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India, South Korea cruise into semis
April 24, 2004 18:05 IST
World junior champions India and defending champions South Korea cruised into the semi-finals of the fifth Junior Asia Cup hockey tournament after registering their third successive league wins in Karachi on Saturday.
India romped home with a comfortable 10-0 win over neighbours Bangladesh in Group B, while Koreans had to ward off a spirited first half challenge from Chinese Taipei to emerge 8-2 winners in Group A.
India play Malaysia in their last Group B league encounter while Korea lock horns with hosts Pakistan to decide the winners of Group A on Sunday.
Winger Prem Kumar scored a hat-trick for India with goals in the 1st minute, 29th and 52nd minute against a much improved Bangladesh side.
Penalty corner expert Sandeep Singh took his tally to a dozen in the tournament, with strikes in the 42nd and 46th minutes while skipper Sandeep Michael (3rd minute), Girish Pimpale (7th), Birender Lakra, Vivek Gupta (44) and Hari Prasad (48th) scored a goal each.
"Six field goals prove that we do not depend on Sandeep alone and we would go all out in our last game because we don't want to avoid any team nor we would like to chose our opponents in the semis," said Indian coach Harender Singh in his post match comments.
In the day's first match, Chinese Taipei's Tu-Chang Lee struck twice in the 14th and 20th minute to surprise the Koreans who had taken the lead through a 7th minute goal of Sung Kweon Hong.
Korea, winner of the last edition in Kuala Lumpur's Bukit Jalil Complex four years ago, however, scored seven goals in the second period to cut their opponents to size.
Jong Hyun Jang converted two penalty corners in the 38th and 42nd minute and then it was the turn of skipper Eun Seong Hong who fired two field goals in the 45 and 46th minute. Min Ho Yoo struck twice in the 47th and 66th minutes while two minutes from time Yong Hwan Kim completed the tally to take Koreans into the last four.