Great Britain notched their second win in as many matches with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Japan in the ninth edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup Under-21 Invitational Under-21 tournament at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru on Sunday.
It was the second win for the defending champions who beat New Zealand 2-0 in their opening encounter on Saturday.
Coach Jon Bleby described the win over the gritty Japanese as “important three points” to keep their momentum in the annual tournament with an eye on a top-two finish for a place in the final.
“We want to get to the final and I am pleased with second-half energy showed by the players,” said Bleby, adding that the turnaround between the two matches was a bit too short.
“This affected the players and the performance but getting the three points against Japan stands in good stead for the team.’
In last year’s final Great Britain beat India for their second title in the tournament which was incepted in 2011.
Britain grabbed the lead in the 13th minute through Loan Wall off a penalty corner but Japan was back in the game with the equalizer through Kosei Kawabe who knocked in a lose ball in the 21st minute.
Skipper Nicholas Park hammered in the winner for Britain on 47minutes for full points. RIZAL ABDULLAH