The Indian Women's Hockey Team came from behind to record a thrilling 1-1 draw against Korea in their third Pool A match of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 on Sunday. For India, Navneet Kaur (44’) scored an equaliser after a goal from Hyejin CHO (12’) had put Korea in front. (Medal Tally | Schedule | Full Coverage | Sports News)
Both teams showed flair in the attack from the word go and it was Korea, who had an opportunity to take an early lead, but the Indian team Vice Captain and defender Deep Grace Ekka made a brilliant goal-line save to deny Korea from going in front.
After avoiding the early scare, India quickly settled into a passing rhythm while controlling the majority of possession and Sangita Kumari even got a good opportunity to give India the lead as she was past Korea’s defense line and had to beat their goalkeeper but she could not keep her shot on target thus missing out on a great chance.
Meanwhile, Korea switched to counter-attacking and it paid off when they won the penalty stroke, which was converted by Hyejin CHO (12’) without much difficulty. Following that, India upped the ante in search of an equaliser, repeatedly testing Korea's defense and even coming close to scoring on multiple occasions, but were unable to find the back of the net as the first quarter ended with Korea leading 1-0.
In the second quarter, India increased the frequency of their attacks in an attempt to level the score courtesy of which they even won two penalty corners but failed to capitalise on any of them. Also, Sangita Kumari once again had a big opportunity to score an equaliser with just the goalkeeper to beat but her shot was off target.
In terms of possession and creating chances, it was India who dominated the second quarter and came close to scoring quite a few times but somehow couldn’t thus allowing Korea to maintain their 1-0 lead at the half-time break.
To capitalise on their lead, Korea launched a strong offensive push in the third quarter, earning an early penalty corner, but couldn’t convert it. Meanwhile, India remained determined to equalise and kept Korea’s defense under pressure by rigorous attacking and it paid dividends as Navneet Kaur (44’) converted a penalty corner to put the Indian team on level terms as the third quarter ended with the score tied at 1-1.
High on confidence after scoring the equaliser, India came out all guns blazing in the fourth and final quarter of the match, however, Korea not only soaked the pressure well but also kept checking India’s defence. The Indian team, on the other hand, switched to counter-attacking in search of the winning goal and even won a penalty corner in the closing minutes of the game but were unable to convert it. The final quarter didn’t witness a single goal as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
It is worth noting that the Indian team, who are unbeaten so far, are currently on top of the Pool A points tally with seven points from three games and a better goal difference than second-placed Korea, who also are unbeaten in the competition so far and have accumulated seven points from three games.
Indian Women's Hockey Team will next take on Hong Kong China in their last Pool A match on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023 at 0745 hrs IST.