Hockey: Indian eves beat South Korea in second match

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Incheon (South Korea), March 6 (IANS) Indian eves registered their second consecutive victory of their tour as they defeated the hosts 3-2 in the second match of their five-match series at the Jinchun National Athletic Centre here on Tuesday.

Goals for India were scored by Poonam Rani (6th minute), skipper Rani (27th) and Gurjit Kaur (32th) while Yurim Lee (10th) and Jungeun Seo (31th) scored for the hosts.

With the confidence levels high after their victory in the first match on Monday, India started the first quarter aggressively by making attacking forays inside the opposition’s half and were rewarded for their efforts as Poonam Rani scored for the visitors in the sixth minute to give her side the lead.

South Korea had chances in the first quarter. They were awarded two penalty corners and made a comeback into the match by converting the first one through Yurim Lee in the 10th minute to make the scores 1-1.

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The hosts could have taken the lead in the latter stages of the first quarter but India defended well to save the second penalty corner. The teams ended the first period at a goal apiece.

The second quarter saw South Korea start off from where they left in the first quarter as they won back-to-back penalty corners to put India under pressure.

However, the visitors defended well as a unit, with their young goalkeeper Swati making crucial saves to deny the hosts from going in front.

With the pressure piling on India, it was a brilliant team move from the visitors on the counter which saw captain Rani find the back of the net to give her team a 2-1 lead.

The teams went into half-time with India leading by a single goal but with South Korea having the better chances in the opening half-hour, the hosts looked to make them count in the last two quarters.

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India conceded an early goal in the 31st minute when South Korea’s Jungeun Seo scored a field goal to equalize for a second time in the match.

However, India’s forwards produced some precise passing and purpose to win a penalty corner in the 32nd minute which was well-converted by Gurjit Kaur to give the visitors the lead for the third time in the match.

South Korea did not throw in the towel. With almost 25 minutes still to play in the match, they unnerved the Indian defence which saw them win a penalty stroke in the 34th minute. But to the hosts’ disappointment, it was saved by Indian goalkeeper Swati.

It was an important last quarter in the context of the match as South Korea looked to find the equaliser while the visitors looked to hold on to the lead.

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The hosts played some aggressive hockey in the final quarter but the Indian defence stood tall to the task.

In the final few minutes, the hosts played with 11 outfield players but India’s grit made sure that the team registered their second consecutive victory and take a 2-0 lead in the series.

India will play their third match on Thursday.



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