Hiroshima, Japan: The first crossover match of the FIH Series Finals in Hiroshima saw host nation Japan beating Poland by a convening 5-0 scoreline. Chile beat neighbours and close rivals Uruguay in the Southern American clash, also scoring five goals, but conceding two.
Poland – Japan
Host nation Japan, who finished third in the pool, played the team placed second in Pool A, Poland. From the outset, Japan put their European opponents under a lot of pressure. Japan were playing a fast passing game, with the Nagai sisters – Hazuki and Yuri – showing their team the way with some beautiful passages of interlocking play.
the best efforts of their captain, Marlena Rybacha, Poland just couldn’t deal
with the pace and intensity that Japan imposed upon them and much of the game
was played in the Polish defensive half. That said, both teams won penalty
corners but as the quarter ended, there was no score for either team.
Japan’s first goal was scored by Yuri Nagai. It followed a quick counter-attack and the speedy forward was able to unleash a clinical reverse stick shot into the Polish goal.
the second half, Japan really began to dominate. Izuki Tanaka converted a
penalty stroke after a strong challenge in Poland’s circle to double Japan’s
Three goals in the last quarter put paid to Poland’s dream’s of a place in the semi-finals. The goals came from Yuri Nagai, who deflected a penalty corner strike; Mami Karino was on hand to deflect a hard cross to make it 4-0; and then Mori Kano scored the fifth goal with a straight forward strike.
Poland team captain Marlena Rybacha: “In the first quarter we have played really well, it was 0-0 at the end of this one; our plan worked to keep them out of the circle and not let them to score a goal. But when they have scored their second goal, it was tough for us to keep playing. In the end, they were just better so I think they really deserve to win this game and they showed they are a good team and deserve to be in the semi-finals.”
Japan head coach Anthony Farry: “I think in the second half, we certainly responded really well. We were able to put some space between us and them on the scoreboard which is important for us, and we scored a couple of really good goals in the end.”
FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima, 2019
Result: Poland 0, Japan 5 (cross-over)
Umpires: Hong Chen (CHN), Jianjun Chen (CHN)
Chile – Uruguay
After losing to Russia 5-2 in the final pool match, the key question posed by coach Sergio Vigil was whether his team could recover “mentally and physically” for the challenge ahead. The Diablas answered in style.
It didn’t start well for Chile. In the 50th second of the match, Janine Stanley opened the score for Uruguay. Chile responded well and equalised in the ninth minute, Fernanda Arrieta was the scorer from a penalty corner. In the last two minutes of the first quarter Chile took the lead as Carolina Garcia volleyed a high ball into Uruguayan goal following a penalty corner strike.
Early in the second quarter, a free hit gave Camila Caram the chance to fire in a strong cross, which Carolina Garcia deflected to make the score 3-1. Both teams finished the half strongly but again it was Chile who converted – Carolina Garcia scoring her third goal by flicking the ball past the Uruguay goalkeeper.
In the second half Chile sat back and defended, giving fewer attacking opportunities to their opponents. They increased their lead through another penalty corner conversion. Consuelo de la Heras deflecting a drag flick at the far post. At the end of the match, Uruguay found their way through the strong Chilean defence. Teresa Viana was on hand to score a consolation goal to make it 5-2.
Uruguay head coach Nicolas Tixe: “I think we played a good game in general. But well, this is hockey, we have to wake up because tomorrow we have another important game; a tough game against Poland. I am really proud of my players because they gave everything they had.”
Chile team captain Camila Caram: “I think we were strong mentally, even though we went 1-0 down. We went for more goals. We were a little bit down (after losing against Russia) so we had to get it together today and turn the page over.”
FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima, 2019
Result: Chile 5, Uruguay 2 (Cross over)
Umpires: Suzi Sutton (USA), Yoon Seon Kim (KOR)
The action continues tomorrow in Hiroshima (Friday 21 June)
(JST time) Mexico – Fiji
18:00 (JST time) Poland – Uruguay Please view the match schedule here