Japan shock Pakistan 3-1 in Asian Champions Trophy
Ordos (China): Japan fought back in tremendous fashion from one goal down to stun title contenders Pakistan 3-1 in the first upset of the Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament on Tuesday.
Japan were at the receiving end in the first session after Muhammad Rizwan had given Asian Games champions Pakistan the lead in the fifth minute.
However, they hung on and equalised at the stroke of half time through Koji Kayukawa and then slammed two more goals through Kenta Tanaka in the last 10 minutes to ran away winners.
It was the first defeat for Pakistan in three matches. They now have six points while Japan have four points from three matches.
Pakistan`s defeat left the tournament wide open as, apart from hosts China, all the teams have a chance of making it to the final.
Pakistan took the lead in the fifth minute when Rizwan flicked in from close. It was one way traffic for 10 minutes from then on with Pakistan pressing for more goals.
Japan hung on and equalised in the 35th minute through a penalty corner when Koji Kayukawa deflected in from an indirect set piece.
After the break, Pakistan wasted countless chances but Japan came back powerfully in the last 10 minutes of the match, with some fine counter-attacking moves.
In the 62nd minute, Kenta Tanaka made a superb deflection off his stick into the Pakistan goal and again in the 64th minute, he was on target with another tap into the goal.
In the day`s earlier match, Malaysia beat China 4-2.
After Malaysia had taken a 2-0 lead, China fought back to make it 2-2 but the Asian Games silver medallists were too strong on the counters as they scored in the 53rd and 60th minutes to carve out a win and gain their first three points after two defeats.