Indian women suffer first defeat in hockey tour of South Korea

India failed to convert its chances as host South Korea eked out a 2-1 on Thursday.

Despite the loss, India continues to lead the series 2-1 following victories in the first two games. (File Image)   -  K. Murali Kumar

Indian women’s hockey team suffered its first defeat in the tour of South Korea after it lost 1-2 against the host in a hard-fought third game of the five-match series on Friday.

Two goals in the first quarter from South Korea’s Seul Ki Cheon (12th minute) and Yurim Lee (14th) sealed the win for the host at the Jinchun National Athletic Centre. India, however, did not give up and pulled a goal back through Lalremsiami in the 16th minute.

Despite the loss, India continues to lead the series 2-1 following victories in the first two games.

Second match report: India edges past Korea with 3-2 win

Earlier, India looked to continue its winning momentum and was quick off the blocks to put pressure on South Korea’s midfield. However, the host matched its rival equally as the opening 10 minutes of the first quarter witnessed tough tussle between both the teams for supremacy.

It was South Korea who took the lead when Seul Ki Cheon converted a penalty corner in the 12th minute. If that was not enough, the Indian defense was beaten once again two minutes later when Yurim Lee scored from another penalty corner.

Trailing by two goals, India took the field in the second quarter looking to make a comeback and was instantly rewarded when foward Lalremsiami found the back of the net in the 16th minute to pull one back. The Indian team then took control of the match and looked threatening but the South Korean defenders stuck to their task as the visitor wasted a number of chances.

South Korean goalkeeper Heabin Jung made a couple of fine saves to deny India equaliser before half-time.

In the third quarter, South Korea had the better chances of scoring as it earned three penalty corners but failed to convert a single one with Rajani Etimarpu standing tall in front of the Indian goal.

First match report: Indian women beat South Korea 1-0 in tour opener

It was important for India to create significant goal-scoring chances in the final quarter if it was to find the equaliser and expectedly the visitor kept piling up the pressure on South Korea and in the process earned two penalty corners in the last four minutes of the match.

But the chances went wasted as South Korean goalkeeper Heabin Jung made two brilliant saves to deny India the all-important equaliser. India will play its fourth match of series against South Korea on Saturday.

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