, continued Great Britain pressure resulted in the first penalty corner. Crista Cullen’s drag-flick (21’) found its way into the net and the Olympic host nation took the lead. After Alex Danson was tackled near the circle-line Great Britain received their second penalty corner in this match. This time Cullen’s flick went wide. Short after Helen Richardson (33’) doubled the lead scoring her first field goal in her Champions Trophy career.
Great Britain have never lost after leading by two goals in Champions Trophy competition.
In the second half Japan received their first penalty corner which led into a penalty stroke after the ball hit a British defender’s body. Team-captain Kate Walsh called for a video referral . The British referral got approved and play went on with British ball possession.
Japan were more in the game towards the middle of the second half keeping the British defence busy. Towards the end of the match Great Britain increased pace led by their world class striker Alex Danson. Japan became stronger after Laura Unsworth was sent off with a green card given by umpire Carolina de la Fuente. Danson (65') destroyed all Japanese hopes when she tipped in a high ball into the net making it 3-0. Japan took their video referral to ask about dangerous play which was denied.
Japanese team-captain Yukari Yamamoto and Rika Komazowa played her 200th international match today.
Match Review 2. Great Britain - Japan 3-0
> GB win the first ever Champions Trophy match between Japan and Great Britain/England (3-0).
> This is only the second time GB/England win their opening match in 10 CT participations. In 2010 England beat Argentina 2-1 in their opening match.
> Crista Cullen converted GB's first penalty corner scoring her third (PC) goal in 16 CT matches.
> Helen Richardson scored her first CT field goal and her fourth CT career goal. Her 3 previous CT goals came from penalty corners, all in 2010.
> Alex Danson scored from open play. She has now scored once in each of the last 4 CT tournaments.
> GB converted 1 of 3 penalty corners awarded. Japan are on 0 for 2.
> GB/England have not conceded a single penalty corner goal from the last 21 penalty corners awarded against them in CT competition: 0 for 19 at Amstelveen 2011 and 0 for 2 at Rosario 2012.
> Japan failed to score in their first CT match since 2008.
Match Preview 2. Great Britain - Japan (January 28th, 3:00pm)
> This is the first ever Champions Trophy encounter featuring Japan and Great Britain or England.
> The last time GB or England took on Japan was at the 2008 Olympics with GB winning 2-1 in Pool B, goals scored by Anne Panter, Crista Cullen (PC) and Keiko Miura (PC).
> England’s last encounter with Japan in world level competition came on at the 2006 World Cup, when Japan won 2-0 in the Qualification Match 5-8.
> GB make their first Champions Trophy appearance since 1997, when they were ranked 5th.
> GB’s best result came in 1989 when they were ranked 4th.
> England are currently ranked 4th on the FIH World Ranking.
> Helen Richardson and Alex Danson were selected in the 2011 FIH Women’s All Stars team.
> Scottish Emily Maguire, Laura Bartlett, Abi Walker and Sarah Thomas from Wales, can all make their Champions Trophy debut.
> The player in the current GB squad have accumulated more than 2000 caps among them, making them the most experienced team present at Rosario 2012.
> Helen Richardson, Kate Walsh and Alex Danson are on 3 CT goals each. The England/GB record from most CT career goals in 6 by Karen Brown. Rebecca Herbert in on 5.
> Laura Barlett was named Great Britain Hockey Athlete of the Year in December 2011. She was also named Player of the Tournament at the 2011 Champions Challenge I in Dublin, which was won by Japan.
> Barlett was a travelling reserve for the Great Britain team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Following an injury to Jennie Bimson in a pool match against New Zealand, she was called into the squad and made her Olympic debut in a 2-1 win against Japan.
> Japan are the only 2012 CT team that is still to qualify for the Olympic Games in London.
> Japan aim to win their ticket to the Olympics in an Olympic Qualifier in Kakamigahara, Japan from April 25 - May 6.
> Japan are ranked 9th on the FIH Worlds Ranking and are the lowest ranked team present at the 2012 Champions Trophy.
> From the top 9 ranked teams on the FIH Worlds Ranking, only Australia (7th) are not participating at Rosario 2012.
> Japan have participated twice before in CT competition finishing 5th in 2007 and 6th in 2008.
> Japan were promoted to the Champions Trophy by winning the 2011 Champions Challenge.
> Only 1 of 5 previous Champions Challenge winners managed to win a medal in the following CT tournament – Germany claimed silver in 2004.
> At age 41, Japan’s Akemi Kato is the oldest player at the 2012 Champions Trophy. She is older than Korean coach Lim Jung-Woo (34) and Dutch coach Max Caldas (38) and is the same age as GB coach Danny Kerry (41).
> Eight of the 18 layers in the Japanese squad have made previous CT appearances.
> Yukari Yamamoto, Sachimi Iwao, Mayumi Ono, Rika Komazawa and Miyuki Nakagawa have a record equalling 12 CT matches under their belt for Japan. They also represented Japan at its two previous CT appearances in 2007 (5th) and 2008 (6th).
> Japan have scored 10 goals in their 2 previous CT participations: 7 FG – 2PC and 1 PS.
Results Champions Challenge winners in Champions Trophy
Year Team Rank
2002 England 6th
2004 Germany 2nd
2006 New Zealand 6th
2008 China 4th
2010 New Zealand 5th