Defending champions New Zealand inched their way to a place in the final with a win over Japan.


The 4-1 win gives the Kiwis a total of eight points after four matches and they remain unbeaten so far.


New Zealand had recorded two draws and a win in their earlier matches while Japan had lost all three.


This was the Kiwis chance to stake a claim for a spot in the final next Saturday and they went for the kill from the first whistle.


New Zealand opened  scoring in the 4th minute through Nick Wilson and Simon Child doubled the advantage in the  13th minute.


Kazuma Murata reduced the deficit in the 20th minute.


However New Zealand stepped up the pace as the Japanese wilted playing their second successive match at 1600H, the humidity affecting them.


And the Kiwis widened their lead through a penalty corner converted by  Nic Woods in the 27th minute.


Hugo Inglis put the issue beyond doubt by scoring the fourth in the 58th minute.