Japan aim to outwit Poland

Japan aim to outwit Poland

The fifth placing play-off match is the final chance for Poland to snatch a win in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.The tournament debutants will play Japan in the playoff match.

They had lost all five matches in the preliminary round.The Polish team were a last-minute replacement for South Africa and their lack of preparations was obvious.

In the preliminary round, Japan managed to win 3-0. Japan coach Siegfried Aikman said he wants the team to finish on a winning note.

“We must win this match and make sure that we do not lose our grip on the match. We have beaten them before and there is no reason why we cannot do it again.

“It will be tough playing under the humid conditions, but we need to be prepared for any condition.

“Finishing and the ability to sustain pressure at the end is a problem for us. But we can prevail with some smart play,” he said.

Poland despite losing all matches are hoping to spring a surprise against Japan.

Against India in the final preliminary round match, Poland was beaten 10-0. It is the highest scoring match in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. But the team preparing for the World series final in India in June hope to end their tournament on a winning note.

Poland coach Karol Sniezek said that the match against India was their worst performance in the tournament.

“We just could not match their speed and were left chasing their shadow. True the match was played under very humid conditions but that is no excuse for the way we played.

“The Indians are much better than us, but we are happy to have had a chance to play them. We are also in the same tournament for the World series, which is in Bhubaneswar,” he said.

Poland lost 1-5 to Malaysia, 0-4 Canada, 0-3 Japan, and 2-3 to South Korea.

“I think in the other matches we had some decent showing and managed to get the goals. It is important that the players work at their finishing and their defensive play. The playoff match is a different ball game and we must make sure that we make full use of chances that comes our way,” he added.

Sniezek said he would prefer to play Japan in the playoff game as they too are in the same tournament at the World series.

“It just gives another chance to look at Japan and play them. After this we will have two months to prepare and get ready for the world series” he said.

The goal scorers in the match for India were Vivek Prasad (1), Sumit Kumar (7), Varun Kumar (18, 25), Surender Singh (19), Simranjeet Singh (29), Nilankantha Sharma (36), Mandeep Singh (50, 51) and Rohidass Amit in the 55th minute.