India defeated defending champions South Korea 3-2 in the round robin match of the Asian Champions Trophy 2023 on Monday.
Nilakanta Sharma (6th minute), Harmanpreet Singh (23rd) and Mandeep Singh (33rd) scored for India, who were already in the semi-finals after Japan's defeat against Malaysia on Monday itself. For Korea, Kim Sunghyun scored in the 12th minute while Yang Jihun scored in the 58th minute.
With this win, India is on top with 10 points in four matches. The hosts have won three matches, while one match ended in a draw. India will play their last league match against Pakistan on Wednesday.
India made a good start to the match at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium on Monday. Nilakanta gave India the lead in the sixth minute. India's lead did not last long, as Korea equalized six minutes later through a goal from Sunghyun. Sunghyun rounded off Manjae Jung's pass and beat Indian goalkeeper Krishna Bahadur Pathak with a powerful shot. This was Pathak's 100th international match.
India continued to dominate in the second quarter as well. The hosts created four chances and made it 2-1 in the 23rd minute thanks to Harmanpreet's penalty corner conversion. The Indian team was ahead 2-1 till half time.
Early in the third quarter, Mandeep took India's lead to 3-1 when he scored off a Shamsher Singh pass. Another penalty corner failure for Korea. The team, however, managed to reduce India's lead in the 58th minute through Yang's field goal. Korea's team tried to score an equalizer in the last minute but could not succeed.
Six top teams of Asia (India, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, China and Pakistan) are participating in this tournament. The top-4 teams at the end of the single-leg round-robin league stage will qualify for the semi-finals. The final will be played on 12 August.