h National teams

Yutaka Fukufuji in this scene Yutaka Fukufuji had to admit defeat, after which he became a hero. © Vanna Antonello/IIHF

The ice hockey grandpa leads Japan to its first World Cup victory

On Wednesday afternoon, the Asian duel between Japan and South Korea took place at the Ice Hockey World Championship in the 1st Division (Group A) in the Bozner Sparkasse Arena. And it gave the more than 1.700 spectators an unexpected protagonist.

Immediately after Romania with the sensational win against Hungary After achieving their first success at this tournament, the Japanese also took full credit for the first time. Less than 24 hours after troubling Italy, the team from the Land of the Rising Sun brought South Korea to its knees 4-3.


Yutaka Fukufuji became the main actor. He turns 42 this year and was nominated for the Japanese selection for the first time 24 years ago. He stopped a whopping 43 shots on goal that afternoon and achieved a catch rate of 93,48 percent. Fukufuji, who was the only Japanese player to make it to the North American AHL shortly after the turn of the millennium, made such a significant contribution that his team converted a 2-3 deficit into a 4-3 win in the final phase. Yu Sato gave Japan their first lead in the 52nd minute, and Sota Isogai scored the winning goal two minutes later.

Curious: Fukufuji is actually Yuta Narisawa's backup, who repeatedly infuriated Italy on Tuesday. Narisawa is 37 years old.


Wednesday's World Cup games:

Hungary – Romania 1:2 ( Click here for the report)
Goals: 0:1 Peter (49.29), 1:1 Hari (55.40), 1:2 Sandor-Szekely (59.09)
Audience: 2.212

Japan – South Korea 4:3
0-1 Jee (15.25), 1-1 Lawlor (21.42), 1-2 Chong Min Lee (26.56), 2-2 Sota Isogai (36.59), 2-3 Don Ku Lee (40.14), 3-3 Yu Sato (51.40), 4:3 Isogai (53.03)
Audience: 1.738

Slovenia – Italy (19.30 p.m.)

PosTeamGamesPoints
1.Hungary36
2.Italy25
3.Japan34
4.Slovenia23
5.South Korea33
6.Romania33

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