India go down fighting in Asia Cup hockey final

Ipoh (Malaysia), Sep 1 (IANS) India put up a valiant fight before being edged out 3-4 against defending champions South Korea in the final of the Asia Cup hockey tournament at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium here Sunday.

South Korea surged into the lead in the first half through goals from Jang Jong Hyun in the 28th minute (penalty corner) and You Hyo Sik in the 29th minute (field goal).

India came back strongly in the second half and relentlessly attacked the South Korean goal. They finally got the breakthrough thanks to Rupinder Pal Singh's 48th minute penalty corner.

Nikkin Thimmaiah levelled the score in the 55th minute with a brilliant backhand flick but the joy was shortlived as Nam Hyun Woo put the South Koreans back in front two minutes later.

In the 65th minute Mandeep Singh brought India back into the game but once again South Korea hit back almost immediately as Kang Moon Kweon scored the decider in the 68th minute.

It was the fifth time that India have finished second in the Asia Cup while South Korea were crowned Asian champions for the fourth time.

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