On Wednesday, Indian Hockey team yet again proved that their hearts beat for their national game. Defending champions India finished off their league in style by knocking out Korea 4-1 for their fourth win of the Men’s Hockey Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat. India reached the top position with a lead of 13 points from five matches.
For Korea, it was only Lee Seungil who scored the goal, while drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh of India was in his elements and converted three of the four penalty corners resulting in a hattrick. Gurjant Singh scored a brilliant field goal on the counter.
It was a do-or-die game for the Koreans who were fighting in the last spot in the semi-finals, while India had already booked their spot in the semis. But the defeat knocked the Koreans out of the competition. Along with India, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Japan have now secured their place in the knock-out stage. The final standings will be decided after Thursday’s final two league games.
India kept trying for more goals and Akashdeep Singh lost a glorious opportunity in turning a successful attempt into a goal in the ninth minute when he hit it over the Korea crossbar from an open space inside the circle. India, without wasting any time, soon extended the lead.
India won a Penalty Corner early in the 47th minute and the re-penalty corner soon after gave Harmanpreet Singh a second chance to score and he did. India goalkeeper Krishan Pathak made two quick saves in the 53rd and 54th minute to maintain the lead. Harmanpreet made the full use of the fourth penalty corner in the 59th minute.