Uthappa's last-minute goal earns India win over S Korea

Hockey Won
Ipoh (Malaysia), May 25: A last-minute goal by SK Uthappa gave India a thrilling 2-1 victory over South Korea in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here on Friday. With this victory, India earned their first points following an embarrassing 1-5 defeat to New Zealand in the first match. South Korea has one point from two outings.

Uthappa's match-winning goal came just minutes before the final whistle when he deflected the ball in Tushar Khandekar's cross. On a counter-attack built by goalkeeper Bharat Chetri's save at the top of the circle on the other end, India surprised the South Korean defenders with a brisk move.

Earlier, penalty-corner striker Sandeep Singh sent a drag-flick into the net in the 11th minute to give India the lead. However, the Koreans levelled the score when Nam Hyun-Woo's low penalty-corner flick breached the Indian defence in the 66th minute. A tight defence by India proved many a counter-attacks by the Korean side futile.

India produced a much-improved display after Thursday's lacklustre show against the Kiwis. Right-half Gurbaj Singh made a comeback to international hockey in today's match after a long gap due to injury that kept him out of the Olympic Qualifiers and the London test event. Striker Dharamvir Singh had a shy at the goal from the top of the circle in the 28th minute but it was blocked by goalkeeper Lee Myung-Ho, who also defended a firm drive from Tushar Khandekar.


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