In a thrilling face-off at the Mayor Radhakrishnan stadium in Chennai, the Indian Men’s Hockey team secured a nail-biting 3-2 victory over South Korea, ensuring their dominant position in the Asian Champions Trophy’s group stage standings.
The match was characterized by its oscillating momentum, with India penetrating South Korea’s circle 22 times compared to South Korea’s 11. However, when it came to penalty corners, the Koreans outnumbered India with 11 to India’s 4. The Koreans also had the edge in terms of shots on goal, 13 against India’s 10.
India’s assertive approach was evident right from the start, with Nilakanta Sharma finding the net in just the sixth minute, thanks to an exemplary assist from Sukhjeet Singh. Despite this early setback, South Korea swiftly countered, leveling the scoreline at 1-1 six minutes later courtesy of Kim Sunghyun.
The game then transitioned into a midfield battle until the 23rd minute, when India earned three successive penalty corners. Harmanpreet Singh didn’t miss his chance, delivering a powerful drag-flick to put India in the lead.
Throughout the second quarter, Harmanpreet’s defensive skills were on full display, making vital interceptions that prevented South Korea from equalizing.
As the third quarter got underway, a minor slip-up from India gave South Korea a penalty corner. They failed to capitalize, and India quickly turned defense into attack. A swift move initiated by Shamsher Singh culminated in Mandeep Singh scoring with a brilliant tomahawk strike, making it 3-1.
The drama didn’t end there, as Yang Jihun managed to find the net for South Korea in the 58th minute. Despite the late surge, India held their ground, securing a hard-fought 3-2 win, maintaining their top position in the group. The victory is a testament to India’s resilience and strategic gameplay, even in the face of tough opposition.
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