Chennai, August 7, 2023: The Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2023 continued to deliver intense and gripping hockey action on its fourth day at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium. With three exhilarating matches, fans were treated to a showcase of skill, determination, and drama on the field. Japan faced Malaysia in a clash of chances, Pakistan secured a hard-fought victory against China, and India triumphed in a close encounter against Korea.
KOREA 2 VS INDIA 3
The game was as close as the 3-2 scoreline suggests, with the host being pushed all the way by the defending champion Korea.
The game was as close as the scoreline suggests, with the host being pushed all the way by the defending champion Korea.
Starting well, India took control of the game and opened the field, switching flanks constantly, moving up and piercing the Korean defence. It was rewarded immediately, a fluent exchange between Sumit and Sukhjeet Singh resulting in a well-placed Nilakanta Sharma tapping in the opener, right in the middle of the goal, in the 6th minute.
But the calmness and structure from its previous outing was missing as the erratic forwards kept conceding turnovers and hard-fought possession and the Koreans took full advantage of it, threatening with counterattacks every time they had the ball. One such move saw Sunghyun Kim catching the Indian defence napping and shooting-in to level in the 12th minute.
With the Indian midfield constantly rotating and allowing little space, the opposition started using aerial balls to bypass them from the 2nd quarter onwards, and to great effect. It was an equal game and the Indian forwards, despite their domination continued to have finishing issues, something coach Fulton will need to look at.
India also had just four penalty corners and even missed a penalty stroke while conceding 11 PCs, another thing the defence will need to control.
That India still came away winner is creditable given that the 4th quarter was almost entirely controlled by the Koreans, who almost made India pay the price.
Considering the past four meetings between the sides have all been draws and India last beat Korea way back in the 2018 edition of the competition, this would be a win it would gladly take ahead of the big clash against Pakistan.
The HERO of the Match was shirt #11 Singh Mandeep the great player that India has who managed to score a goal in today's match.
India with their first place in the table now, will play to defend their first place against Pakistan who comes from winning their first match, on their side Korea will play against Malaysia trying not to move away from the second place.
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About the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF)
The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) is the governing body for the sport of hockey in Asia, recognized by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Founded in 1958, the AHF today has 33 Member National Associations and organizes and sanctions more than twenty types of continental and regional events across all levels and age groups as well as overseeing the hockey competitions in several multi-sport events such as the Asian Games.
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