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Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Sports Complex, Jakarta, Indonesia:
Japan achieved their biggest success in the Asian Games hockey,
defeating Pakistan by a solitary goal in the semifinal to reach the
final for the first time ever.
Now, they meet Malaysia In what would be the first final of the Asian Games not featuring either Pakistan or India.
Earlier Malaysia went past India in a nerve wrecking shoot out after twice coming from behind in the regulation time which ended 2-2.
So there will be a new gold medallist in the Asian Games men’s hockey competition.
Pakistan (8), Korea (4) and India (3) had shared the previous 15 golds.
Pakistan, who had convincing wins in all the five pool matches, had the first opportunity but Ali Shan’s attempt went out in the seventh minute.
Then onward, Japan had more of the play in the first half. They had two open play chances
as well as two penalty corners. Off the second PC, Shota Yamada’s strong flat push went through
Imran Butt’s pads.
Half time Pakistan:0 Japan:1
Pakistan appeared a completely transformed side in the third period.
Employing their traditional short passing game, they repeatedly entered the opponent’s circle from both the sides but lacked the finishing. The two penalty corners coming their way were also wasted. Japan hardly entered Pakistani circle during these 15 minutes.
The green shirts had the third PC in the first minute of the fourth period but again failed to make it count.
However, Japanese manged to weather the storm and regained composure.
The last quarter was evenly played. Chances came to both the sides but there wasn’t any dangerous attempt.
The hooter sounded for the final time and the Japanese erupted into joyous celebration.
SCORER: Shota Yamada (18 Minutes)