Ipoh, March 25: India's inability to hold nerve under pressure haunted them again as they conceded a late penalty which helped South Korea hold them 1-1 in their second match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.
The five-time champions had begun their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup campaign in style, beating Japan 2-0 in the opening game, and looked to collect all three points on offer against Korea , after Mandeep Singh had given them the lead in the 28th minute.
But a defensive error saw Jonghyun Jang scoring from a penalty corner with just 22sec left on the clock.
FT: 🇮🇳 1-1 🇰🇷— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) March 24, 2019
India shares a point with Korea as their second game at the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019 ended in a draw after a last minute shot by Korea found the back of the net to make scores equal. #IndiaKaGame #SultanAzlanShahCup2019 pic.twitter.com/YIJXYV3QaI
The Indians will next face Malaysia on Tuesday (March 26) in the tournamnet featuring six teams. They then play Canada on March 27 before taking on Poland on March 29.
The top two teams from the round-robin league stage will play in the final on March 30.
After a round of two matches each at the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2019, here's how the teams are ranked as per their respective points earned. India will be seen in action again on 26th March after a day of rest tomorrow in Ipoh, Malaysia. #IndiaKaGame pic.twitter.com/2euOCH8R5t— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) March 24, 2019
A quick-thinking Mandeep 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 to green cards. 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 just 53sec 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 earn a share of the spoils.
(With PTI inputs)