Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: India concedes late, draws 1-1 with Korea

India conceded in the last minute of the game to play out a 1-1 draw with Korea in their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019 clash on Sunday.

India's Mandeep Singh celebrates after scoring against Korea in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Sunday.   -  Twitter @azlancup

India conceded in the dying stages of the game to play out a 1-1 draw with Korea in their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup clash here on Sunday.

The Indians took the lead in the 28th minute through Mandeep Singh and looked set to earn their second consecutive win of the six-team tournament, but a defensive error saw Jonghyun Jang scoring from a penalty corner with just 22 seconds left on the clock.

India made an attacking start with midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad creating space inside the striking circle within the first minute, but the Korean defenders held strong to avert an early goal.

India had two more scoring opportunities but failed to convert either. A quick-thinking Mandeep Singh gave India its first penalty corner in the 10th minute with a good tackle in the baseline. The opportunity was, however, wasted due to poor execution as both sides could not score in the first quarter.

India won its second penalty corner in the initial minutes of the second quarter but the drag-flick was saved by the Korean goalkeeper. The following minutes saw Korea execute the full-press to limit India’s circle entries.

 

Though the tactic was good, Korea lost three players (Kim Hyeongjin, Jihun Yang and Lee Namyong) to green cards that reduced the side to eight players. India made the most of the situation and Mandeep struck the opener in the 28th minute.

Playing in rain after the third quarter began, a defensive error on India’s part saw Korea being awarded their first penalty corner of the match. But India’s rusher Amit Rohidas did well to ward off the danger and keep India’s lead intact.

The game was then halted, with a little over eight minutes to go, owing to heavy rains. After an interval of close to 30 minutes, the Koreans came out all guns blazing and won three Penalty Corners in quick succession, but the Indian defence managed to hold on.

With 53 seconds remaining, Korea won another penalty corner, but Jonghyun Jang’s powerful drag-flick was brilliantly saved by India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh. A referral by Korea saw the side win another penalty corner and this time, Jang was on target to level the scores and snatch a draw for his side.

India had defeated Japan 2-0 in its opening game on Saturday. Varun Kumar converted a penalty corner in the 24th minute to put India ahead before Simranjeet Singh (55th) scored a diving field goal from skipper Manpreet Singh’s brilliant pass to secure full three points for the five-time champion.

The Indians will next face Malaysia on Tuesday.