In their opening encounter in Group B, Japan showcased their superiority as they recorded an easy 45-19 win over USA. Japan were making their debut in the World Cup but looked like experienced campaigners as they made little work of a hapless USA side. It was the US defence that proved their Achilles’ heel once again as they scored just a solitary point in the match. There were signs of improvement from the USA but they will need to do a lot better to get a point in 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.
Japan made a solid start to their World Cup campaign and were quick out of their blocks to lead 5-0 after three minutes. USA raiders were struggling to come to terms with the agility of Japanese defence and scored just one point in seven minutes. Japan inflicted an all out in the seventh minute to take an impressive 11-2 lead. Masuyuki Shimokawa, captain of Japan, scored three raid points in the first 10 minutes as his team led 15-2.
The US defence let them down as they failed to score a single tackle point and suffered an all out in the 12th minute. Japan’s attack and defence worked extremely well in tandem and led 22-2 after 13 minutes. Ben Marcellus scored with a raid to give the US their third point in the 14th minute. Japan replied with a super raid through Kazuhiro Takano to lead 26-3 after 15 minutes. Japan were in excellent form in the first half as they dominated their opponents to lead 29-6 at the end of first half.
It was a similar story in the second half as Japanese raiders continued to score points with US defenders struggling to put in tackles. Japan inflicted an all out in in the 29th minute to lead 39-9. It was Japan’s debut in the World Cup but they looked like seasoned pros and put up an impressive all round show. USA, meanwhile, never looked like bothering their opponents at any point during the match. Their defence didn’t have any strategy and they didn’t learn any lessons from the heavy defeat they suffered at the hands of Iran in their opening match of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup.
Takamitsu Kono and Tetsuro Abe marshaled the Japanese defence brilliantly and scored seven points between them. Yasushi Nakajo was one of the most impressice raiders for Japan as he came off the bench to score five points. The USA defence scored their first point in the dying seconds of the match as they lost 19-45.
Japan will look to carry on their impressive start on Wednesday when they take on Poland. The USA, meanwhile, will look for redemption two days later against the Poles.