match 8 - split v japan
The first of Day 3’s night games came in the form of Japan against Split, Croatia.
Both teams with mixed fortunes throughout the Tom Hoad Cup, either side would be looking for all 2 points come the end of the 2nd last day of the tournament.
The game got underway with Japan finding the net first, Yuta Henmi giving his side a 1-0 advantage.
Not for the first time this tournament, Japan started the game with flair and crisp passing, which saws leading goal scorer for the competition, Koji Takei grab his first for the game extending the Japanese lead to 2-0.
Split got off the mark 3 minutes in when the frame of Marino Franicevic found possession and fired home. 2-1.
And they were awake now the Croatians as Duje Lusic brought them level, minutes before the first break.
Japan have been ruthless when they look down throughout this tournament and Masahiro Ichikawa sent them on their way restoring a one goal lead at 3-2.
The score at the first break, 4-3 to Japan.
The second period started with split grabbing an equalizer early on and from there it was a goal fest till the major break, 7-5 in favour of the Japanese going into the major break.
Third period started slow for both sides but it was Japan furthering their lead through Yuki Kadono. 8-5.
But Split were not giving up just yet and the score going into the fourth term was only a two-goal margin 10-8 to Japan.
Unfourtunately for Split, their direct playing style cost them in front of goal with the fourth period bringing nothing but saves from Renya Kato and goals for Yuki Kadono, Yuta Henmi, Masahiro Ichikawa and Mitsuaki Shida, as Croatia were dealt another defeat, this time 16-10 to their Asian Opponents.
What this means is depending on results for the Mariners & Barbarians; it might mean a finals birth for Japan, all depending on results from other games.
Talk about edge of your seat!