|November 29th, 2012|
|14||Quarterfinal||11:30am||JPN - KOR||2 - 3 (1 - 1)||Final||x 7|
Korea beat Japan in Asia derby
Korea fought back from behind to emerge as winners in the Asia derby match, defeating Japan 3-2 in the Quarter finals of the Argentina Hockey Men’s Champions Challenge 1 in Quilmes. It was a hard earned win for Korea, who fought back from 2-1 down to win the match thanks to superb open play strikes from Kang Moon Kewon and You Hyo Sik. The win puts Korea into the tournament Semi Finals where they will face Malaysia, who defeated South Africa earlier in the day.
There was nothing to choose between the two teams in the first half, with both sides having equal amounts of possession but creating very few genuine scoring opportunities. Korea took the lead in the 23rd minute when a defensive mix-up in the Japan circle lead to an own goal, although Japan ensured that they went into the break with the scores level thanks to Tomonori Ono’s high quality penalty corner deflection three minutes from the break.
The second half was far more entertaining than the first, with both sides attacking at will in a bid to keep alive their chances of winning the tournament. Japan captain Kei Kawakama gave his team the lead in the 39thminute with a close range strike, punishing a Korean defence that failed to clear their lines with a composed, chipped finish. The goal sparked an immediate response from Korea, who forced their opponents deep into their own half and won a succession of penalty corners. However, the usually reliable Jang Jong Hyun could not add to the six penalty corner goals that he has claimed so far in this tournament, with two of his efforts missing the target completely.Although Japan were constantly threatening on the counter-attack, it seemed only a matter of time before Korea grabbed an equaliser. The much-anticipated leveller arrived in 50th minute when Kang Moon Kewon smashed a powerful reverse stick shot into the corner before the decisive goal arrived three minutes later. You Hyo Sik was the scorer, brilliantly beating Japan goalkeeper Katsuya Takase at his near post with a perfectly angled deflection. You almost added a fourth goal in the 64th minute, but impressive Japan defender Koji Kayukawa cleared the ball off his own goal-line to keep his team in the match. Japan battled hard towards the end of the match, but Korea showed calm heads in defence to seal the win.
Shin Seok Kyo (KOR Coach)
“It was a very typical match today. It was an even first half, but in the second half we made the difference. I made some tactical changes and we could win. I’m happy. Our next rival is Malaysia, and I know it is a very strong team, well organized. They have many talented players who have good skills. We have to improve our performance and I trust in my young players.”
Shunsuke Nagaoka (JPN Team Manager)
“We played very well today because the team was very disciplined, and listened to the instructions we gave them. But we gave them easy goals, and an own goal. We made many mistakes in defence. Our next rival is South Africa. We played against them twice in the Olympic qualifying. We lost once, 2 -1, and then, we got a draw. I know their play is tight, but I’m focused on my team.”
Shinji Kawauchi (JPN Player)
“Although we could have drawn the match, we couldn’t hold their attack. In the second half they overturned the score, and from then on we became slower. We created a lot of chances to score but we couldn’t. South Africa is our next opponent and we drew with them when we played in the Pool, but this time we will win. We must be stronger in defence.”