Japan sneak into final

JAKARTA: Japan continued their giant-killing ways as they send Pakistan crashing out in the semi-final with a 1-0 win at the GBK Hockey Stadium.

This is their first ever final in the Asian Games and they will meet Malaysia in the final on Saturday.

The Japanese played the right tactics to pressure the Pakistanis and one penalty corner goal in the 17th minute from Shota Hamada proved to be the winning goal.

For the first time in 16 editions, a new country will take the gold medal. Neither Japan or Malaysia have gone the gold medal yet.

Japan coach Siegfried Aikman said that they did not have any pressure going into the match and was able to keep the fight going till the end.

“Pakistan was under tremendous pressure and we have beaten them before this year. I believe they were a little afraid of us.

“It showed that they did not want to leave the defence alone and this gave us the chance to attack and keep them out of our area,” he said.

The Pakistanis will now play defending champions India for the bronze medal.

The match was played at a very fast pace and the Japanese were able to keep up the pressure for a long time.

Pakistan had a lot of chances and at least five penalty corners that could have hit the target.

But nothing worked for them.

Aikman said that the growing frustration of the Pakistani players showed as the match drew on.

“Like I said the pressure was all on them. We are on a learning process and this match will go along way towards making us a side to be feared,” he added.

Pakistan has won the gold medal eight times. The last was in 2010 when they defeated Malaysia 2-0.

Japan on-the-other hand have never made the final. Their best outing was third place in 1966 and 1970.

Shota Yamada scored his second goal of the tournament when his drag flick in the 17th minute sailed into the D.

Now Japan like Malaysia will go all out to create another history on Saturday.