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India concede late goal to go down 1-2

India concede late goal to go down 1-2
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A defensive lapse towards the end cost India dear as they went down 1-2 against South Korea to suffer their second consecutive defeat in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament on Sunday. After their spirited fight in the 3-4 defeat against the Australians, much was expected from the Indians but they disappointed as they were outplayed in the first half by the Koreans who led 1-0 through a goal from Kang Moon Kweon.

The Indians though regrouped in the second session and found the equaliser in the 39th minute with Malak Singh finding the target. The goal spurred the young Indians, mostly the hopefuls of the Junior World Cup later this year, as they kept the Korean defence busy with numerous raids but conceded a goal which was result of a lapse in concentration. Kweon scored his second goal of the match 10 minutes before the hooter via a deflection off a long hit from outside the 25 yards with at least three Indian defenders caught napping. After this loss, the Indians will find it difficult to qualify for the final in the six-team tournament. Two top teams from the round-robin league will play in the final.

‘A team that failed to utilise six penalty corners does not deserve to win. Indians dominated more but sadly it was another day when the inexperienced cost us the match. Koreans made good use of opportunities,’ coach Michael Nobbs said. Indian team manager Roelant Oltman said that the side has to learn from the mistakes.


AUS SPANK PAKISTAN 6-0

Australia brightened their chances of making the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup after crushing Pakistan 6-0 for their second consecutive win in the tournament. Australia proved too hot for Pakistan to handle as the world champions scored through Daniel Mirecki (8th minute), Matt Gohdes (9th minute), Jacob Whetton (19th, 34th minute) in the first half. In the second half, two penalty corner conversions by Daniel Beale and Nicholas Budgeon in the 45th and 60th minutes respectively sealed the fate of the Asian giants. With wins over India and Pakistan, the Hockeyroos are well on course to seal a place in the final on March 17.
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