Azlan Shah Hockey: India loses shootout to Korea
Korea pulled India down in penalty shootout to win the 28th Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament at Ipoh on Saturday. Korea won 4-2 in shootout after the two teams failed to resolve the 1-1 deadlock in the regulation period. Earlier, in a pool game, India and Korea had played 1-1 draw.
The win for Korea in the first major tournament of 2019 holds out a warning to other Asian giants – India,with overconfidence Malaysia, Japan and Pakistan. While Pakistan did not participate in this years’s tournament, Malaysia finished third and Japan avoided the wooden spoon to take the fifth place. Korea remained the only unbeaten (including shoot out) team in the six-nation tournament.
Overconfident India went to take the field in the gold medal match hoping to make its eighth final in the tournament a golden one. It was not to be. ThoughSimranjeet Singh with a brilliant field goal in the ninth minute. gave India early lead, the Koreans fought back gallantly.India’s vulnerability to penalty shootouts was demonstrated once again. India had lost to Malaysia in the semi finals of the Jakarta Asian Games last year.
All the Koreans wanted was an equaliser during the regulation period. And Jang Jonghyun, one of tournament’s highest scorer, did not disappoint them. When Korea got a penalty stroke in the 47th minute, he made no mistake with the award for his seventh goal of the tournament. Six of his earlier goals came from penalty corners.
India did try to force a match winner in the last 13 minutes of the game but Koreans put up a solid defence. Besides, they also kept on testing Indian defence with their speedy fierce and concerted moves.
As the teams failed to resolve the 1-1 deadlock, penalty shootout rule was enforced t break the tie and decide the winner of the gold medal. It was in the shootout that Koreans overpowered India 4-2 to take home the gold.
Final standings: Korea 1, India 2, Malaysia 3, Canada 4, Japan 5, Poland 6.
- PTC NEWS