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Sports Shorts: India beat SKorea 3-0; finish lowly ninth

Last updated on: June 14, 2014 14:58 IST

Sports Shorts: Hockey World Cup: India beat SKorea 3-0; finish lowly ninth

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Akashdeep Singh scored two goals as India posted a comfortable 3-0 win over Asian champions South Korea to finish a lowly ninth in the men's hockey World Cup at the Kyocera Stadium at The Hague in The Netherlands on Saturday.

With this win in the ninth-10th place play-off match, India had managed to avenge their 3-4 loss to South Korea in the final of last year's Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Akashdeep opened India's account in the sixth minute by tapping in a square-pass from SV Sunil and then rounded off the scoring with a reverse hit in a crowded circle in the 50th minute.

Just before that, Rupinder Pal Singh converted a penalty stroke in the 42nd minute after his penalty corner flick was stopped by a defender with body on the goal-line.

India ended the World Cup one notch below their eighth-place finish at New Delhi edition in 2010.

The first raid gave India the lead in the sixth minute of play when captain Sardara Singh fed Sunil the ball on the right flank in a counter-attack starting from inside the Indian circle.

Sunil moved up, down the flank beating the only defender blocking his view of the goal and drew out the Korean goalkeeper before squaring the ball for Akashdeep to flick into an open goal.

South Korea posed a threat to India in the 10th minute when unmarked Jeon Byung-jin picked up a pass on top of the circle and had only the goalkeeper PR Sreejesh in front. But as he took the shot after tapping the ball into the circle, Rupinder dived across to deflect the ball out.

India forced their first penalty corner in the 32nd minute when Lalit Upadhyay was stick-checked by Korean captain Lee Seun-gil in the circle, but VR Raghunath's drag-flick was palmed away by the goalkeeper.

Continuing to play a fine game, Indian defender Rupinder made a diving save with just three seconds left in the first half. The umpire blew for a penalty corner thinking the Korean striker was obstructed, but it was declared a clean tackle after the video referral by India.

South Korea's goalkeeper Lee Myung-ho padded away a flick by Akashdeep off a Manpreet Singh pass four minutes into the second session before Sardar earned India their second penalty corner in the 42nd minute.

The second Indian penalty corner came after India sought a video referral that the ball had struck a Korean defender's foot inside the circle. Rupinder's drag-flick struck Hong Eun-seong's body on the goal line and the resultant penalty stroke was converted by strapping defender.

Yuvraj Walmiki had a chance to increase India's lead in the 48th minute when he received a diagonal ball from SK Uthappa on top of the circle and had only the goalkeeper to beat. But Walmiki's reverse hit went wide.

Akashdeep then sent an opportunistic reverse hit into the boards in the 50th minute after a combined move between Sunil and Dharamvir Singh rattled the Korean defence.

India played with just 10 players for 10 minutes in the last quarter when defender Gurbaz Singh was sent off with a yellow card after a deliberate obstruction to stop a Korean striker sprinting down the left flank.

Gurbaz's foul also gave South Korea their first penalty corner in the 55th minute, where Nam Hyun-woo's shot was saved by an onrushing Rupinder. The Indian defender, however, had to leave the field with an ice pack after being struck on the right arm.

The Koreans forced another penalty corner in the 60th minute, but failed to make an impact on the Indian defence.

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Image: India players celebrate a goal
Photographs: Hockey India/Facebook

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Ivanovic continues dominant form in Birmingham

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Top seed Ana Ivanovic continued her dominant form at the Aegon Classic with a 6-1, 6-4 quarter-final triumph over Czech Klara Koukalova in Birmingham, England on Friday.

The former French Open champion's competition is dwindling with American third seed Sloane Stephens and number four Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium ousted, 6-3, 6-1 by China's Zhang Shuai and 6-4, 6-2 by Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova respectively.

Ivanovic needed just 27 minutes to win the first set for the loss of one game as she capitalised on Koukalova's weak second serve.

The second set was a more even affair with the Czech momentarily leading 4-3 before Ivanovic reeled off the final three games to set up a semi-final with Shuai.

The Serbian has yet to drop a set in her three matches in the grasscourt tournament.

"I really tried to do my thing because I know she can be dangerous and last time we played, in Doha, I lost," Ivanovic said. "She's won on grass in the past and is a great competitor as she showed in her matches this week.

"I expected a tough match so from the first moment on I was trying to be really aggressive. I tried to dominate her and put pressure on her and I played really well in that first set.

"The second set was a lot tougher. She's a tough competitor. I'm really happy to win in two sets," said Ivanovic.

The other semi-final pits Strycova against Australian Casey Dellacqua who beat 43-year-old Japanese Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-1, 6-0.

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Image: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia hits a return
Photographs: Paul Thomas/Getty Images

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Aus rout Argentina, meet Netherlands in hockey WC final

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Defending champions Australia set up a men's hockey World Cup title match with Olympic silver medallists The Netherlands after outplaying Argentina 5-1 in the semi-finals at the Kyocera Stadium in The Hague, Netherlands, on Friday.

In the other semi-final, the Netherlands beat England 1-0.

Australia have won the World Cup twice (in 1986 and 2010), while Netherlands inscribed their name on the trophy thrice – in 1973, 1990 and 1998.

Before the men's final on Sunday, the same nations will clash in Saturday’s women's final.

The Netherlands are the only nation to have won both the men and women’s World Cups in the same year (in 1990) but in separate tournaments.

The only occasion when both the men and women’s World Cups were held together was in 1998 at the Dutch city of Utrecht, where the Netherlands won the men’s title, but were beaten in the women’s final.

Jeremy Hayward converted two penalty-corners for the rampant Australians against first-time semi-finalists Argentina.

Four of the Australia’s goals came through penalty-corner conversions. Before Hayward came into the frame, Kieran Govers opened Australia’s scoring with low penalty-corner shot into the boards in the fourth minute.

Hayward then duly capitalised on the next penalty-corner in the 22nd minute.

Jacob Whetton picked up a long through ball inside the circle in the 33rd minute and sent a rising reverse hit past goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi to make it 3-0 at half-time.

Chris Ciriello (49th minute) and Hayward (55th) converted successive penalty-corners to give Australia a five-goal lead before Argentina pulled a goal back in the 58th minute through Gonzalo Piellat.

Chasing their fourth World Cup title, the Netherlands

rode on a penalty-corner conversion by Mike van der Weerden in the 31st minute to overcome the dogged England defence.

Van der Weerden sent a drag flick, on the Netherlands’ second penalty-corner, soaring into the net to the left of goalkeeper George Pinner, who warded off many raids by the rampant Dutch attack but was beaten this time.

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Image: Kieran Govers of Australia
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

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Berdych crashes out at Queen's but Wawrinka progresses

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Second seed Tomas Berdych double-faulted on match-point as he suffered a shock 6-4, 7-6(7) quarter-final defeat by Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club on Friday.

World number three Stanislas Wawrinka advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Australian Marinko Matosevic while Radek Stepanek, who eliminated Andy Murray in the third round, defeated South African Kevin Anderson 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov completed the semi-final line-up after Ukrainian opponent Alexandr Dolgopolov withdrew because of injury.

Lopez, who beat four-times champion Lleyton Hewitt in the second round, thumped 13 aces to reach the semis for the first time in four years.

Czech Berdych looked to have forced a decider, having led 6-3 in the second-set tiebreak, but he then lost six of the last seven points.

"I got the early break in the first set even though the match was very close," Lopez told reporters. "My serve was working perfectly today.

"I thought it was over at 6-3 in the tiebreak. Then I won my serve twice, I was lucky at that point as I was defending and he was hitting the ball so hard with his forehand...then came the double fault."

Swiss Wawrinka did not have it all his own way in the opening set but eventually prevailed against Matosevic who was clearly buoyed by his impressive victory over Jo Wilfried-Tsonga in the previous round.

Once Wawrinka settled into his rhythm, though, the Australian had no answer to his strong serve and all-round class as he won five successive games in the second set.

"I'm playing good," the top seed said. "I'm really happy with that match. I'm serving well, very aggressive."

Wawrinka will face fourth seed Dimitrov in the semi-finals while Lopez plays Czech Stepanek.

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Image: Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych reacts during his men's singles tennis match against Spain's Feliciano Lopez at the Queen's Club Championships
Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

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Federer through to Halle semis without hitting a ball

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Roger Federer reached the semi-finals of the Gerry Weber Open without hitting a ball on Friday after Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan pulled out because of a back injury in Halle, Germany.

In other matches, Rafael Nadal's conqueror Dustin Brown was knocked out after he lost a final set tiebreak 18-16 against fellow-German Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Fourth seed Kei Nishikori of Japan beat American Steve Johnson 6-1, 7-6(4) and Colombian Alejandro Falla ousted home player Peter Gojowczyk 7-6(4), 7-6(2).

Seventeen-times Grand Slam champion Federer made up for the walkover by continuing his preparations for Wimbledon with an exhibition match against Germany's Christopher Kas, who is ranked 78th in doubles.

Lu joked: "If I'm 150 percent and he's 100 percent I think I'd still lose".

Six-times Halle winner Federer now faces Nishikori in the semi-finals.

Brown captured the imagination of the crowd on Thursday with a convincing win over world number one Nadal but failed to match that form as he lost a marathon match against Kohlschreiber.

The wildcard looked on course for another victory, leading 5-2 in the tiebreak, but the German number two kept his cool to save five match points and secure a meeting with Falla.

"I don't think a third set ever went so long," said 2011 winner Kohlschreiber. "Absolute war of nerves.

"It was very exhausting to keep calm, stay cool and maybe even enjoy it. The atmosphere was incredible but in the end you just want to leave the court as the winner."

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Image: Roger Federer at the 2014 French Open
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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David Luiz seals record move from Chelsea to PSG

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David Luiz became the world's most expensive defender on Friday when he completed his move from Chelsea to Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain.

"Paris St Germain is delighted to announce the transfer of Brazilian international David Luiz from Chelsea for the next five years," read a statement on the club's website.

No financial details were disclosed but media reports estimate the fee for the 27-year-old World Cup centre back is worth between 40 ($67.16 million) and 50 million pounds.

That surpasses the 36 million pounds PSG paid AC Milan in 2012 for Luiz's World Cup partner Thiago Silva.

PSG have now paid three of the four largest fees for defenders having also splashed out 27 million pounds last year on Brazilian Marquinhos from AS Roma.

Former England international Rio Ferdinand was the most expensive defender after moving from Leeds United to Manchester United for 29 million pounds in 2002 but that fee has since been surpassed by Silva and Luiz.

The mop-haired Brazilian arrived at Chelsea from Benfica in January 2011 and established himself as a fan favourite, making 143 appearances and scoring 12 goals.

Luiz was part of the team that won the Champions League and FA Cup in 2012 and the Europa League in 2013.

"Right from the very first contact I had with Paris St Germain I was very happy," he said.

"It's a big club with a great history ... it's a new step in my life and I'm impatient to play for Paris and show what I can do," added Luiz.

Luiz follows England pair Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole in leaving StamfordBridge during the close season.

Luiz joins an expensively-assembled squad at the Parc des Princes that includes Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Uruguay's Edinson Cavani and Brazilian team mate Lucas Moura.

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Image: David Luiz of Brazil reacts
Photographs: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

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Jamaica's Blake sets sights on top sprint ranking

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Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake is pacing himself in his comeback from hamstring problems that undercut him last year but he aims to finish on top of the world by the time the season is over.

"In 2012 I started the season ranked number one," Blake told Reuters on Friday. "I want to get that ranking in 2014. That's what I'm really working on, to get back on top."

Blake will take his next step on what he hopes is a fast track back on Saturday at the IAAF Diamond League New York grand prix on Randall's Island across the East River from Manhattan.

The sixth stop of the 14-event athletics series will also feature world 800 meters record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha of Kenya, women's Olympic pole vault champion Jenn Suhr and Ukraine's Bohdan Bondarenko, world champion in the high jump.

Blake rose to the top ranking after a breakout 2011 season in which he won the world championship 100 meters in Daegu, becoming at age 21 the youngest 100m champion in a field diminished by the disqualification of compatriot Usain Bolt for a false start.

Bolt, the double Olympic champion and world record holder in both the 100 and 200 meters, has overshadowed all sprinters since his meteoric rise in 2008, but Blake harbors no resentment of his good friend and training partner.

"We have spent a lot of time together ... and talk about a lot of stuff, like cartoons," Blake said. "We have a wonderful chemistry."

Blake, who finished second to Bolt in both the 100 and 200m at the 2012 London Olympics, said he does not feel frustrated about being overshadowed and believes his time will come.


Image: Yohan Blake
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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