India gave away a goal in the late stages of the match to draw the contest 1-1 with Korea in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tie on Sunday.
The Indians had taken a lead through Mandeep Singh who had put the ball behind the net in the 28th minute. But just when it felt that the Men in Blue were on to register their second consecutive win of the tournament, a defensive error culminated with Jonghyun Jang scoring from the penalty corner. Exactly 22 seconds were left on the clock for the game to finish.
FT: ?? 1-1 ??— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) March 24, 2019
India shares a point with Korea as their second game at the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019 ended in a draw after a last minute shot by Korea found the back of the net to make scores equal. #IndiaKaGame #SultanAzlanShahCup2019 pic.twitter.com/YIJXYV3QaI
India started the contest with an attacking mindset as midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad created space within the striking circle in the first minute itself. However, the Korean defenders alert enough to not give away an early goal.
India then had two more goal-scoring chances later only to fail to convert either of them. In the 10th minute, Mandeep Singh brilliantly gave India its first penalty corner with a good tackle in the baseline. Nonetheless, the opportunity was wasted owing to some poor execution with neither sides succeeding in scoring in the first quarter.
The Men in Blue then won its second penalty corner at the start of the second quarter. However, the drag-flick was well saved by the Korean goalkeeper.
Seeing India attack vehemently, the Korean outfit executed a full-press. However, the tactic backfired as Korea lost as many as three players (Jihun Yang, Kim Hyeong Jin, and Lee Namyong) to green cards, reducing the side to just eight players.
Eying this opportunity, India rightly capitalized and scored the opener through Mandeep in the 28th minute.
For the most part of the game thus far, the Indian side clung with their lead as Koreans tried hard to find an equalizer.
Heavy rains threatened to mar the game with the game being stopped with a little over eight minutes to go. However, the contest resumed with a 30 minutes-interval. The break must have given enough time to Koreans to form a strategy of breaking the Indian defense. They came out all out and won three penalty corners on the trot. However, the Indian defense still managed to hold strong.
Nonetheless, the persistent attack paid off as Korea won another penalty corner with 53 seconds to go. Jonghyun Jang struck a powerful drag-flick which was saved brilliantly by the India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh. However, the Korean won another penalty corner by virtue of a referral. And this time around, Jang’s bullet shot was well on target to beat Sreejesh and level the scores.
After a round of two matches each at the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019, here's how the teams are ranked as per their respective points earned. India will be seen in action again on 26th March after a day of rest tomorrow in Ipoh, Malaysia. #IndiaKaGame pic.twitter.com/2euOCH8R5t— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) March 24, 2019
India will now face hosts Malaysia on Tuesday in their third match.