Saturday, 05 May 2012 17:16

Japan struggled for long spells of the match against Iran but still managed to end up with all three points to notch up their first win with a 3-1 score in the 7th Junior Asia Cup at the MBM Stadium in Malacca, Malaysia.

Though they won, the performance of the Japanese team left much to be desired as they were a pale shadow of a team that played in the match against Korea.


Japan had lost their opening match 1-4 against Korea while Iran were handed a 6-1 bashing by hosts Malaysia.


It was Japan who started with a bang, forcing their first penalty corner in the 3rd minute but the attempt by Hirotaka Zendana went wide of the post.


Japan took the lead in the 5th minute through Yohei Mori whose reverse stick attempt sailed through a sea of legs and beat Iranian keeper Alireza Chazanisharahi.


The perseverance of Navid Taherirad paid off as he latched on to a long ball out of defence and steered the ball past an onrushing Daisuke Kusana to put Iran on level terms in the 16th minute.


Though Japan were awarded another two penalty corners in the 19th and 26th minutes, they failed to make them count.


Japan struggled to breach the Iranian defence and only after Mohammad Asnaashari was sent to the sin bin in the 47th minute did Japan get the breakthrough.


A penalty corner in the 50th minute was put away by Hirotaka Zendana to give Japan a 2-1 lead.


Heita Yoshihara went on a solo run in the 56th minute and finished it to give Japan a 3-1 lead.


Although Iran came out from their defensive shell, it was too late to salvage anything as the succumbed to their second defeat.

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