02 Nov 2016
A Japanese stunner Featured
After letting in six without a reply against Australia, any thoughts of Japan being whipping boys at the Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC) were thrown out of the window after they made England their second scalp of the tournament on Wednesday.
Japan, who tamed the Kiwis on Tuesday, were determined from the start with attack after attack lined-up against the English, leading to missed penalty corners in the fourth and sixth mninute.
England had their fair share of misses in the first half as the teams entered the break on level terms.
Japanese appeared even more organised in the second half and could have taken the lead through Koyo Kameyama in the 38th minute but he hit wide despite taking the ball past three players into the D.
Japan's goals eventually came in the 44th minute through Koji Yamasaki, prompting England to lift their game.
England captain James Gall got the goal they were searching for from open play in the 65th minute to level the tie and throw the match open.
Yamasaki, who scored two against New Zealand, was again the hero after applying the finishing touches to Soma Yamasaki's move with just two minutes on the clock.
"I did not expect that playing under the heat would give us an advantage, but after losing to Australia, I told my players to change the way they think.
"I needed my players to focus and not pay too much attention to the strength of the opponents," said Japan coach Kyoichi Nagaya, who expects a tough match against Malaysia on Friday next.
England coach Jon Bleby said: Japan played well and I was impressed actually. I was disappointeed to concede ... We need to create and convert more chances."
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