Japan has beaten Australia two nil in their final round robin match at the Vantage Hawkes Bay Cup being played in Hastings, New Zealand.

Japan came into their final match of round robin play in third position (6 points) while Australia was top of the points table (9 points).

Japan started the match strongly and made Australia work hard in defence.

In the sixth minute a pass out of defence by Australia was intercepted by Motomi Kawamura who pushed the ball to Mami Ichitani in the circle and after a scramble the ball bounced free to the left of the goal mouth for Yuri Nagai to push home.

Australia forced the first penalty corner of the match midway into the second quarter but was unable to score.

On the balance of play, Japan deserved their one nil lead at halftime.

The second half was an even affair; however it was Japan who again was the only team to trouble the scorer.

In the 42nd minute a long overhead pass from Yui Nishinaga wasnt controlled by the Australian defence and the ball fell to Yuri Nagai who controlled the ball and made her shot count.

The win puts Japan and Australia equal at the top of the points table on nine. New Zealand (8) and the USA (4) complete pool play later this afternoon.

The top two teams after double round robin play will compete for the Vantage Hawkes Bay Cup tomorrow (NZ time)

Half time score: Japan 1 Australia 0

Final score: Japan 2 (Yuri Nagai 2) Australia 0

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Hockey NZ