Akashdeep spurs Indians

Akashdeep spurs Indians

Captain Akashdeep Singh came to his side’s rescue with a golden goal as India defeated South Korea 2-1 to bag a consolation bronze medal at the Junior Asia Cup hockey tournament here on Sunday.

After a barren first half, You Seungji put the Koreans ahead in the 47th minute with an immaculate penalty corner conversion. But India replied back seven minutes later through a field effort from lanky Lokesh Thimmmana after he was set up by Naveen Antil’s perfect cross from the circle. However, thereafter, the Koreans kept the Indian forwards under check with neat trap and fast attacks, stretching the game into extra time.

India had a chance to seal the match at the end of the first period of extra time, but Amit Rohidas once again faltered with his penalty corner flick. But India found the winner in the second half of extra time from a counterattack when Akashdeep scored from inside the circle after receiving a pass from Lokesh.

The Indians, however, could have sealed the match much before if not for their sloppy forwards, who came close to scoring thrice — 17th, 25th and 29th minutes — in the first period. The Korean defence manned by skipper Yang Jihun, Choic Jihun and You Seungju stood like a rock to deny the Indians any headway.

The Indians were also off-colour with penalty corner conversion.

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