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Japan won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 after an exciting final against Pakistan

Japan defeat Pakistan in Azlan Shah cup final an lift the Trophy

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 final match was really intense. Japan and Pakistan, who hadn’t lost any games before, faced off. Both teams showed they could attack and defend well, but Japan won in the end after a close penalty shootout 4-1.

Japan started the final on a positive note, showcasing their attacking prowess early in the game. Seren Tanaka’s field goal in the 12th minute gave Japan an early lead, setting the tone for an intense battle ahead. Despite several attempts by Pakistan to equalize, Japan maintained their advantage, ending the first quarter with a 1-0 lead.

Both teams intensified their efforts in the second quarter, with Pakistan pushing hard to level the scores. However, Japan’s defense remained resolute, thwarting Pakistan’s advances and denying them any clear goal-scoring opportunities. Despite Pakistan’s relentless pressure, Japan managed to hold onto its lead, entering halftime with a 1-0 advantage.

Pakistan came out with renewed energy in the third quarter, determined to turn the tide in their favor. Their attacking approach paid off when Ajaz Ahmed found the back of the net in the 34th minute, equalizing the scoreline. Buoyed by this goal, Pakistan continued to press forward, and their efforts were rewarded once again when Abdul Rahman scored in the 37th minute, giving Pakistan a 2-1 lead going into the final quarter.

Trailing by a goal, Japan mounted a spirited comeback in the fourth quarter, refusing to be deterred by Pakistan’s lead. Their perseverance paid off when Kazumasa Matsumoto scored the equalizer just two minutes into the final quarter, leveling the scores at 2-2. With both teams deadlocked, the final minutes of regulation time saw intense end-to-end action, but neither side could find the decisive goal, leading to a penalty shootout to determine the champion.

In the penalty shootout, Japan stayed calm and scored all four of its penalties perfectly. Pakistan had a hard time and only managed to score one out of its four attempts. Japan’s amazing performance in the shootout helped them win 4-1, securing the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 title in an exciting way.

While the final result might be disappointing for Pakistan, their performance throughout the tournament deserves immense credit. Reaching the final for the first time in 13 years is a testament to their progress and growing strength on the international hockey stage. They defeated strong teams like Malaysia, South Korea, and Canada, showcasing their attacking capabilities.

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 final match was really exciting, with Japan and Pakistan playing their hearts out. Japan’s strong performance and ability to stay calm under pressure helped them win against a tough Pakistan team. It was a great display of hockey skills, and both teams showed a lot of determination and respect for each other. Fans can’t wait to see what happens next between these two teams!