Germany stamped their class all over the Olympic Qualifier in Japan with a devastating performance which saw them cruise to a 10-0 victory over Switzerland. Japan also continued their good start to the tournament, following up yesterday’s victory over Switzerland with a 6-1 win against Poland. However, it was the final match of the day which proved to be the most entertaining, with Italy coming within one second of defeating a Malaysia team 23 places higher than them in the world rankings.
Match 4 - Switzerland v Germany: 0:10
Germany produced an outstanding performance to destroy Switzerland 10-0. The tournament favourites approached their best form, and the score-line could have easily been much bigger.
Germany started the game at high speed, clearly intent on getting as many goals on the scoreboard as possible. Switzerland struggled to cope with the creative and high pressing Germans, being pinned back into their own half for the majority of the game. It took just seven minutes for Mattias WITTHAUS to open the scoring, but he had been guilty of missing two good opportunities even earlier. He made no mistake with his third attempt on goal, smashing his shot into the corner from the right of the circle. A minute later, Timo WESS scored a penalty corner, before brother Benjamin WESS brilliantly volleyed a field goal. WITTHAUS scored Germany’s fourth in the 31st minute, before Philip WITTE made it five for Germany just before half time. Any thoughts that Germany might ease off in the second period were soon forgotten when Timo WESS scored number six for Germany, before Florian KELLER scored a hat-trick. Timo WESS then made it ten for Germany with his third of the game.
Germany has now scored 18 goals in just two games, and are yet to concede. Germany should face a tougher challenge when they play Malaysia on Tuesday, while Switzerland will be looking to raise their spirits with victory over Poland.
Match 5 - Japan v Poland: 6:1
For the second day running, Japan came back from a goal to win, this time defeating Poland 6-1. The match was a highly entertaining encounter at the Kakamigahara Hockey Stadium, with the good sized crowd being treated to a solid performance from their team. However, Japan were again wasteful in front of goal, something that will need to be rectified before their key matches against Germany and Malaysia later this week.
Japan had numerous opportunities to open the scoring early in the game, but it was Poland who struck first thanks to a penalty stroke awarded for a foul on the skilful Dariusz RACHWALSKI. Tomasz DUTKIEWICZ stepped up to the penalty spot and buried the chance with ease. It did not take long for Japan to draw themselves level in the match, with Akira ITO finding the net with a penalty corner. Moments before half time Japan moved into a 2-1 lead through another penalty corner, this time Kazuo YOSHIDA expertly deflecting the ball into the top of the net. Ten minutes after half time Kanichi KATAYAMA scored from open play, before Yoshihiro ANAI hit a brilliant effort from the top of the circle just inside the right post to make the score 4-1. A penalty stroke from Japan captain Takahiko YAMABORI and a solo effort from Hiroki SAKAMOTO sealed a convincing win for the host nation.
On Day 3, Japan hope to continue their 100 percent winning record against Italy, whilst Poland will play Switzerland in search of their first points of the tournament.
Match 6 – Italy v Malaysia: 4:4
Malaysia were held 4:4 by an Italy side who were unlucky not to come away with all three points. Malaysia equalised in the last second of the match with a field goal from Mohd Sharun Nabil ABDULLAH, causing the Italian players to fall to the ground in disappointment.
Italy produced a brilliant defensive performance in the first half of the game, repelling countless Malaysia attacks. Most impressive was the form of Italy goalkeeper Alberto MARCHI, who made some stunning saves from the drag-flicks of Mohd Amin RAHIM. Malaysia began to get frustrated with their lack of progress, and Italy compounded their misery when Alessandro NANNI flicked a penalty corner high into the goal. Italy continued to defend solidly, but eventually a moment of class from Mohd Sharun Nabil ABDULLAH levelled the scores, smashing a reverse stick shot just under the crossbar. Incredibly, Malaysia fell behind again ten minutes into the second half, when Jacopo LUNETTA forced the ball over the line following a Italy penalty corner. Malaysia were back level within a minute, when Mohd Amin RAHIM scored a penalty stroke awarded for a goal-bound shot hitting the foot of an Italy defender. With 12 minutes left to play Jiwa MOHAN scored a low penalty corner, much to the delight of his team-mates, but Italy immediately went in search of an equaliser, winning a penalty corner. Incredibly, Daniele MALTA bundled the ball over the line to stun Malaysia. However, there was more to come from the entertaining Italians. With just three minutes left to play, Italy's Massimo LANZANO passed the ball into an open goal following a wonderful move down the left, sparking wild celebrations from his team-mates. It seemed as though Italy had won it, but Mohd Sharun Nabil ABDULLAH equalised with a field goal in the last second of the game to break Italian hearts.
Tomorrow is a rest day, with play resuming again on Tuesday. For full details please visit the FIH microsite.
Switzerland V Germany: 0-10
GER – Matthias WITTHAUS FG 22m
GER – Timo WESS PC 17m
GER – Benjamin WESS FG 14m
GER – Matthias WITTHAUS FG 31m
GER – Philip WITTE FG 32m
GER – Timo WESS PC 38m
GER – Florian KELLER PC 42m
GER – Florian KELLER FG 45m
GER – Florian KELLER FG 59m
GER – Timo WESS PC 65m
Japan V Poland: 6:1
JPN – Akira ITO PC 15m
JPN – Kazuo YOSHIDA PC 35m
JPN – Kenichi KATAYAMA FG 45m
JPN – Yoshihiro ANAI FG 52m
JPN – Takahiko YAMABORI PS 60m
JPN – Hiroki SAKAMOTO FG 63m
Italy V Malaysia: 4:4
ITA – Alessandro NANNI PC 23m
ITA – Jacopo LUNETTA PC 44m
ITA – Daniele MALTA PC 64m
ITA – Massimo LANZANO FG 66m
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