~ Nilakanta Sharma (6′), Harmanpreet Singh (23′) and Mandeep Singh (33′) scored in India’s win that helped them top the pool table ~
Chennai, 7th August, 2023: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team defeated defending Champions Korea 3-2 in a thrilling encounter in the ongoing Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 here at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium in Egmore. Nilakanta Sharma (6′), Harmanpreet Singh (23′) and Mandeep Singh (33′) scored in India’s win while Kim Sunghhyun (12′) and Jihun Yang scored for Korea. The victory put India on the top of the pool table.
It was an entertaining start to the match, with both teams playing to their potential. After a brief tussle for ball possession in the early minutes of the quarter, India found their rhythm in the 6th minute when Nilakanta Sharma opened the scoring for the hosts. Forward Sukhjeet did well to beat two Korean defenders at the baseline before assisting Nilakanta. Korea, however, responded quickly with an equalizer in the 12th minute via Kim Sunghhyun. It was experienced Manjae Jung who found Kim at the edge of the circle, setting up a fine field goal.
After a roaring start, India extended their lead swiftly , forcing a Korean defender to commit an infringement in the circle, resulting in a PC in the 23rd minute. After a re-take, Harmanpreet fired low to the right of the Korean goalie. The 2-1 lead gave India the right pace and aggression to up the pressure on Korean defence. Though no more goals came through in the second quarter, India further extended their lead after the ten-minute half-time break.
This time, it was Mandeep Singh who took his individual tally to 101 international goals when he gave India a 3-1 lead. It was Shamsher, scooping it between two defenders to Mandeep in the circle. The experienced striker came up with an attractive tomahawk into the net.
The 33rd minute goal gave India enough ammunition to attack the Korean defence line. Akashdeep Singh, Manpreet and Mandeep worked in tandem to take turns to create scoring opportunities, but they could not quite connect.
The fourth quarter began with India winning a PC, but Harmanpreet’s dragflick hit the foot of Jang on the post. A penalty stroke was awarded to India, but it was brilliantly saved by Kim Jaehyeon. The following minutes of the quarter witnessed the brilliance of Jaehyeon, who made save after save, stopping India from taking their scoreline to 4-1.
Meanwhile, their forwardline pushed for goals via PCs. They won a couple in the dying minutes of the match. But could not convert any. They eventually converted in the 58th minute through a PC scored by Jihun Yang.
India, however, held on to their lead to register a well-earned victory and pocketed three points to top the table.
Please see the attached images of India vs. Korea.
India Men’s Hockey Team Schedule:
3rd August, 2023: India vs China – 2030 hrs IST
4th August, 2023: India vs Japan – 2030 hrs IST
6th August, 2023: Malaysia vs India – 2030 hrs IST
7th August, 2023: Korea vs India – 2030 hrs IST
9th August, 2023: India vs Pakistan – 2030 hrs IST
Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 will be live on Star Sports and Fancode. It will also be live streamed on watch.hockey for viewing outside of India.
By Hockey India