Asian Games 2018: India defeat Korea 5-3 in hockey to seal semis berth
The Indian men’s hockey team extended their unbeaten streak to four matches at the 18th Asian Games after beating South Korea 5-3 in their Pool A match in Jakarta on Sunday.
With this victory, India has already sealed the semi-final berth and currently lead the group with 12 points from four matches. They play minnows Sri Lanka in their final group game.
All five of India’s goals came from five different goal scorers, while Manjae Jung (33rd, 35th) scored two for Korea. Captain Jonghyun Jang (59th) was their other goal-scorer. For India Rupinder Singh (1st), Chinglensana Singh (4th), Lalit Upadhyay (15th), Manpreet Singh (49th) and Akashdeep Singh (55th) scored the goals.
The World No.5 started with a bang and scored as early as the first minute when drag-flicker Rupinder scored from the game’s first penalty corner. Then Chinglensana doubled the lead four minutes later, Getting to the end of a Rupinder cross from outside the box.
Then Singh had a wonderful opportunity to score a hat-trick when India earned back-to-back penalty corners, but he misfired both.
Meanwhile, the 14th ranked Koreans after a quiet first half – a period during which India scored thrice, the third coming from Lalit after Simranjeet Singh had found him with a wonderful aerial ball – soon got into the mojo.
Three minutes into the third quarter Korea pulled one back from a penalty corner stroke from Jung before their captain cut short India’s lead to one goal with a brilliant strike two minutes after their first goal.
The defending champions however regained their composure and stopped any Korean upset with two beautiful field goals in the final quarter, both coming from reverse hits. Manpreet and Akashdeep were the scorers.
But the match was far from over as Korea showed real intent of fighting back by winning three consecutive penalty corners, the third of which Jung converted into a goal. But India held fortress to eventually seal the win and their unbeaten run intact.
India had earlier routed hosts Indonesia (17-0) and Hong Kong (26-0) before defeating Japan 8-0.