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India face Korea in key match
September 02, 2007 17:09 IST
Holders India will be looking to keep the winning momentum and firm up their place in the semi-finals when they take on Doha Asian Games Champions South Korea in a crucial Pool 'B' league match of the seventh BSNL Asia Cup Hockey tournament in Chennai on Monday.
With the majority of the ten matches played in the first two days bringing to fore mediocrity with the abysmal performance of teams like Sri Lanka [Images], blown away by the hosts 0-20, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong, the India-Korea match in the six team Pool B should provide a keen fare.
While the sky, which has been overcast since the start of the tournament, has not caused any disruption so far, hockey fans have witnessed a rain of goals in the first two days-103 to be precise in 10 matches, an indication of the deficiency of the lower ranked teams and level of competition in the cup.
India are on a high having won their first two matches, including the tough one against the ever-improving China.
Chief Coach Joaquim Carvalho has predicted the pressure would be more on Korea, who have defeated the hapless Sri Lanka and Thailand by huge margins (12-2 and 16-0).
They are yet to play China and Bangladesh for statistics sake, India have equalled the record for the highest margin of victory in the cup's history when they crushed Sri Lanka 20-0 on Saturday.
The technical prowess exhibited by the players on field as per the coach's advice had paid dividends. If they maintain the same kind of total hockey, India will be able to win the title and also achieve their goal of entering the easier grouping in the olympic qualifying tournaments to be held in three different venues next year.