Japan beat Oman to reach tri-series hockey final
February 19, 2018 | 9:45 PM
by Sports Reporter
Action from the match between Japan and Oman played at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Monday. Photo - TALIB AL WAHAIBI/Times of Oman

Muscat: Kenta Tanaka scored a brace as Japan ended Oman’s hopes of reaching the Triangular Series Hockey Tournament final with a 4-0 victory at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Monday.

With the emphatic victory in the final round robin league match of the three-team invitational tournament, Japan earned the right to challenge Pakistan in Monday’s summit clash.

Oman, who are being coached by former Pakistan stalwart Tahir Zaman, needed a victory by a five-goal margin against Japan to qualify for the final. However, the hosts' resistance lasted just eight minutes when Kenta Tanaka scored the first of his two goals to put Japan ahead.

Stung by the early reverse, Oman battled bravely and tried to match their rivals move for move. Though the hosts managed to keep the Japanese at bay for the rest of the first quarter and the second, they failed to stop Kenta from doubling the lead eight minutes in the third quarter.

Kazuma Murata further increased Dutchman Siegfried Aikman-coached team’s lead with a fine field goal in the 43rd minute. Hirotaka Wakuri then completed Japan’s tally with another field goal in the 60th minute.

While Pakistan had made it to the final after earning eight points from four outings, Japan advanced with seven points from four matches.

Oman ended their engagements with one point thanks to a thrilling 4-4 draw against Pakistan on Saturday.

The Oman Hockey Association (OHA) is organising the three-team tournament to help the Sultanate’s squad in their preparations for the forthcoming Asian Games Hockey Qualifier.

Oman are scheduled to host Asian Games Hockey Qualifier from March 2 to 10.

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