The final day of the AOFC WFC qualification offered two directly decisive matches - the winners qualifies.
First out was Singapore v/s Korea and in the last match of the qualification Japan faced Australia.
Singapore qualifies after defeating Korea 6-3
Both teams started the first period very disciplined and organized, more trying to avoid mistakes than creating chances, but after a while the game loosened up a bit and shots started to get through to the goalkeepers.
The first goal of the match came at 16:43 when Leroy Yoshua Brown in a free-hit situation scored 1-0 for Singapore, which also was the result after the first period.
Singapore came out strong in the 2nd period and could increase the lead to 2-0 after 2:41, the goal scored by Mohammed Hafeez Mohd Kassim. When Korea, less than half a minute later, incurred a 2 minute penalty things started to look bad for the team but they managed to keep the net clean during that box play.
Korea got the chance to play power play after 6:50 but they played very stressed and at 7:43 the Korean defense committed a foul that gave Singapore a penalty shot which Enrico Elifh Marican took the advantage of and scored 3-0.
Korea took a time out directly after the goal to try to get back into the match.
The match now turned to a more intense give and take version and when Korea got a power play Baek Hee Lee could score their first goal of the match at 16:52 - but less than a minute later Leroy Joshua Brown could increase the Singapore lead to 4-1.
Ki Wung Lee gave Korea a god start of the 3rd period by scoring after 1:21.
Although Korea kept up the pressure trying to stress the Singapore team to make mistakes the Singaporians kept calm and managed to keep their organisation in place and when they got a triple chance Han Rong Calvin Lim scored 5-2 after 7:49 and just 16 seconds later Leroy Joshua Brown scored his third and Singapores 6th goal of the match and the match was practically over.
Korea however made a last effort but after having missed a penalty shot at 11:59 and not scored in the power play that followed the tempo of the match fell dramatically. Although Baek Hee Lee scored his second and Korea´s third goal after 15:00 the Singapore victory was never in danger.
Having started poorly but growing through the tournament Singapore definitely has earned their position in the WFC Final round.
Photo: Yoshiaki Ito/WFCQ 2012 AOFC
Japan qualifies after defeating Australia 6-3
After Singapores win the pre-requisites was that Australia needed to win but Japan could settle with a draw to qualify.
Team Japan put up a high tempo immediately and took the lead after 1:31, the goal scored by Tomoki Hayashi.
Australia tried to follow the Japanese speed and somewhat lost organisation in the first half of the period.
A power play goal by So Nakajima took Japan to 2-0 after 10:55.
Towards the end of the period the tempo went down a bit and Australia could get better hold of the game and pressed Japan in their half. Kazuya Kikuchi, in the Japanese goal the 1st period, could however keep his net clean and the period ended 2-0.
Australia came out as a new team to the 2nd period. More determined and with full focus.
It paid off and at 3:18 Gavin Staindl reduced to 1-2 and two minutes later Jonathan Veron equalized behind Takanori Nakagawa that was selected to be in the Japanese goal cage in the 2nd period.
Needless to say that the match reached a new and higher intensity after the equalizer...
Japan managed to put up the speed again and after 10:19 Tomoki Hayashi made his second goal to again take Japan into the lead.
Australia got a power play opportunity with 5 minutes to go of the period and after 16:21 the equalizer was nicely shot into the net by Matthew Poon.
The Aussie keeper Jacob Stanley had an excellent period and saved 9 shots.
The start of the 3rd period was all but not organized. A lot of nerves but still full speed.
Japan got a power play opportunity which Kenichi Ogawa used to score with a one timer at 7:50 to take Japan back into the lead.
Two minutes later Australia got the same opportunity but couldn´t take advantage of that.
When back on equal strength Japan changed tactics totally for a period trying to keep the ball within the team in a more careful way than normal but when going in to the last 5 minutes that was forgotten and the speed was there again.
At 16:54 Yutaka Nakai´s shot find its way into the net and Japan had increased the lead to 5-3.
Australia took out the keeper for a last effort but Kenichi Ogawa found his way through the defence to put the ball into the empty net and thereby secured the Japanese qualification to the final round.
Photo: Yoshiaki Ito/WFCQ 2012 AOFC