Players of Japan and South Korea vie for the puck during the women's ice hockey round robin match at the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan, Feb. 20, 2017. Japan won 3-0. (Xinhua/He Changshan)
SAPPORO, Japan, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Tournament top favorite Japan went through a tough match to beat Asian powerhouse South Korea 3-0 for its second consecutive victory in the women's ice hockey at the Sapporo Asian Winter Games here on Monday.
The host team is sitting at the seventh place in the IIHF World Rankings, top in Asia. And its clash with South Korea attracted huge attention as the visitors overwhelmed Thailand 20-0 in the previous round.
Japan had a perfect start as Kubo Hanae scored the opener in the second minute for "Smile Japan".
South Korea fought hard for an equaliser, but all their six shots vanished in the second quarter.
The score remained 1-0 until the 44th minute, when Japan expanded the lead 2-0 through Terashima Naho. Ten minutes later, the hosts managed a third goal to seal the victory.
Earlier, China beat Kazakhstan 8-3 as forward Zhang Mengying scored twice for a total of eight from the first two matches at the Asiad.
In Monday's opening match, Thailand beat Hong Kong, China 5-4.