Asian Champions Trophy: India held to a 2-2 draw by Korea in men's hockey

Lalit Upadhyay opened the scoring before Harmanpreet Singh doubled the lead for India but Korea leveled the score courtesy of goals from Jang and Sunghyun Kim.

India held to a 2-2 draw by Korea in the Asian Champions Trophy fixture; Credit: Twitter/@TheHockeyIndia

Reigning champions India were held to a 2-1 draw by a fighting Korea in their opening match of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy men’s hockey tournament in Dhaka on Tuesday. Men in Blue started the game brightly, scoring inside the opening four minutes through Lalit Upadhyay before vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty corner to double the lead. However, Korea fought back to score two goals in the second half through Jonghyun Jang and Sunghyun Kim and leveled the score.

The opening quarter was dominated by India as they broke the deadlock early. Lalit controlled the ball with some elegance outside the circle and dribbled past three defenders before smashing it past Korea goalkeeper Kim and into the goal to take 1-0 lead.

India continued to attack and the pressure piled on the Koreans who preferred to sit back and defend and hit them on the counter. In the last encounter between these two teams, Korea managed to play out a draw in the same venue in Dhaka.

India continued to dominate their opponents in the second quarter and won back-to-back penalty corners. While the Korean goalkeeper Kim stood firm to deny Varun Kumar but Harmanpreet converted the next attempt to extend India’s lead to 2-0 in the 18th minute.

Korea levels the score

Down by two goals, Korea tried to push for a goal in the remaining minutes but Indian defence led by Germanpreet Singh did well to go into the half time break without conceding.However, after the change of ends, Korea came out all guns blazing, winning three consecutive penalty corners in the 41st minute and Jang was bang on target with the last try.

Korea continued to put pressure on the Indian defence and looked more purposeful with their attacks. The Koreans finally equalized courtesy of their relentless pressure on the Indian defence. Sunghyun Kim tapped in a drive at the near post from a drive from the left flank. In response, India won three more penalty corners but failed to capitalise on it and in the end shared the points.

Sportslumo Desk

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