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

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Scotland vs. Japan ends in 1-1 draw

June 21, 2011
Tie could be enough for Scotland to take first in Group A
It might not have been their best showing, but a 1-1 draw against Japan today just might have been enough for Scotland to secure first place in Group A.

If South Africa loses its game tonight, the one point from today’s game will give Scotland the top spot from the preliminary round group. With the tie, Scotland is guaranteed at least a second-place finish. The tie secured Japan the third-place spot in the group.

Scotland was the better team at the opening of the game and took advantage of their first-half strength with the 1-0 goal coming from Nikki Kidd 13 minutes into action. But Japan steadily improved as the match wore on using their speed to their advantage and stymieing any hopes for a Scotland attack.

Japan’s efforts were finally rewarded in the waning moments of the first half when Shiho Otsuka put in the game-tying goal with less than two minutes left before the break.

Japan’s continued to run strong in the second half, but it only resulted in a lot of back-and-forth action with few shots on goal. It was clear in the late stages of the game that Japan was pressing for the win, attacking the net with fervor, while Scotland looked to be content with the tie, adopting a more mellow style of attack.

Japan had one last gasp attempt in the last minute of play with a perfect centering pass from the corner, but the shot went wide, leaving the game in the 1-1 tie.

With a win and two draws, Scotland now tops the Group A standings. If South Africa loses later today against USA, Scotland will remain atop the group standings and end the preliminary round in first place. A South African win would bump Scotland into second place. Back

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