Heartbreak for India, draw 4-4 with Korea to advance from the Asia Cup title race

The young Indian hockey team brought impressive and fast-paced hockey in a Super 4s match against South Korea, but an immediate victory knocked them out when a 4-4 draw knocked them out of the Asian Cup title race, here on Tuesday .

Malaysia’s 5-0 victory over Japan early in the day meant that an immediate victory became a condition for India to qualify for the top clash.

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India, Malaysia and Korea each finished on five points in the Super 4 stage, but Birendra Lakra’s team fell behind on goal difference. Nilam Sanjeep Xess (9th minute), Dipsan Tirkey (21st), Mahesh Sheshe Gowda (22nd) and Shakthivel Mareeswaran (37th) scored for India, while Korea scored by Jang Jonghyun (13th), Ji Woo Cheon (18th), Kim JungHoo ( 28th) and Jung Manjae (44th).

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Korea will now face Malaysia in the final on Wednesday, while India will play Japan in third-fourth place in the standings.

It was a midfield battle between the two sides, as both India and Korea tried to take the lead in the first quarter.

India took a penalty kick in the second minute, but Nilam Sanjeep Xess’s attempt was saved by Korean goalkeeper Jaehyeon Kim.

But in the ninth minute Nilam scored with a low shot to the right bottom corner of the Korean not past Kim from the second penalty corner of India.

Two minutes into the first quarter India gave a penalty corner and Jang Jonghyun was on target to equalize for Korea.

Korea made it 2-1 five minutes later when Ji Woo Cheon chose his place after being fed by Jungjun Lee after a defensive lap from Pawan Rajbhar in his own circle.

But India drew three minutes later when Dipsan Tirkey converted the team’s third penalty corner. After several obvious shirt pulling incidents, Sheshhe Gowda got himself booked. The manager of Vishnukant Singh was not happy.

Korea provided another penalty corner, but this time the Indians defended well to deny Jang.

Two minutes before halftime, Kim JungHoo equalized for Korea through a beautiful field goal from a sharp corner, as both teams breathed a sigh of relief at slot 3-3.

India took the lead 37 minutes in, as Shakthivel Mareeswaran broke through on the left and put the 1 – 0 shot just beyond the reach of the outstretched keeper.

42 minutes into the game, Uttam Singh was a hair’s breadth away from giving Rajkumar the lead with a shot from over on the left.

A yellow card – five minutes suspension – to Yashdeep Siwach three minutes from the third quarter cost India dearly, as Korea equalized again when Manjae Jung refused in a long ball from midfield.

Just 27 seconds from the final hooter, Karthi Selvam came close to handing over the winner to India, but Korean goalkeeper Kim Jaehyeon made a double save to deny the title holders the winner.

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