Women's hockey: India play out 1-1 draw with South Korea, win series 3-1

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India hockey captain Rani Rampal with South Korea captain Youngran Kim before the start of their final match of the Korea tour

Seoul (South Korea), March 11: The Indian women's hockey team played out a 1-1 draw against hosts South Korea in the last match of their five-match series here at the Jinchun National Athletic Centre on Sunday (March 11). Both the teams scored a goal each in the final quarter of the match, which saw them locked at a goal apiece at the full-time whistle. It was Vandana Katariya who found the net in the 48th minute for India but the visitors' joy was cut short when South Korea's Bomi Kim (50') scored an equalizer two minutes later. The draw in the last match sees India end their impressive South Korea Tour with a 3-1 victory in the five-match series.

This comes a day after the Sardar Singh-led Indian men's hockey team finished a disappointing fifth out of six in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia.

It was a very well-matched first quarter in the match as both the teams looked to be patient and attack at the right time. Players from both the teams defended well as a unit but failed to produce much going forward in the final third of the pitch. The lack of attacking intent from either side in the opening 15 minutes saw the scoreline remain 0-0 at the end of the quarter as South Korea focused on keeping their shape to not allow the Indians to find an opening.

The second quarter saw the hosts create better chances going forward and the World No 9 team made some attacking forays into the Indian striking circle. South Korea's forwards earned themselves two penalty corners in the second quarter but Indian goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu was up to the task as she made two great reflex saves on both the occasions to deny the hosts of taking the lead in the match. The visitors were unable to produce the same attacking display that saw them take a 3-1 lead in the series as the match remained goalless at half-time.

The Indian team came out after the half-time break with a rejuvenated spirit as they focused on quick and precise passing, and were threatening the hosts' defence on the counter as well. It was an impressive phase in the match for the visitors as they created a few chances but could not be efficient in their finishing. It was in the 41st minute that the World No 10 side were awarded their first penalty corner of the match, however South Korea's Mijin Han made a crucial save to deny the Indians as the scores remained locked at 0-0.

In the last quarter, both the teams looked to finish off the series on a good note as they looked to create more chances, and were pressing their opposition, winning back the possession, and making quick forward passes to hit their opposition on the counter. It was India who benefited first from their tactics as a well-waited forward pass from skipper Rani was shot into the goal by Vandana Katariya in the 48th minute to give their team a crucial lead. However, the lead could only last for two minutes as South Korea also displayed some crisp passing and scored a field goal in the 50th minute through Bomi Kim to equalize. The last 10 minutes of the match saw a similar story as both the teams looked to find the winner. It was the hots who had a great chance of scoring the winner in the 54th minute when they were awarded a penalty corner, but the drag-flick was shot wide and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Source: Hockey India

Story first published: Sunday, March 11, 2018, 15:36 [IST]
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