Never-say-die Japan pip Malaysia to Asiad hockey gold

The Japanese hockey team pose for a photograph with their Asian Games 2018 gold medal. Photo: Reuters

Japan staged a spectacular regulation time comeback to draw 6-6 before edging out Malaysia 3-1 in a penalty shootout and claim the men’s hockey gold at the Asian Games 2018 on Saturday.

Trailing 4-1 in the second period and then 5-2 in the fourth, Japan pumped in three goals through Kentaro Fukuda, Kenta Tanaka and Koji Yamasaki in a seven-minute blitz to level the pulsating contest.

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin completed his hat-trick in the 59th minute to put Malaysia ahead again, rekindling their hopes of an Asian gold which secures a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But Hiromasa Ochiai levelled when he scored from a penalty corner with 13 seconds left to force the shootout won by Japan who already have a place at the Tokyo Games as hosts.