Ipoh, Aug 26 (): A confident India defeated South Korea 2-0 to lead the Pool B, on Monday to qualify for the Asia Cup semi-finals.
India team started brilliantly in the tournament, thrashing Oman 8-0 on Saturday. India will play Bangladesh on Wednesday in the remaining match of the Pool B.
The Indians put up a brilliant performance in the beginning of the match against South Korea, Raghunath scores 1-0 with a direct flick of a penalty corner to the right corner of the Korean goal past in the sixth minute. However, the remaining first half was dominated by South Korea on the field, earning five penalty corners in the first half but failed to convert. They had 62 percent possession in the first 35 minutes. Goalkeeper Sreejesh made as many as six-seven clear saves to keep a clean slate for India. The India defense fielders was up to the task as well, showing that Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans has worked hard with them on an area considered the team’s weak point. India was 1-0 in the half time.
India had a golden chance to double their lead but an unmarked Malak Singh shot wide from close range after the break. However, Mandeep Singh sealed the match for India in the 65th minute off a powerful hit from the top D. India saved as Korea put the Indian defence under continuous pressure with repeated raids.
Indian coach Roelant Oltmans said that the Koreans were a better side in the first half
India, Pakistan and Malaysia had to fight to book the solitary World Cup spot. South Korea have already qualified for the World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands.
In Pool A, Pakistan have already made it to the last four stage after beating hosts Malaysia 4-1.