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Korea too good for Spain

January 13, 2004 18:24 IST

Asian Games champions South Korea registered their first victory in four matches with a comfortable 4-1 verdict against Spain in the seven-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament at the National stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

The victory took Korea's points tally to four, the same as Spain's.

The Koreans, who looked the more organised outfit, led 1-0 at half-time but turned in a solid second-half performance.

Lee Jung Seon (17th, 66th minutes), Seo Jung Ho (42nd) and Yeo Woon Kon (65th) accounted for Korea's goals.

The Spaniards, for whom skipper Juan Escarre (41st minute) scored their only goal, had little left in them once the Koreans began to step up the pace on resumption.

If the first-half was mostly about ball possession and some cat-and-mouse stuff, the second session was just as different. The Koreans virtually took the game by the scruff of its neck and effectively killed the Spanish challenge with a couple of late strikes.

The Spaniards appeared rather diffident and over-cautious while the Koreans showed typical patience for their opponents to commit mistakes and launch counter-attacks. So much so that after 17 minutes did the game witness a direct shot at goal when Seon slammed from a second angle from the left past an immobile goalkeeper.

Spain equalised early in the second-half when Escarre slotted home a rebound from open play. However, the Koreans retaliated in style, repeatedly scything through an unsure Spanish defence to eventually win by a handsome margin that underlined their second-half dominance.

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