Muscat, October 24: Defending champions India finished off their league stage on a high as the men in blue defeated Korea 4-1, to register their fourth win of the ongoing edition of the Men’s Hockey Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat on Wednesday (October 24).
With the win, the champs consolidated their position at the top of the table garnering 13 points from four wins from five matches.
The champs had registered convincing wins over hosts Oman, arch-rivals Pakistan and reigning Asian Games gold medallist Japan, before being held to a goalless draw by a resilient Malaysia on Tuesday (October 23).
Team India finish their pool-stage matches with an impressive win against Korea while Japan hold Pakistan to a draw. Here's a look at the results of the day on 24th October 2018. #IndiaKaGame #HeroACT2018 pic.twitter.com/yLzAKdV8In— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 24, 2018
The Indians headed into the final game of the round robin stage having already booked a semifinal berth. On the other hand for South Korea, the match was a do-or-die game. South Korea was fighting for the last berth in the semifinals line-up. But defeat at the hands of the Manpreet Singh-led side saw the Koreans campaign come to an end.
After the frustrating draw against Malaysia on Tuesday, the Indians were dominating from the very onset of the game against Korea. The champs dominated the proceedings throughout and grabbed the lead in the fourth minute through a penalty corner in the first quarter.
Drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh, who had been a little lacklustre the day before, was at the top of his game as he made no mistake to hand India a 1-0 lead. Harmanpreet went on to convert three out of the four penalty corners earned by India to complete a hat-trick in the match.
FT. The Indian Men's Hockey Team face up to the challenge of a fast-paced Korean side to win 4-1 in their final pool-stage game of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018, helped hugely by @13harmanpreet's sublime hat-trick on 24th October 2018.#INDvKOR #IndiaKaGame #HeroACT2018 pic.twitter.com/a2jaox9Ck6— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 24, 2018
India’s fourth goal came from the stick off Gurjant Singh. Gurjant scored a superb field goal on counter for the champs. Korea’s lone goal came from Lee Seungil, but it was too little.
With the win India joined Malaysia, Pakistan and Japan in the knockout stage of the tournament. The final standings will be decided after Thursday’s (October 25) final league games.