|November 25th, 2012|
|7||Pool B||3:00pm||IRL - JPN||0 - 3 (0 - 1)||Final|
Ireland v Japan 0-3 (0-1): More heartbreak for Ireland
After yesterday's disappointing narrow defeat at the hands of the hosts, Ireland came out all the more focussed and determined today, ready to force their first points. The boys in green played an excellent first half, creating scores of opportunities, and Japanese goalkeeper Katsuya Takase put down an outstanding performance to prevent his team from falling behind.
Eventually, it was Japan who scored against the run of play as their first circle penetration yielded a penalty corner that Kazuhiro Tsubouchi made good use of. Following their goal, Japan slowly found their way into the game better, but Ireland still dominated play for long stretches of time.
After the break, Ireland still remained the stronger side, but frustration started to creep in as their efforts yielded little. Halfway through the second half, a long ball into the circle set up Tomonori Ono who slid in to make it 2-0.
The balance started shifting, with Ireland losing momentum and committing more errors as Japan gained traction. Shortly after goal number 2, Shinji Kawauchi finished off some great combination play up front after a quick break by slapping the ball over the line for a three goal lead with six minutes on the clock.
Ireland had to concede defeat at this point, a disappointing loss after being the stronger team for most of the match, but unable to score from a total of 16 shots on goal.
Kang Wook (Coach Japan): "I am happy with our players’ skills. We had few scoring chances and our players scored three goals. It is good to improve our players' scoring skills. Ireland is a good team, but today we were able to take advantage of their mistakes."
Katsuya Takase (Goalkeeper Japan): "The Japanese defence played really well today and it helped me to do my job really well. We won because the whole team ran a lot. We are all from the same team in Japan, so we know each other very well."
Geoffrey Mc Cabe (Player Ireland): "We are disappointed with the result. Anybody who saw the match knows that there is not such difference between Japan and Ireland. We created a lot of opportunities today in the circle but couldn’t score, and they scored in the counter-attack. From yesterday we improved our structure, we moved the ball better but we have to improve other things as well. We want to win every game and we played for it, but the tournament’s format suggests that you don’t have to win your first three games. The fourth game is the most important, so we have time to improve our skills for the next games."Andrew Meredith (Coach Ireland): "We don’t see the games through. In all areas we had 8 corners and 28 circles penetrations and didn’t’ score. We have to be more clinical. If we don’t finish the opportunities that we create, then of course we don’t win games."