match 5 - japan v china

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Arguably one of the games of the day for all viewers, Japan took on China, both teams looking for their first Tom Hoad Cup wins, the two Asian powerhouses took to the pools to try and kick-start their Tom Hoad Campaign.

And it was China who got off to a flying start, winning the swim up and scoring through Zhang Chufeng, 1-0.

But Japan were lively in their past encounter and were back on level terms through Koji Takei, his 6th for the tournament.

The next goal came thanks to a lovely passing move from China, which saw Dong Tianyi score to restore the Chinese’s one-goal advantage.

Again it was Tianyi who bagged his second for the match when he tried an audacious shot between two defenders, which found the bottom corner, 3-1 to China.

Japan were on the back foot as they conceded three quick-fire goals to China going into the first break down at 4-2.

The second period saw Koji Takei, who had scored 5 last time out, grab his second and cut the Chinese lead to a single goal. 4-3.

But the Chinese were dominant in front of goal throughout the second quarter seeing them back a 7-5 score line going into the major break.

Down 7-5 going into the 3rd quarter, japan needed to make up two goals and fast.

They did just that and more as Japan went on an astonishing 5-goal streak seeing them turn the deficit in their favour to 10-7 approaching the final break.

The 4th quarter and Japan’s number 5 brought up his 5th of the game, Koji Takei chalking up his second five-goal haul in a game. 11-7 to Japan.

From there it was all Japan, China only managing to score twice in the final term against a ruthless Japan, who played out a hugely unlikely 13-9 victory, giving them their first two points in the Tom Hoad Cup, while China will again be looking for better fortunes in their next game against Split.

KARL TRAVAGLINI

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