Sultan Azlan Shah Cup | India settles for a silver after going down to Korea in shootout
After a 1-1 draw in regulation time, Korea defeated India 4-2 in the shootout to win the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia. India had an early lead in the first quarter with Simranjeet Singh scoring for the Manpreet Singh-led side in the ninth minute of the match.
Jii Woo Cheon, Lee Jungjun, Jung Manjae and Lee Namyong scored for Korea in the shootout while only Birendra Lakra and Varun Kumar managed to score for India.
A valiant performance by the young Indian unit
Breaching Korea's razor-sharp defence meant India had to be tactically wise in their attack from the very beginning. Though India made a couple of circle entries in quick-succession early in the game, the Korean defence was too good to crack. It took accurate, short passes and effective teamwork by forwards Mandeep Singh and Sumit Kumar (Junior) that won India a brilliant opportunity to score in the first quarter. A quick assist by Sumit Kumar Junior to Simranjeet Singh earned India it's
Korea upped their ante as they made two good circle entries but an alert Indian defence kept them from creating potential shots on goal. With less than a minute remaining for the first
India began the second quarter well with Sumit assisting Simranjeet who took a backhand shot from
Goals continued to elude India in the third quarter despite some excellent attempts. Meanwhile, Korea won their first PC in the 33rd minute but Jang Jonghyun's flick went far wide from India's post. It didn't help India's cause when a good chance to double the lead to 2-0 went begging with a PC execution gone wrong seconds before the end of the third quarter.