Gurjant salvages a hard-fought draw for India against Korea
Dhaka: Striker Gurjant Singh saved the day with a last minute equaliser as India eked out a fighting 1-1 draw against Korea in their first Super 4 stage match of the 10th men's Asia Cup hockey tournament here on Wednesday.
Unbeaten India looked the most convincing team in the tournament so far but the dangerous and defensive Koreans came tantalisingly close to register a stunning win over the the Manpreet Singh-led side.
Despite enjoying the lions share of possession and having better scoring chances, the in-form Indian strikers found it difficult to breach the resolute Korean defence. After a barren opening two quarters, Jungjun Lee (41st minute) gave Korea the lead before Gurjant scored (60th) just seconds before the final hooter to salvage a point for the Indians. It was always expected to be a contest between Indian forwardline and Korea's defence and it panned out that way only with the Koreans defending in numbers and relying on counter attacks.
Akahdeep Singh missed a sitter for India in the first quarter after he failed to connect the ball from close range with only the Korean goalkeeper to beat. Seconds before the end of the first quarter, India secured the only penalty corner of the match but it was wasted as they went for variation. The second quarter saw a neck-and-neck tussle between the Indian strikers and Korean defence with both the sides not in a mood to give an inch to each other as the first half ended goal-less.