|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Korea subdue fighting India 3-2
May 15, 2004 19:32 IST
An inexperienced Indian team fought valiantly before going down 2-3 to Asian Games winners South Korea in the four-nation men's hockey tournament at Gifu, Japan, on Saturday.
India's goals came from Sandeep Singh and Tushar Khandekar while Korea scored through Kee Jee, Chung Bia and Soon Tae Hyung.
The teams were tied 1-1 at the end of first half, but back to back goals in the first 15 minutes on resumption swung the match in Korea's way before the Indians narrowed the margin in the closing stages.
Sandeep put India ahead midway through the first session with a powerful drag flick but the team's joy lasted less than five minutes with Kee Jee producing the equaliser.
Chung Bia gave Korea the lead in the 43rd minute before Hyung extended it six minutes later.
The Indians then pushed hard on both flanks. Sandeep Michael came close to scoring in the 56th minute after being set up by medio Vivek Gupta but Michael's shot went wide.
Another attempt shortly after from Arjun Halappa too failed to materialise.
In the 62nd minute, however, Khandekar found the board after skipper Ignace Tirkey and Girish Pimpale had initiated the move.
This was India's second match following their 2-1 victory over hosts Japan on Thursday.
India next play China in their last league engagement on Sunday.
"We would be on the offensive from the start and try to win the match," said Indian coach Rajinder Singh.
"But China is a defensive team and does not leave many gaps in the deep," he added.