Jakarta, May 29 ( IANS) A determined Korea pushed Japan out of title contention after defeating the Asian Games champions 3-1 in their second Super 4s match at the Asia Cup 2022 in GBK Sports Arena here on Sunday.
Japan had lost to India 1-2 in their first match in the Super 4s stage while Korea had drawn 2-2 against Malaysia.
It was Korea who got off the blocks first and created scoring opportunities early in the match. They earned a penalty corner in the 11th minute which was struck wonderfully by the experienced Jonghyun Jang. The early 1-0 lead put pressure on Japan and they struggled to create chances against a strong Korean defence.
Afternoon showers played spoilsport, delaying the start of the match after a goalless second quarter. While Japan took time to settle into the match, Korea broke the gridlock to double their lead in the 34th minute when Taeil Hwang scored a fine field goal.
The following minutes saw both teams slow down the pace and play defensive hockey. Japan were finally able to score in the 60th minute through Koji Yamasaki but gave away a goal to Korea in the dying seconds of the match where Namyong Lee converted to give Korea a 3-1 win.