Asian Games Hockey – India vs South Korea, Pakistan vs Malaysia in Semis
Incheon, Sep 27 (IANS) The Indian men’s hockey team Saturday confirmed its semifinal berth in the 17th Asian Games with a scratchy 2-0 victory over China at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium here. V. Raghunath and Birendra Lakra scored in India’s closely-fought final league contest of pool B.
India face South Korea in the first semifinal slated for Tuesday while defending champions Pakistan take on Malaysia in the other semifinal.
The Indian team was confronted by a determined Chinese team and were locked in a tight battle with the first two halves finishing goalless. The Chinese players did not allow any freebies and made their formidable opponents work hard for their goals.
Raghunath broke the Chinese resistance in the 40th minute, ending the deadlock by converting a penalty corner and five minutes later Lakra extended the lead.
This was India’s third win out of four matches in the group. They started with a 8-0 thrashing of Sri Lanka, drubbed Oman 7-0 before going down 1-2 to arch-rivals Pakistan in a tight encounter.
Pakistan topped the group, winning all their four matches. They continued their formidable form Saturday, mauling Oman 8-0 in their final pool match.