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South Korea rally to beat Kiwis

June 02, 2005 17:23 IST

Asian Games winners South Korea survived plenty of anxious moments before overcoming a determined New Zealand 6-4 in the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Korea, trailing 2-3 at the break, came back with a strong finish to emerge winners.

They now have 10 points and play their last fixture against minnows South Africa on Friday.

Pakistan and Australia lead the table followed by the Koreans.

Pakistan, with 13 points, need only a draw against Malaysia on Friday to make it to Sunday's final.

Olympic champions Australia must win against India on Friday as it would take them to 14 points while Korea can aggregate only 13 if they beat South Africa.

New Zealand netted two early goals before the Koreans could settle down, with field attempts by Phillips Burrows and Geredh Brooks in the fourth and fifth minutes respectively.

The Koreans reduced the margin (1-2) in the ninth minute after Sung Hoon Yoon beat goalkeeper Paul Woolford with a reverse hit.

The New Zealanders consolidated their lead eleven minutes later when Bryce Collin latched on to a Simon Towns pass to find the target.

However, the fortune pendulum swung again the Koreans' way two minutes from half-time as Inchun University student Jong Hyun Jang flicked home from a penalty-corner.

The Koreans found their rhythm in the second session where they dominated the pace and used long overhead passes to penetrate into the rival circle.

The equaliser came two minutes after the changeover when Byung Hoon Kim scored a set-piece penalty-corner.

Finding their flair and touch, the Koreans took the lead for the first time when Kyung Seok Kim converted a penalty-stroke in the 40th minute.

New Zealand put in all their efforts to draw parity and were successful four minutes later. Brooks scored his second goal of the match from a penalty-corner and the scoreline read 4-4.

But the Koreans carried more ammunition for the Kiwis, who could not stop their opponents' raids and caved in twice before the long whistle.

Two field goals from Hyo Sik You (64th minute) and Jong Ho Seo (70th) were enough to torpedo the New Zealand challenge as Korea romped home 6-4.


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