Hockey: Great Britain 2 Japan 1
PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 November 2018
Amy Costello’s first goal for Great Britain helped secure victory over Japan and ensured they finished fifth at the end of 2018 Champions Trophy in China.
The defender smashed home a 21st-minute corner to secure the first victory of the tournament for her side – who included Hampstead & Westminster’s Sarah Robertson – after they had finished bottom of their group.
Costello’s goal came after Hannah Martin had scored her second of the tournament to level the scores just seconds after Yui Ishibashi gave Japan the lead in the fourth minute.
Japan applied plenty of pressure in the second half but couldn’t find the equaliser, with Susannah Townsend producing a stunning block with just six minutes remaining to keep out Mami Karino.
Martin’s equaliser was a moment head coach David Ralph believed to be pivotal in side’s success in this game, giving GB the impetus and confidence needed to secure the win.
“We’ve had to work hard in this tournament, it’s not quite gone our way but we’ve had some positives,” he said.
“It was important for us to grab that momentum back so coming back so quickly gave us a bit of life, a bit of energy in our legs for the rest of the game.”
GB drew with hosts China and Japan during the group phase, but lost to Australia, the Netherlands and Argentina.
Next up for Great Britain’s women is their opening fixture in the brand new FIH Pro League on February 8, 2019.
GB: Tennant, Unsworth, Evans, Toman, Martin, Townsend, Bray, Pearne-Webb, Owsley, Balsdon, Costello. Subs: Robertson, Petty, Sanders, Howard, Jones, Ansley, Heesh.