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Korea, Australia in thrilling draw

May 27, 2005 20:29 IST
Last Updated: May 27, 2005 22:10 IST

Olympic champions Australia rallied to hold Asian Games gold medallists South Korea 3-3 in a pulsating encounter in the Azlan Shah Cup in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

Korea, who led 1-0 at the break, scored through strikers Eun Seong Hong (19th and 38th minutes) and Hyo Sik You (69th).

For the Aussies, Luke Doerner (52nd), Michael McCann (63rd) and Travis Brooks (66th) were the scorers.

Also read: Two down, India hold New Zealand

In another match, hosts Malaysia and South Africa played a 1-1 draw.

The Proteas led by a goal, scored by Justin King in the 15th minute, at the break.

Malaysia found the equaliser in the 52nd minute when Prabhakaran beat South Africa goalkeeper Chris Hibbert after being set up by skipper and centre half Kuhan Shanmuganathan.

The South Korea - Australia match was a thriller. The Koreans were quicker to settle down and mesmerized their opponents with speedy rundowns coupled with dazzling stick work and ball control. Their swift counter attacks too had the Australian defence on tenterhooks, as Hyo Sik You and Byung Hoon Kim consistently penetrated into the rival danger area, only to be foiled by goalkeeper Stephen Lambert.

Korea, playing their first game of the tournament, shot into the lead when Eun Seong Hong was set up outside the circle by left midfielder Jong Ho Seo. He dodged past Craig Victory and Aaron Hopkins to send a sizzling low shot past Lambert.

The Koreans increased their lead three minutes after the breather when Seong Hong struck again. This time he moved in tandem with Seong Jung Kang from the 25-yard line and applied the finishing touches in a goalmouth melee.

Stung by these reversals the Athens Olympics gold medallists increased the speed of the game further. They attacked from both flanks apart from down the centre to get some reward. A couple of penalty corners resulted but these were well stopped by the Korean custodian.

However, Australia reduced the margin when rookie Doerner found the mark with a high dragflick.

As the excitement mounted with both teams going all out some physical play also took place and Korean defender Hyung Bae Han was given temporary marching orders.

The Australians capitalised on this and not only found the equalizer, but also took the lead.

Michael McCann made it 2-2 as he cut past sweeper Jong Bok Cha after being put through by Jamie Dwyer. Three minutes later it was Dwyer himself in the scoring act as the Koreans left sufficient space for the Aussie veteran.

Korea, however, bounced back and found the equaliser with a minute on the clock with the best goal of the match as Hyo Sik You deftly dribbled his way into the circle from the right, finishing it off with a brilliantly executed reverse hit to stun the Australians.

Australia, like India, now have four points from two matches and will next play New Zealand on Sunday, while Korea will clash with Pakistan on Saturday.

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