New Zealand continued their domination of Japan with a 3-1 win in the fourth men's hockey international in Toyama last night.
The result left New Zealand 3-0 ahead in the series, with the second test drawn, ahead of the fifth and final match tonight.
The tourists produced their best performance of the series after the scores were tied at 0-0 at halftime despite them making most of the play.
They forced three penalty corners, made numerous circle penetrations and had four quality shots on goal.
That domination soon told after the interval as New Zealand went ahead when Hayden Shaw scored for the fourth penalty corner of the game for New Zealand.
Their second goal was also from a penalty corner 23 minutes into the second spell when Phil Burrows picked up the rebound and scored from close range.
Japan immediately reduced the deficit with a well taken goal when New Zealand were dispossessed breaking out of defence.
With less than 10min remaining Japan started to apply pressure on the ball carrier in an effort to find the equaliser, but New Zealand always looked comfortable and in control.
The final goal came in the last minute when Simon Child deftly popped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper following a move initiated by Dean Couzins.
The game marked significant milestones for two New Zealanders, with Dave Kosoof playing his 100th international and Blair Hopping his 150th.
New Zealand 3 (Hayden Shaw, Phil Burrows, Simon Child) Japan 1. halftime: 0-0.