The first round of the playoffs started on Tuesday, day seven at the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship.
Japan pulled away from Germany in its toughest challenge yet to advance to the quarterfinals, 9-4.
“We’re really excited for the next round, because our aim is to beat the top three teams,” said attacker Kazuki Obana. “We’ve been preparing to play them throughout the year, so we’re happy to advance.
Japan will play in the quarterfinals against the winner of the Haudenosaunee vs. Hong Kong, China matchup at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The Haudenosaunee are seeded third and have won the bronze medal the last two men’s championships.
“Our main concepts are playing solidly, creativity and hustle,” added Obana. The creativity was on display as Japan took the lead in the third quarter.
Germany’s defense slowed down the usual suspects behind Japan’s high-powered offense, so Junichi Suzuki and Obana stepped up with two goals each. Japan benefitted from a strong day from Keiji Victor Ishii on face-offs, going 11-14. Japan also won the ground balls battle 22-13.