South Korea clinch women`s Asian Champions Trophy hockey
Ordos (China): South Korea fought their way back from two-goal down to overpower China 5-3 and win the women`s Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament here on Saturday.
The partisan crowd at the packed stadium were on their feet after China took a 2-0 lead midway into the first half but the Koreans dashed their hopes with some brilliant goals on the counter-attack. The home side were also let down by poor finishing at the Korean striking circle.
South Korea scored through Ju Ok Kim (19th), Eun Bi Cheon (23rd), Jong Eun Kim (44th), Jong Hee Kim (45th) and Mi Hyun Park (64th) while Yibo Ma (12th), Baorong Fu (18th) and Lihua Gao (48th) found the target for China.
With a stadium brimmed to the full for the first time in the tournament, China raced away to 1-0 lead with Yibo Ma converting a penalty corner in the 12th minute. The lead was enhanced in the 18th minute through a run from the right flank and Baorong Fu flicking home.
It seemed that China would run away with the trophy with an upset victory but the Koreans were far from being jolted by the reverse as they reduced the margin in the very next minute when Ju Ok Kim shot home.
It took another four minutes for the Koreans ti restore parity with Eun Bi Cheon finding the target from the top of the circle in the 23rd minute. Suddenly the match was thrown wide open as the Chinese found the Koreans too dangerous on the counter-attacks.
In the 44th minute, an error in the midfield saw the Koreans power through and earn a penalty corner. Jong Eun Kim deflected the ball brilliantly past the Chinese goalkeeper. Korea made it 4-2 the next minute with Jong Hee Kim reverse-flicking home after she ran past a host of Chinese defenders.
China managed to cut the scores to 3-4 in the 48th minute when Lihua Gao struck a beautiful reverse shot.
China pressed for the equaliser but utilising the space given by the home side midfielders, Korea struck their fifth goal in the 64th minute when Mi Hyun Park raced down the right flank, dodged past two defenders and placed the ball into goal past the Chinese goalkeeper.