Sunday, July 12, 2009

Champion's Challenge II: Classification matches

5th - 6th playoff: Japan 9 (Yoshihiro Anai 3, Ryuji Nagasawa 2, Ryuji Furusato, Tomori Ono, Kazuhiro Tsubouchi, Hikroke Watanabe) Russia 2 (Alexandre Platonov, Dimitriy Azarov)
Japan struck eight times in the second half to turn a first half deficit into a comprehensive victory to claim fifth place in the Champion’s Challenge II this afternoon.

The turning point came early in the 38th minute when Evgeny Mokrousov was sin-binned with the score at 2-1. Ryuji Nagasawa fired in a low drag-flick to level and Hiroki Watanabe batted home from close range to make it 3-2.

Russia had a series of corner chances - six in total - but they were unable to net, Alexander Likov going closest when he rebounded onto the post.

Nagasawa got his second in the 48th minute and from there the Russians appeared to lose heart. Kazuhiro Tsubouchi, Ryuji Furusato, Tomori Ono and a Yoshihiro Anai completed his hat-trick in quick time to rack up the comfortable scoreline.

Earlier, Russia had hit the front when Alexandre Platonov struck a superb first time strike high and Dimitry Azarov roofed a corner in response to Anai's early opener.

7th-8th playoff: Austria 4 (Michael Korper, Manuel Grandits, Benjamin Stanzl Tobias Hubner) Chile 3 (Jan Richter, Esteban Krainz)
Austria avoided the wooden spoon as they got the better of Chile in the first of today's classification matches at Belfield.

Michael Korper set them on their way with a ninth minute penalty corner but Chile responded quickly, again from a set piece, through Jan Richter.

Austria, though, upped their tempo to dominate the rest of the half with goals from Manuel Grandits and Benjamin Stanzl for a 3-1 advantage. Tobias Hubner increased the lead just after the break.

For a third game running, Chile played their best hockey when when the game looked to be over. Esteban Krainz zipped in a corner in the 47th minute but too late to cause a fightback.

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