|February 24th, 2013|
|14||Round Robin||2:00pm||JPN - MAS||4 - 0 (1 - 0)||Final|
Japan became the first side to progress from the women’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 group in Delhi to round three as they saw off main rivals Malaysia with a tenacious performance.
Despite a dominant first half, they were only 1-0 up at the break as Ayaka Nishimura finished into an open net as the Malaysian defence stopped, expecting a free out to be given. But the Japanese striker remained alert and player on for a 29th minute lead.
Earlier, they were only denied a first goal from a cracking move by Noor Hasliza Md Ali’s last gasp intervention in the third minute while Farah Ayuni Yahya made a string of fine saves.
But their resistence after a couple of defensive injuries was weakened in the second half and Japan broke through again in the 45th minute, Kumi Banda’s swept corner turned in by Aki Mitsuhashi. Akiko Kato scrambled in the next goal soon after and the tie was fully confirmed 15 minutes from the end when Aya Ueda was on the mark.
It was a special way to celebrate the 200th cap for Miyuki Nakagawa as Japan kept alive their hopes of making it to the 2014 World Cup.