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Hockey: Korea retain Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia qualify for 2014 World Cup

Korea won the Asia Cup after a dramatic 4-3 win over India in the final. Photo: Tim Myers / www.sportsmediagroup.com.au

Korea won the Asia Cup after a dramatic 4-3 win over India in the final. Photo: Tim Myers / www.sportsmediagroup.com.au

September 1, 2013: Korea retained the Asia Cup after a dramatic and hugely entertaining 4-3 victory over India in Sunday’s final at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, Malaysia.

 

The Koreans played arguably their best game of the tournament and managed to subdue a determined Indian side hoping to seal a World Cup berth by winning the title.

 

With Korea having already booked their place at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup in the Netherlands, it was in India’s interest to go for a win and confirm their place at hockey’s showpiece event.

 

However, Korea’s victory has now confirmed Malaysia – first reserves – as the latest qualifiers for the World Cup, with India now having to wait until the completion of the Oceania championships in November before their place is confirmed.

 

Korea built a 2-0 lead ahead of half-time with goals from tournament top scorer Jang Jong-hyun and You Hyo-sik, but India hit back with goals in the 48th and 55th minutes from Rupinderpal Singh and Nithin Thimmaiah to set up a dramatic final 15 minutes.

 

Korea regained the lead in the 57th minute when Nam Hyun-woo netted, only for Mandeep Singh to restore parity with an instinctive volley four minutes from full time.

 

Just as it seemed likely that the match would be settled by a penalty shootout, Korea won a 68th-minute penalty corner. It proved to be the decisive moment of the match, with Kang Moon-kweon brilliantly converting a penalty corner to give Korea a glorious triumph. Kang’s winning goal was enough to earn him the man-of-the-match award.

 

It was a record fourth title for Korea, after earlier wins in 1994, 1999 and 2009, bettering Pakistan’s three wins in 1982, 1985 and 1989. India won in 2003 and 2007.

 

Earlier in the day, Pakistan claimed third place with a 3-1 win over Malaysia. Faizal Saari gave Malaysia the lead in the 34th minute only to see his team’s advantage cancelled out a minute later by a strike from Abdul Haseem Khan.

 

Pakistan sealed the win with second half goals from team captain Muhammad Imran and another for Haseem Khan, who is developing a reputation as a fearsome goalscorer.

 

There are only two more World Cup spots available, for the winners of the continental championships of Oceania and Africa. Australia and New Zealand have already qualified for the World Cup, so if either win the Oceania title, India will book a place in the World Cup as first reserves. No African teams have yet qualified for the World Cup.

 

2013 Men’s Asia Cup, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

1: Korea
2: India
3: Pakistan
4: Malaysia
5: Japan
6: Oman
7: Bangladesh
8: Chinese Taipei

 

Special Awards

Best goalkeeper: P.R. Sreejesh (India)

Top scorer: Jang Jong-hyun (Korea), 8 goals

Outstanding player: V. R. Raghunath (India)

Fairplay trophy: Japan

 

Saturday, August 24
Pool B: India 8-0 (4-0) Oman
Pool A: Pakistan 7-0 (6-0) Japan
Pool A: Malaysia 10-2 (4-1) Chinese-Taipei

 

Sunday, August 25
Pool B: Korea 9-0 (4-0) Bangladesh
Pool A: Japan 5-1 (1-1) Chinese-Taipei
Pool A: Pakistan 4-1 (1-1) Malaysia

 

Monday, August 26
Pool B: Bangladesh 2-4 (0-1) Oman
Pool B: India 2-0 (1-0) Korea

 

Tuesday, August 27
Pool A: Pakistan 13-0 (3-0) Chinese-Taipei
Pool A: Japan 2-4 (2-2) Malaysia

 

Wednesday, August 28
Pool B: Korea 10-0 (2-0) Oman
Pool B: India 9-1 (5-1) Bangladesh

 

Friday, August 30
15:00 Placement 5-8: Japan 3-0 (2-0) Bangladesh

17:15 Placement 5-8: Oman 4-2* Chinese Taipei
19:30 Semi-final: Pakistan 1-2 (0-1) Korea
21:45 Semi-final: India 2-0 (1-0) Malaysia

* After penalty shootout

 

Saturday, August 31
17:30 Placement 7-8: Bangladesh 11-3 Japan
20:00 Placement 5-6: Japan 3-1 Oman

 

Sunday, September 1
17:30 Bronze medal match: Pakistan 3-1 Malaysia
20:00 Final: Korea 4-3 India

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