Korea Deny India a Spot in Final of Asia Cup Hockey
India, who missed out on a spot in the summit clash on goal difference, will now play Japan for bronze. Malaysia play Korea for the Asia Cup title on Wednesday (Pic - Action from India vs Korea match, Twitter/Hockey India).
The Indian men’s hockey team was held to a 4-4 draw by South Korea in its Asia Cup Super 4 stage final match in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday. The closely contested draw meant India, who had a mixed tournament, were booted out of the title race.
Malaysia beat Japan 5-0 earlier in the day. The big win meant India needed a victory in what proved to be a virtual semifinal knockout match against Korea. India, Malaysia and Korea finished on five points in Super 4 but the Birendra Lakra-side fell short on goal difference. Malaysia will now play Korea in the final and India will play Japan for the third position.
Nilam Sanjeep Xess (9th minute), Dipsan Tirkey (21st), Mahesh Sheshe Gowda (22nd) and Shakthivel Mareeswaran (37th) scored for India, while Korea scored through Jang Jonghyun (13th), Ji Woo Cheon (18th), Kim JungHoo (28th) and Jung Manjae (44th).
The match was a midfield slugfest between the two sides with both sides trying to push things in their favour in the first quarter.
India secured a penalty corner in the second minute but Xess' effort was saved by the Korean goalkeeper Jaehyeon Kim.
In the ninth minute Xess made amends and scored with a low flick to the right bottom corner of the Korean goal from India's second penalty corner.
Two minutes before the end of the first quarter, India conceded a penalty corner and Jonghyun was bang on target to draw level for Korea.
Korea made it 2-1 five minutes later when Ji Woo Cheon chose his spot after being fed by Jungjun Lee following a defensive lapse from Pawan Rajbhar inside the circle.
India drew level three minutes later when Dipsan Tirkey converted the team's third penalty corner. Gowda restored the lead a minute later, pushing home Vishnukant Singh's pass from a counter-attack.
Korea secured another penalty corner but this time the Indians defended well to deny Jang.
Two minutes from halftime, Kim JungHoo equalised for Korea through a fine field goal from an acute angle as both the teams went into the breather locked 3-3.
India went all out and restored their lead in the 37th minute through an unmarked Mareeswaran, who tapped in a cross from Sheshe Gowda from the right flank.
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In the 42 minute Uttam Singh missed a sitter when he failed to connect to Rajkumar's cross standing in front of an open goal.
A yellow card—five minute suspension—to Yashdeep Siwach three minutes from the third quarter cost India dearly as Korea equalised again when Jung deflected in a long ball from midfield.
Just 27 second from the final hooter, Karthi Selvam came close to handing India the winner but Korean goalkeeper Jaehyeon made a double save to deny the title holders a last-gasp winner.
(With additions from PTI)
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