India [ Images ] staved off a late fight back to beat South Korea 2-1 and register their first first victory in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Friday.
After the embarrassing 1-5 defeat to New Zealand in their opening match on Thursday, the Indians dished out refreshing fare against the Koreans to emerge deserving winners.
Sandeep Singh put India ahead in the 11th minute, firing home from a penalty-corner, but the Koreans looked like taking a point from the match after Nam Hyun Kyo scored from a penalty-corner in the 68th minute to level scores.
However, S K Uthappa deflected home a cross from Thushar Khandekar in the dying seconds to give India victory.
Earlier, continuing their impressive showing, New Zealand [ Images ] coasted to a 5-2 victory over Argentina while hosts Malaysia rode on two goals from junior striker Faisal Saari to hold Great Britain 3-3.
Kiwis trounce Argentina
New Zealand dominated the second session and swamped the Argentina defence after the teams were level 2-2 until the 57th minute.
This victory gave them six points from two outings, having outplayed five-time champions India 5-1 in their opening match on Thursday.
Argentina, the Pan-American champions, lost both their matches, having suffered a 2-4 defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the first.
New Zealand failed to make adequate use of the 10 penalty-corners they earned, scoring only from two of them, but capitalised on the openings created in field play.
Malaysia hold Britain with late goals
Great Britain, the highest ranked team in the tournament, seemed set to take full points from their first outing until Saari scored two outstanding field goals in the 67th and 68th minute to the delight of the spectators.
The draw earned Malaysia two points from as many games, after having held South Korea 1-1 on the opening day.
Great Britain opened the scoring in the fifth minute through Glenn Kirkman, only to see Azlan Misron draw parity for Malaysia in the 10th.
Strikes from Ashley Jackson (20th minute) and Rob Moore (35th) gave Great Britain a 3-1 lead at the interval and they were on course until Saari's two late goals.