India lose bronze medal match to Korea in Sultan of Johor Cup
Johor Bahru (Malaysia): Indian hockey team will return empty-handed from the Sultan of Johor Cup as it lost the bronze medal match against South Korea after conceding a golden goal, on Saturday.
Korean captain Yang Ji Hun struck the golden goal in the closing moments of first extra half time.
After both sides tied on 3-3 scoreline, Yang converted a disputed penalty corner to give Korea the bronze in the inaugural edition of the tournament.
Earlier, despite trailing by 2-0, India came back in to the game with vengeance with goals coming from Harpreet Singh, Amit Rohidass and Satbir Singh.
Indian goalie Naveen Kumar also blocked a stroke in the 69th minute to take the game in to the extra time but the Koreans availed the first chance they created in the extra time to ensure their place in the podium.
You Seung Ju converted his team`s second penalty corner to put Korea ahead in the 7th minute. Yoon Dong Hyeon banged in six minutes later.
After the lemon time, Hyun Ji Gwang finished his solo with a reverse scoop from close range (37th).
In the eventful first half, after conceding 2-0 lead, the Indian colts came on to their form. There were a number of attacks, but the finish was poor.
After Walmiki failed to connect a rebound, Satbir Singh too wasted from a close range.
Early in the second half Satbir also got a 5-minute yellow card suspension. Harpeet Singh, who led the side today, struck the first goal for India off its first penalty corner.
His low flick sounded the board (2-1). Then came the breakaway move that proved gainful for struggling India.
M Gunasekar got a loose ball on the right flank, and rushed into the circle only to see sweeper back Lee Moo Kyoung trip him plump in front of the goalmouth.
Malaysian umpire Nzmi Kamarudin did not hesitate to point the dreaded spot. Amit Rohidass hit the board with an eye for the gap to bring Indian score on parity (2-2) in the 28th minute.
In the last 10 minutes of first half, Indian forwards were found wanting. They pierced the circle from both flanks, but wasted their effort with wayward shooting.
Malak Singh, who had already had five goals in his kitty, just missed to enhance his tally in the 32nd minute. He received a through pass from Bipin Kerketta, dodged lot many legs before sprinting into the circle, but could hit only the rushing goalkeeper Lee Se Young.
Forward Satbir Singh struck in the melee six minute before hooter to revive Indian chances (3-3).
On the other end, Im Seung Ho pressed hard, but the substitute goalie Naveen Kumar -- playing only second time in the tournament -- twice blocked what surely seemed to be goals.
He palmed away a sure penalty corner shot early in the second half too. Inspired Naveen Kumar in fact came out strongly to deny a stroke push by Yoon Dong Hyeon.
He dived to his right to palm away the hard push. The award of it by Malaysian umpire Kamaruddin was strongly protested by the Indians, but Naveen’s heroics saved them from being shunted out of medal in the regulation time
Midway through second half, Indians nearly flat-footed the Korens with piercing run downs and amazing tackling.
They finish in the circle, a feature in the tournament, let the side down.
Australian umpire Ben De Young awarded a penalty corner to Korea even as the second half time approached.
Indians vehemently protested it, saying it was carried. The umpire would not listen, rest is history.
"I believed in my boys and they delivered," said Korean coach Seung Song Tae.