India coach Roelant Oltmans said that his team gave too many chances to the young South Korean team.
Top-ranked India were held to a 1-1 draw by the brisk-moving South Koreans in the round-robin league encounter of the fourth Asian Champions Trophy hockey.
“I expected a tough game (after the Koreans conceded last-minute goal in their previous match), but we gave the Koreans too much opportunity,” said Oltmans.
“We went for a win and did get some clear-cut chances, but have to be satisfied with the draw,” he said.
Oltmans, however, said that his defenders exhibited good positional play in defending against South Korea’s penalty corners.
South Korean hockey team coach Paul Lissek, meanwhile was elated at the performance of his young team.
“This is like winning a gold medal for us, a small hockey-playing nation’s young team holding India to a draw,” said Lissek, a former chief coach of Germany.
“Coming a day after we conceded a last minute match-winner to Pakistan, I am delighted at the manner in which my boys responded to the Indian challenge,” he said.
The Koreans stunned India to take the initial lead in the 11th minute on a flash strike by Jeong Jun-woo and India had to work hard to equalise through Lalit Upadhyay’s field goal in the 33rd minute.
Currently ranked 11th in the world, the Koreans are rebuilding their team after several retirements since the 2014 Asian Games. They are placed five spots behind Asian Games gold medallists India’s No. 6 world ranking.
“I respect Indian hockey a lot, but am pleased the way my boys gave them a stiff fight today,” said Lissek.
“We lost control of the game after early flourish and India then had so much advantage, but our defenders held their ground,” he said.