Asian Champions Trophy: Indian Men’s Hockey team beat South Korea 3-2 in Chennai
In Asian Champions Trophy, Indian Men’s Hockey team defeated South Korea 3-2 in Chennai.
In another match yesterday, Malaysia defeated Japan 3-1 while Pakistan beat China 2-1. India will face Pakistan tomorrow.
Five years. That is how long the Indian men’s hockey team took to finally beat South Korea when the hosts overcame the defending champions 3-2 at the Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai on Monday. Their third victory in the tournament assured India of a semi-final berth.
In that period, the Harmanpreet Singh-led team beat world No.1 Netherlands, Olympic champions Belgium, No.3 England, world champions Germany and seven-time Commonwealth Games champions Australia. But world No.9 South Korea were a thorn in the flesh for India, always finding that extra bit when they faced India.
World No.4 India last beat the Asia Cup champions at the 2018 Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat before losing one and drawing three contests. The Craig Fulton-coached side ended that wait by earning a pivotal victory against a resurgent Korea, who were the undisputed kings of Asia from the late 1980s to 2000s.
While their form dwindled in the past decade, failing to qualify for the last two Olympics and the 2018 World Cup, Korea under coach Shin Seok Kyo, who was part of the team that won the 2000 Olympics silver and Asian Games gold in 1994 and 2002, has been helping revive their form. Korea won the 2021 Asian Champions Trophy in Dhaka and the 2022 Asia Cup in Jakarta and were the only team from the continent to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup in January.