11 Aug. 2019
By beating Nigeria, Japan moved joint top of group C with Denmark, who play the final match of the fourth round later tonight against North Macedonia.
Nigeria vs Japan 30:35 (9:18)
Boris Trajkovski Arena, Skopje
Japan completely dominated the first half, taking a nine goal lead into the half-time break (18:9) and probably already thinking about their final group game against host nation North Macedonia tomorrow.
Six goals from Japan’s Hiroto Shimizu in the opening 30 minutes – half of which had come in a 7:0 goal run at the end of the half – appeared to ensure the confirmation of another two points with a 10-goal (17:7) lead and the break seconds away, but Nigerian came back with a quick pair of strikes, perhaps setting the scene for the second half.
And Nigeria dominated the second period themselves (21:17) but fell a little short in the end, only managing to come within four goals (33:29, 57th minute) as all of Japan’s squad saw game time, with the exception of Kosuke Yasuhira.
Daikin Kani was named best player of the match for Japan with nine strikes, while Nigeria captain Ibrahim Dikko grabbed eight for Nigeria.
Best Player of the Match: Daiki Kani (JPN)
Photo: WCH 2019 / Filip Viranovski