|July 2nd, 2013|
|9||Pool A||3:00pm||GER - JPN||3 - 1 (1 - 1)||Final||x 3|
Germany – Japan 3-1 (1-1)
World number 1 Germany overcame a rain delay and stern resistance to emerge as winners against Japan in the first match of Day 3 here in Johor Bahru. The European giants took a 3-1 triumph, with second half strikes from Florian Fuchs and Christopher Zeller doing the damage after the teams went into half time with the score locked at 1-1.
The result means that Germany have guaranteed a top 2 finish in Pool A, meaning that they will play either the third or fourth place finisher in Pool B. Their exact placing will be known following the meeting between Argentina v Korea, which is the final match of Pool A.
The scheduled start time was pushed back by 15 minutes due to a torrential downpour in the build-up to the contest. Despite the delay, the rain made a significant contribution in lowering the temperature ahead of what was an entertaining contest between the highest and lowest ranked teams in the tournament.
Japan keeper Katsuya Takese produced a fine block in the fifth minute of the game to deny German teenage sensation Christopher Ruehr, but the reigning Olympic champions did not have to wait long for their opener. A fierce cross from the right by Pilt Arnold was too hot to handle for Japanese defender Manabu Yamashita, who inadvertently guided the ball under the body of the helpless Takese.
Impressively, Japan were not phased by conceding a goal so early in the game and levelled the scores ten minutes later thanks to a well taken penalty stroke from team captain Kojo Kayukawa, who sent Germany keeper Nico Jacobi the wrong way following a foul by Tobias Hauke.
Germany were arguably the superior side for the majority of the period, but failed to show their usual killer instinct in the circle. However, that all changed early in the second half when 2012 FIH Young Player of the Year Florian Fuchs lashed home a thunderous backhand shot from eight metres out.
The Europeans could easily have had more were it not for some superb saves from Takese, who was at the top of his game and clearly enjoying the chance to prove himself against the world’s best. Time after time the shot-stopper made crucial saves, denying one of the most potent strike forces in the game.
Despite Takese’s heroics, a third German goal always seemed likely. It arrived in the 62nd minute courtesy of a fine close range finish from Christopher Zeller, who was teed up perfectly thanks to a driving run along the back line from Linus Butt. It proved to be the last goal of the game, putting Germany onto seven points from a potential nine in Pool A.
|July 02nd, 2013 at 1:49 am||JOHOR: There will be a slight delay in the start of the GER v JPN game due to heavy rain here in Johor. We will keep you posted.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 2:07 am||JOHOR: Looks like the GER v JPN game will get underway at 15.20. If we have any further updates we will let you know.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 2:18 am||JOHOR: GER v JPN - The teams are lined up, and the anthems are being played. The action will soon begin.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 2:24 am||JOHOR: GER v JPN - MATCH UNDERWAY. Live streaming can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxatLwY49uE . Please retweet!|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 2:29 am||JOHOR: GER 1-0 JPN - Germany take the lead courtesy of an own goal from Manabu Yamashita, who touches in a cross from Pilt Arnold|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 2:33 am||JOHOR: GER 1-0 JPN - 10 mins in, and GER are dominating, although GER keeper Jacobi was called into action by Heita Yoshihara's shot.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 2:40 am||JOHOR: GER 1-1 JPN - 15 mins, and Japan are level! Kojo Kayukawa scores from the penalty spot. Game on!|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 2:47 am||JOHOR: GER 1-1 JPN - 15 mins until half time and the score remains at 1-1 between the top (GER) and bottom (JPN) ranked teams|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 3:24 am||JOHOR: GER 2-1 JPN - Germany are back in front early in this second half... Florian Fuchs with a tidy backhand shot. 25 mins remain|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 3:41 am||JOHOR: GER 3-1 JPN - Christopher Zeller taps in to give Germany a 2 goal cushion with 8 mins left to play. Linus Butt the creator.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 3:50 am||JOHOR: GER 3-1 JPN - FULL TIME. Germany overcome stern Japanese resistance to take all three points, moving to the top of Pool A.|
|July 02nd, 2013 at 3:52 am||JOHOR: GER 3-1 JPN - FULL TIME. Germany now have to await the result of Argentina v Korea to find out if they top Pool A.|