Japan staged a brilliant comeback in the Asian Games men’s hockey final to draw 6-6 in regulation time before beating Malaysia 3-1 in the shootout at the GBK Hockey Field on Saturday.
This was Japan’s first-ever gold in men’s hockey at the Asian Games. Their female counterparts had beaten India 2-1 to win the women’s hockey gold on Friday.
The champions of 2014, India, beat archrivals Pakistan 2-1 to clinch the bronze medal in the other match of the day. Incidentally, Japan had lost to India 0-8 in the group stage.
Trailing 2-5 in the fourth quarter, Japan scored three goals through Kentaro Fukuda, Kenta Tanaka and Koji Yamasaki in seven minutes to level the score.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored his third goal of the evening in the 59th minute to put Malaysia ahead again.
But, Hiromasa Ochiai levelled when he scored from a penalty corner with 13 seconds left to force the shootout. Japan won it 3-1 and denied Malaysia a direct entry for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Japan already have a place at the Tokyo Games as hosts.