Seven minutes into the first period Japan opened the scoring as they had threatened. Goalkeeper John McCrone parried one shot but the puck fell to Koshi Kiyoe who scored past the sprawling McCrone. Britain's best effort in the first period came from Rick Fera, whose shot rebounded off a post after 15 minutes.
Britain equalised two minutes into the second period, Tim Cranston netting under goalkeeper Shinichi Iwasaki. It took Japan four minutes to restore their lead through Takayuki Kobori and, with 15 minutes of the period left, Atsuo Kudo made the score 3-1 to Japan.
Stephen Cooper then offered a ray of hope for Britain, flicking in Fera's pass from close in, but an empty-net goal by Yuji Iga settled the issue and virtually sealed Britain's fate.