Date: 21 April 1932
Venue: Perth Oval, Perth, Western Australia
Western Australia: Mitchell, Phelps, Alec Gibson, Andy Gordon (c), George McKenzie, Lynch, Harry Bubb, Jack Walmsley, R.Martin, Jack Conduit, Jones
Japanese Cruisers: H.Horle, T. Takiuchi, N.Sugimoti, M.Matsuo, S.Yakano, T.Hasigawa, T.Tsukamoti, T.Kanika, T.Kanie, S.Oishi. H.Morita
Referee: Mr Tonkinson
Western Australia hit double figures for the first time in defeating the Japanese Cruisers 10-2 in a mid-week friendly at Perth Oval in April 1932. Jack Conduit accounted for half of the home teams goals with Jones also grabbing a brace and singles from Harry Bubb, R.Martin and Jack Walmsley. The game was one of many outings for the Japanese naval training squadron, who visited the Perth Observatory, the Power House, the Library, the Museum and the Zoo as well as played local team Fremantle Rangers during a five day stopover in Perth.
The game was keenly anticipated in local circles, the 'West Australian' newspaper reported it as "an outstanding event in the history of soccer in this State as this is the first occasion that a State team has had the opportunity of playing against representatives of Japan. The game should prove most interesting as Japanese players are universally regarded as capable exponents." (1)
The early exchanges suggested pre-game expectations would be met. The ball hadn't been in motion more than a minute when Martin shot narrowly wide after receiving a Conduit centre. Japan countered immediately with a smart run from H.Morita that was eventually halted by Phelps. With the next attack Western Australia took the lead, Conduit accepting a pass out of midfield and taking the ball forward before tapping it through for Jones to register the first goal in just the 5th minute.
It took only a few minutes for the lead to be doubled, Conduit netting his first from a scramble in the goalmouth. The Japanese pressed forward in search of a goal of their own, however, poor delivery into the final third led to very few genuine openings. Andy Gordon latched onto a pass from the middle park to release Bubb who, from an acute angle, put away the hosts third goal. T.Tsukamoti should have reduced the deficit but miss-kicked wide after his run down the flank got him within sight of goal.
Despite playing the second half into the sun, Japan opened strongly but were unable to get a clean shot before goalkeeper Mitchell cleared. Play returned to the opposite end where Jones brilliantly fired in to make it four-nil. Unperturbed, the visitors continued to attack with S.Oishi and T.Kanie forcing saves from Mitchell. Phelps broke up an attack and threaded a pass to George McKenzie, who played in Conduit to score into an open goal.
The floodgates were now open and in the minutes that followed Conduit completed his hat-trick before Martin added himself to the scoresheet. Conduit took his personal tally to five goals after which Walmsley worked a good opening which he complemented with a fine shot that dipped into the net. The Japanese rallied with Oishi eluding three opponents before beating Mitchell, and with three minutes left T.Kanika grabbed the visitors a second goal.
Conduit, scorer of five goals, was not surprisingly the west's best player with central defender Phelps and captain Andy Gordon also singled out for praise. T.Hasigawa, Oishi, and N.Sugimoti were the pick of the visiting side, which was applauded for their efforts in the following days newspaper. "Although outclassed, the Japanese revealed themselves to be keen sportsmen and contested the game in true international spirit." (2).
(1) p.7, the 'West Australian' newspaper, 21 April 1932
(2) p.13, the 'West Australian' newspaper, 22 April 1932
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