Japan ended China’s perfect record in the women’s hockey tournament at the Asian Games and gained a psychological advantage for if the teams meet again in the gold medal match at the end of the tournament in Doha, Qatar. The Japanese scored three quick fire goals at the end of the first half and eased through the second half to record a 3-0 win and move to the top of the seven-team single round-robin standings.
In other Friday action, India defeated Hong Kong 7-0, while Malaysia booked a 2-0 win over Taipei.
Kaori Chiba, member of the 2006 WorldHockey All Star Team, diverted Sakae Morimoto’s shot to open the scoring after 21 minutes. Morimoto got on the score sheet herself three minutes later when she slotted home the rebound after her initial shot was saved by goalkeeper Nie Yali.
It proved to be Nie’s last contribution to the match as she was substituted by Zhang Yimeng but the replacement could not stop Tomomi Komori from adding a third from a loose ball seconds from halftime.
‘We were going into the game with a good record against China and we knew we could win if we were mentally prepared,’ said Japanese forward Yuko Kitano.
Kim Changback, the Chinese coach, was not too concerned by the defeat. ‘The result is not important because China and Japan will probably rank first and second, so we will get the chance to play them again. The way the Japanese team attack is very clear, but the Chinese players weren’t in the right positions.’
In other Friday action, Surinder Kaur opened the scoring with a penalty and went on to claim a hat-trick as India stayed in medal contention with a comfortable 7-0 win over Hong Kong. Malaysia defeated Taipei 2-0.
Source: Asian Games, Doha, Qatar.
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