Indian men’s hockey team continue their unbeaten run with a 3-2 win over Korea in the Asian Champions Trophy at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai.
Nilakanta Sharma, Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh were on target for the Indians. Whereas Kim Sunghhyun and Jihun Yang scored for Korea.
India started positively right from the first quarter and reaping the rewards Nilakanta Sharma handed the hosts an early lead in the sixth minute. It was Sukhjeet Singh who went past two defenders before assisting Nilakante. However, the Koreans were quick to respond as they equalized via a goal from Kim Sunghhyun. It was the experienced Manjae Jung who found Kim at the edge of the circle and the latter did no mistake.
India extended their lead in the 23rd minute when they earned a penalty corner. After a re-take, Harmanpreet Singh slammed it low to the goal and made it 2-1. Although there were no more goals in the second quarter, India had the right aggression and mentality throughout.
The third quarter saw Mandeep Singh score his 101st International goal for India. It was Shamsher Singh’s fine scoop that found Mandeep in a tight spot and his fine tomahawk was enough to beat the Korean goalie. The insurance goal gave India a lot of motivation to take the attack to the opposition. The likes of Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep and Manpreet were working in tandem. They did create scoring opportunities but were not clinical enough.
In the fourth quarter, India missed a lot of opportunities. A penalty corner earned was wasted by Harmanpreet Singh. Later a penalty stroke earned by the hosts was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Kim Jaehyeon. He came with another fine save minutes after stopping the penalty stroke.
While India pushed forward in search of more goals, it was Korea who scored in the 58th minute as they converted a penalty corner. India held onto their lead to earn the win.