A thrilling final quarter saw Japan to outplay host Bangladesh in their last Pool-A match of 10th Hero Asia Cup Hockey at Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium on Sunday.
After a barren first quarter, Kenji Kitazato put Japan in the driving seat with his field goal on 22nd minute. His solo effort sent the ball home behind Bangladesh custodian Asim Gope in the second quarter and made the scoreline 1-0.
Bangladesh penalty corner specialist Mamunur Rahman Chayan scored the equaliser on 28th minute, taken by Pushkar Khisa Mimo and stopped by Rana.
At the end of first half of the match the scoreboard remained 1-1.
Third quarter of the match was action packed with attacks and counter attacks from both ends. Confident Bangladesh fought hard to take a lead but Japan was dominant in their defence.
When the match was almost heading for a draw and Bangladesh were waiting for long whistle, Kenta Tanaka shocked Bangladesh scoring two quick field goals in a span of only one minute due to poor match temperament of the home side.
He scored the second goal for Japan in the 59th minute through his lone effort by straight hit (2-1) while the thrd goal from close just 20 seconds before the final whistle capitalising on a mistake of Rezaul Babu to the frustrating of the home crowd (3-1).
Earlier, Bangladesh custodian Asim Gope saved a penalty stroke taken by Shota in the 40th minute while Japanese goalie saved his castle brilliantly foiling a reverse hit of Kaushik, off a Jimmy pass.
Bangladesh had a poor run in the ongoing hockey tournament and ended empty handed after their group stage encounters as they were defeated by Pakistan in the first match with a margin 7-0 and India beat the hosts by 7-0 in their second match.
At the post match press conference Bangladesh Coach Harun Mahbub said: “We lack the experience of playing at this level. Though I am happy with how we played the first two quarters, I think mentally we were not strong enough to keep up the momentum till the end.”