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India, South Korea to meet in final

May 17, 2004 20:28 IST

India will meet South Korea in the final of the four-nation Prince Takamado Cup men's field hockey tournament after the Asian Games gold medallists beat hosts Japan 5-2 for their third straight victory in their last league engagement in Gifu, Japan, on Monday.

Victory could have helped Japan edge India out but the Koreans proved an impregnable opposition as they came from behind to beat the hosts.

Kenji Onda put Japan ahead in the fourth minute, scoring on the rebound after Yasuaki Nishimura's penalty-corner push was blocked by the Korean custodian.

The Koreans equalised through Song Song-Tae, who hit a one-touch shot in the 20th minute.

Two minutes later, Korea went ahead for the first time with Kim Chong Chol producing a brilliant reverse shot.

Song then stretched the lead with his second goal in the 26th minute before Nishimura narrowed the margin in the next minute.

After the flurry of goals, the second half was comparatively barren, with Yi Chong-Son sounding the board in the 46th minute and Kang Song-Chong driving the final nail the Japanese coffin in the 67th minute.

In a women's four-nation event held in the same city, Japan defeated China 2-1.

The match was suspended at half-time on Sunday with the scores level at 1-1 due to rain.

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