Video of Japan’s triumphant song: trim.77LA7p

Ben Collins writes exclusively for AFL Asia tracking the progress of the Asian 5 at the IC14 which kicked off last Sunday.

Below is his report for Round 2.

Round two of the International Cup saw Japan taking on Pakistan in the first all-Asian match of the tournament.

Japan used their speed and quick, clean ball movement to build a four-goal lead at quarter time as the bigger Pakistani’s struggled to keep up for most of the first half.

Pakistan came out a different side after half time and kicked three goals in the third quarter before Japan kicked away in the last quarter to win by 36 points.

Masaya Nakamura was fantastic for Japan in a best on ground performance. He looked like a natural in just his second hit out of the tournament and led his team well in the midfield.

Japan’s win was the first of the tournament for a member of the Asian Five in a great sign for the future of footy in Asia and the two team’s coaches shared some kind words after the game.

Elsewhere, China was thoroughly outplayed by a strong New Zealand team whilst Indonesia and India were also comprehensively thrashed by strong opponents.

The unranked nature of the opening rounds of the tournament has made it hard on very inexperienced teams like Indonesia and India, who are still finding their feet in the International Cup.

The upcoming community round should see more competitive games from the Asian Five as they face similarly skilled opposition.

Highgate Reserve will host the second all-Asian match of the tournament with India taking on rivals Pakistan on Saturday.

Full fixtures and results can be viewed here