May 16, 2011 12:48:54 am
The Indian hockey teams campaign in the Azlan Shah Cup ended on a disappointing note as they finished sixth after going down 1-2 to South Korea in their classification match here on Sunday. Two penalty corner flicks by Nam Hyun-Woo left the Indian defence stunned,giving the Koreans a 2-0 lead at the interval. India tried to come back into the contest and reduced the lead on a second-half field goal from Vikram Pillay,but the disjointed lineup of strikers failed to capitalise on the chances India managed to create.
India and South Korea were joint champions in 2010 when the final was disrupted by heavy rain. The Indians had earlier won the title outright in 2009 in the seven-team competition. Their defensive woes continued throughout the tournament,but today the team did not betray their nerves so much. However,trailing by two goals at the interval proved too much for the erratic strikers to make up.
South Korea took the lead in the eighth minute on their first penalty corner as Nam placed the ball in the corner to the right of the goalkeeper,who was caught unaware by the shot and did not even move as the flick went past him. Indian striker Shivendra Singh missed a sitter in the 12th minute when he could not trap a pass from the goal-line. Indias first penalty corner four minutes later also did not make much of an impact.
The Koreans went ahead by two goals on their second penalty corner as Nam sent the ball soaring into the net,this time to the left of the custodian. The Koreans posed a danger to the Indian goal again in the 30th minute on a counter attack,but defender Diwakar made a diving clearance from under You Hyo-Siks stick before he could move into the circle.
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India wasted another penalty corner early in the second session before Pillay capitalised on Gurbaz Singhs cross from right.
Christopher Ciriello scored a golden goal from a penalty corner as world champions Australia clinched their sixth Azlan Shah Cup hockey title beating Pakistan. Ciriello’s drag-flick in the 13th minute of extra period went into the roof of the goal post to give Australia a 3-2 victory over Pakistan in the summit clash.
The two teams were tied 2-2 at the end of regulation period,with Australian goals coming from Ciriello (11th minute) and Glenn Turner (44th) and Pakistan scoring through Sohail Abbas (31st) and Rehan Butt (62nd).
Australia have now won the Azlan Shah Cup six times,overtaking India’s record of five titles. The Azlan Shah Cup was the only title Australia did not win in 2010,when they became the first team to win the World Cup,Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games in one year.
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