Great Britain’s women finally won a match at the Wanglibao Champions Trophy in Changzhou, China on Sunday, beating Japan 2-1 to finish fifth.
Japan had a shot on target within 36 seconds, Hazuki Nagai firing past the left post. In the fourth minute, Yui Ishibashi gave Japan the lead with an angled shot from the left of the circle which ended up just inside the right post.
Their lead lasted just 26 seconds, Surbiton’s Hannah Martin slapping the ball into the goal from Anna Toman’s cross from the right to level things up.
Martin had been a threat two minutes earlier when Surbiton’s Sarah Evans and Sophie Bray combined to set up a shot which was deflected over the crossbar.
Japan had chances to restore their lead at the end of the first quarter, Kanon Mori shooting past the right post and Maho Segawa missing the chance to convert a penalty corner at the left post.
Going into the match, Great Britain were the only team not to have converted a penalty corner, but that run ended in the 21st minute, Amy Costello’s shot ending up in the roof of the net via a goalkeeping deflection to score what proved to be the winning goal.
Just before half time, Great Britain came close to extending their lead, Evans having a shot blocked and then with the rebound just failing to allow Susannah Townsend to deflect the ball into the goal at the left post.
Japan dominated the third quarter, but Great Britain held out, successfully using their video referral to deny Japan a third penalty corner.
With three minutes and forty-seven seconds remaining, Japan elected to replace their goalkeeper with a kicking back, but the extra outfield player advantage was nullified when Sagawa was shown a yellow card for a shoulder charge foul on Martin.
Great Britain had two scares in the final minute when two passes from hit outs were intercepted by the Japanese defence, but when the second interception resulted in a rebound off the outside of the left post, Great Britain were home and dry.
Surbiton’s Sabbie Heesh was rested for the final game having played most of the final round-robin game against Argentina before Hollie Pearne-Webb was utilised as a kicking back.
Evans, Martin and Pearne-Webb were all in the starting line-up with Erica Sanders coming on as a second minute substitute, whilst Giselle Ansley stayed on the subs bench.
More information about the tournament can be found at the FIH website
The Great Britain Hockey match report can be found here