ESB Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge I (Women)
Dublin, Ireland - June 18 - 26, 2011


Japan squeaks into Semi-Finals

June 23, 2011
Late goal in 1-0 win ends India's medal hopes
It took nearly the entire game, but in the end, Japan secured its spot in the Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge 1 Semi-Finals with a 1-0 win against India.

The deciding goal came with five minutes left in regulation when Keiko Manabe threaded a perfect pass from midfield to Ai Murakami who made a diving effort to deflect the ball into the goal. The marker ended more than 60 minutes of back-and-forth action that saw the two evenly-matched teams thwarting each other’s offensive efforts.

India had strong support at the game with a vocal crowd backing the team, but the scoring chances weren’t threatening for Japan. Meanwhile, Japan used its speed, but couldn’t take advantage of any breakaways until the long pass goal.

The Japanese win was the second Quarter Final upset of the day. Japan, which finished third in its preliminary round group, will face Spain, which finished fourth in its group in a Semi-Final that few would have predicted.

India will face South Africa in its first of two placement games.


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