- GOAL: And it's a goal. India get one just in time. Gurjant Singh gets a goal. A lot of commotion in the Korean circle, and India get the equaliser.
- GOOD GOING: This game has been marked by lack of awareness in the box, for the Indians. Credit to the Koreans for building up all the pressure till now in the match.
- LACKLUSTER: With a higher possession rate too, India haven't been able to create many chances.
India, who finished the pool stages with an all-win record, looked the most dominating team in the tournament so far in all aspects of the game. Korea, on the other hand, were far from impressive as they finished second in Pool B behind the ever-improving Malaysia.
Playing under a new chief coach Sjoerd Marijne, the Indians rose to the occasion and have displayed beautiful one-touch hockey, which they are known for. The Indian strike force comprising Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Upadahay and Chinglensana Singh has been the most impressive, scoring field goals at will with their deft stick work.
KOREA STRIKES: This time Akashdeep misses a cross. One doesn't know what's wrong with the Indian attack tonight. And Korea strikes. No 11 Lee Jungjun gets a ball in the box. He scoops the ball back-handed into the goal, over the Indian keeper. Thats is brilliant stuff by the Koreans. It's 1-0 for Korea.
File image of Indian hockey players.
What would be a matter of concern for Marijne is the penalty corner conversion rate even though Harmanpreet has been on target on a few occasions. But going by India's performance so far -- 5-1 win over Japan, 7-0 thrashing of Bangladesh and 3-1 win over arch-rivals Pakistan -- they are expected to prevail over Korea with consummate ease.
In terms of world rankings as well, the Indians start as favourites. While India are placed sixth in the world, Korea occupy the 13th spot. In the absence of the experienced PR Sreejesh, two young Indian custodians -- Suraj Karkera and Akash Chikte – have risen to the occasion and have shown that they are no pushovers at the international stage.
But all said and done, the Indians can't afford to relax and be complacent, especially against a side like the Koreans, who are known for their fast, counter-attacking play.
The nimble-footed Koreans will be eager to prove a point, especially after a unimpressive showing in the pool stages, and can rattle any opponents with their pace on their given day.
Having said that, the Indians are expected to win the encounter with ease, but they can't afford to relax, especially at this stage where all the four top teams will play against each other and the top two sides will eventually progress to the final.
Meanwhile, in the other Super 4 match of the day, Pakistan will take on Pool B toppers Malaysia, who have turned out to be the surprise package from the pool stages.
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