JAPAN 13 : 12 KAZAKHSTAN (4:2, 3:2, 2:3, 3:5)
JAPAN: Tanamura, Date, Koppu, Shiga, Joshida 2, Kageta, Shimzu, Takata, Arai 4, Inaba 5, Okawa 1, Araki 1, Fukushima.
KAZAHSTAN: Makhmetov, Medvedev 1, Zhardan 1, Pilipenko, Aubakirov 3, Shmider, Shakenov 4, Berbelyuk, Shvedov, Ruday 3, Altayev, Manafov, Shlemov.
Asian derby for the fight for the fifth plays was played today at the World League Superfinals and Japan was better than Kazakhsta 13:12.
Beginning of the match was in Japan´s favor because they easily got an advantage of three goals thanks to Arai. However, Kazak players pur on a fight because they saw the opportunity for the improvement in their game. They didn´t give up and by the end of the first half they had only one goal less than Japan. Pressure from the coach Dejan Stanojević team was soon broke by Araki and Arai and Japan went the the big break with three goal advantage – 7:4.
Shaketov and Aubakirov brought more intense to the game (8:7) but Inaba, best scorer for Japan at the tournament scored three consecutive goals and secured the triumph. At the end of the fourth period Kazakhstan managed to reduce the advantage but there was no time for complete recovery.
Japan will face Hungary in a match for the fifth place and Kazakhstan and Canada will play for the seventh place.
Atsushi Arai, scorer of four goals for Japan, told us his impressions:
– We knew this would be a difficult match, we prepared well and deserved a victory today. Tomorrow we have our last game at the tournament, fight for the fifth place against Hungary. We want to win the match.