Indian eves lose to Korea in Asian Champions Trophy opener
Ordos (China): The Indian women`s hockey team failed to emulate their male counterparts and started their Asian Champions Trophy campaign on a disappointing note, losing 1-4 to formidable Korea on Sunday.
Contrary to the scoreline, it was the Indian eves who started brightly and dominated the first 15 minutes of the exchange.
However, after the initial burst the Indian lost gas and the Koreans were quick to seize the opportunity and opened the scoring in the 19th minute through Jong Eun Kim.
The Koreans pumped in three more goals in the second half through Mi Hyun Park (37th), Seul Ki Cheon (55th and 69th), while India managed to reduce the margin through Joydeep Kaur, who converted their fifth penalty corner.
The Indian men`s team had on Saturday spanked China 5-0 in their tournament opener.
If not for the defensive trio of Mukta Barla, Jaspreet Kaur and Joydeep Kaur, who played their hearts out, the margin of defeat could have been bigger for India.
Even though the Indian forward-line had the Koreans on the mat in the initial minutes, they lacked scoring prowess as they missed at least five chances in the first 10 minutes.
Rani Rampal, Poonam Rani and Asunta Lakra failed to capitalise on the chances that came their way. Time and again they either shot straight at the Korean goalkeeper or just outside the post.
The Koreans went into the breather with a 1-0 lead through Kim`s goal.
But after the change of ends it was all Korea as they doubled their scoreline within two minutes of resumption through Park.
Cheon then scored the first of her two goals in the 55th minute to make the scoreline 3-0 in favour of Korea.
The Indian eves, however, managed to pull one back when Joydeep converted their fifth short corner with a powerful shot.
Cheon scored her second and Korea`s fourth goal just at the stroke of the hooter, converting a penalty corner with precision.
Understandably, India coach C R Kumar was a disappointed man and rued his wards missed chances in the defeat.
"We missed too many chances. Against a higher ranked team like Korea you have to take the chances otherwise they will come back stronger," Kumar said after the match.
Kumar also did not hide his disappointment over the Indian girls inability to convert penalty corners. India converted just one of the five short corners that came their way.
"It`s not good enough," he said about the team`s penalty corner conversion.
"But the girls are trying and I think they would improve in the coming matches."
He also said that the Indian girls need to work on their strength and endurance level to match top teams."I think those are the two areas we need to work on," Kumar said.
"Once we put in that effort we can play with consistency throughout the match," he added.