YAMATO Kawahara scored a goal in the 51st minute as Japan celebrated a 1-0 win over debutants South Africa in the Sultan of Johor Cup international hockey tournament at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium today.

The Japanese, who arrived here for the tournament keeping a low profile, are now placed fourth in the table standings behind leaders Australia, India, Great Britain and South Africa.

The goals scorer is also named man of the match.

While the Malaysians are out of contention following four consecutive defeats and reeling at the bottom of the table, the Burras have 10 points and temporarily stay on top followed by the Indians with seven points.

Great Briton, Japan and South Africa share six equal points. Tomorrow is a rest day.