Muscat, Oct 25 (IESports) The Indian Men’s Hockey Team secured the top spot in the Pool stages of the 5th Men’s Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018 as they defeated South Korea 4-1 here at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Wednesday.
The Indian team secured the three points through Harmanpreet Singh’s hat-trick of goals scored in the 5th, 47th and 59th minutes and Gurjant Singh’s 10th-minute strike which saw India secure the top spot in Pool Standings with a tally of 13 points from their five matches and a goal difference of 25, and progress to the semi-final match of the competition.
Having played a goalless draw against Malaysia on Tuesday, the Indian team looked to cement their position at the top of the Pool Standings by attacking the South Koreans from the opening whistle.
The Indian team maintained possession in the opening few minutes and were awarded their first Penalty Corner in the 5th minute which was fiercely struck in the top right corner by drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh, to give India the lead.
India started the second quarter with some high pressing again but it was South Korea’s turn to open their account as they scored in the 20th minute against the run of play when a clearance by Surender Kumar was intercepted by a Korean player and passed onto Lee Seungil on the right side of the Indian circle, and the Korean Captain struck a vicious shot from a tight angle to beat PR Sreejesh and make the scores 2-1.
Two minutes later, South Korea won their first Penalty Corner but the resulting execution was blocked by the first rusher, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam. Both the teams had their chances before the half-time break but neither could produce the goods in the final third as India took their 2-1 lead into the interval.