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Late second half rally helps India to hold Korea to 2-2 draw in Asia Cup for Junior Women

India stages second half recovery to draw with Korea 2-2

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A late second half rally by India helped it to salvage a point and hold Korea to a 2-2 draw in the AHF Junior Women Asia Cup Hockey Tournament at Kakamigahara in Japan on Monday.

Earlier, China trounced Kazakhstan while Malaysia recorded a fluent 12-0 win over Uzbekistan.

It was Korea that virtually outplayed India in the first half by taking an impressive 2-0 lead. At one stage, it looked Korea would wrap up the match but for the late second half rally by India.

Koreans, playing to a strategy, not only demonstrated better ball control, but also enjoyed better exchanges tormenting the Indian defence with their swift and well-organized moves. Incidentally, the Koreans scored in the 15th and 30th minute.

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Lee Yujin gave them the lead with a brilliant field goal that left the Indian defence not only split but  also bewildered. Just on the verge of the breather, the Koreans forced a penalty corner from which Jiyun Choi made no mistake.

After even exchanges in the third quarter,  in which India managed to reduce the margin in the 43rd minute when Deepika Soerang managed to get past the solid Korean defence. Elated at their success, Indian girls went all out in the fourth quarter and their tactics paid dividends. Like in the game against Malaysia, it was a penalty stroke that provided India the reprieve. In the  54th minute when Deepika was brought down, a penalty stroke was awarded. Deepika beat the Korean custodian with a low flick on her right to restore parity. At one stage, it looked as if Indian girls would try and go for an outright win, but the Koreans doubled their defence.

Now India has seven points from three games and heads the table on better goal difference. Korea, too, has seven points from three games while Malaysia with six points from three games was placed at number three. India’s goal difference stood at 23 against 17 of Korea.

While India is left with a game against Chinese Taipei, both Malaysia and Korea are yet to play against each other.

Prabhjot Singh

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