|December 2nd, 2012|
|22||5-6 Placement||11:00am||JPN - CAN||4 - 2 (2 - 1)||Final|
5-6: Canada defeated as Japan take 5th
Japan have grabbed a 5th place finish here in Quilmes thanks to a 4-2 victory over Canada. Yuta Fukushiro, Kei Kawakami, Kazuhiro Tsubouchi and Toshihiro Tachibana got the goals for Japan, with the Canadian goals coming from Matthew Bissett and Mark Pearson.
Japan started the brighter of the two teams and edged in front when Yuta Fukushiro produced a tidy finish from open play just three minutes into the match. However, Canada pulled level in the 12th minute when Matthew Bissett got ahead of his marker to meet a stunning pass from Scott Tupper deflect home from close range. Japan restored their advantage three minutes later thanks to team captain Kei Kawakami’s delicious before Canada keeper David Carter pulled off a fine glove save to deny Katsuyoshi Nagasawa’s high penalty corner flick.
The team from Asia scored twice early in the second half to effectively kill the game, Kazuhiro Tsubouchi and Toshihiro Tachibana doing the damage. Tsubouchi touched in from close range in the 39th minute before Tachibana made the score 4-1 with a beautiful flicked finish from open play. Canada – whose second half challenge was affected by yellow cards to Keegan Pereira and Gabriel Ho-Garcia – pulled a goal back 20 minutes from the end when Mark Pearson produced a moment of magic, beating his man before finding the bottom corner of the Japanese goal with a thumping strike.
Both sides went close late on but no further goals were added, with Japan doing enough to seal a 5th place finish at the Argentina Hockey Champions Challenge 1.
Shunsuke Nagahoka (JPN Coach)
“Today, the skills of the players were very good. I’m really happy with their performance. The Japan team has only had a short preparation for this tournament, although we played very hard. We made many mistakes playing against Argentina, but we were closer in the other matches. Now we need time to improve, because I know our weaknesses.”
Kei Kawakami (JPN Captain)
“We are really happy for this victory today. This is a new team, so it was important for us to win this match. We came here hoping to finish in fourth place, but fifth place is ok.”
Anthony Farry (CAN Coach)
“It was a very disappointing end to the tournament for us. We showed our inexperience at crucial times today. I think we need to take a look at Japan … the way they played today was great. We got a lot of experience from this tournament and that’s really good.”
Scott Tupper (CAN Captain)
“Our first half was not great, but we managed to stay in the game and we thought that if we made some adjustments during half time then we could take a little bit more control. Unfortunately the first 10 minutes of the second half did not go so well for us … the score and circumstances changed our plans. About the tournament itself, it has been ok. Of course we wanted to win more games, but I think we have improved in comparison to our last participation.”