New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) Japan became the first side to progress from the women's Hockey World League Round 2 to Round 3 as they saw off main rivals Malaysia 4-0 here at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium Sunday.
Despite a dominant first half, Japan were only 1-0 up at the break as Ayaka Nishimura finished into an open net in the 29th minute.
Earlier, Malaysia were denied their first goal from a cracking move by Noor Hasliza Md. Ali's last gasp intervention in the third minute while Farah Ayuni Yahya made a string of fine saves.
But their resistance after a couple of defensive injuries was weakened in the second half and Japan broke through again in the 45th minute; Kumi Banda's swept corner turned in by Aki Mitsuhashi.
Akiko Kato scrambled in the next goal soon after and the tie was fully confirmed 15 minutes from the end when Aya Ueda was on the mark.
It was a special way to celebrate the 200th cap for Miyuki Nakagawa as Japan kept alive their hopes of making it to the 2014 World Cup.