The first men’s World Championship in the UK for 25 years is up and running as Japan beat Netherlands 6-1 in the opening game in Division 1 Group B in Belfast.

Japan, who were relegated from Division 1 Group A last year, led 2-0 at the first intermission thanks to goals by Hiroto Sato (5:21) and Kenta Takagi (13:59).

Makuru Furuhashi made it 3-0 at 24:15 and Daisuke Obara scored the fourth at 32:31.

Netherlands got on the board at 37:02 with Steve Mason’s powerplay goal, before Daisuke Obara scored Japan’s fifth (41:39) and Hiroki Ueno wrapped the game up at 57:20.

Freddie Meredith presented the man-of-match awards to Yutaka Fukufuji (Japan) and Steve Mason (Netherlands).

Photo credit: Ian Offers and Alan McNeice.