Akashdeep Singh scored two goals as India posted a comfortable 3-0 win over Asian champions South Korea to finish a lowly ninth in the men’s hockey World Cup at the Kyocera Stadium on Saturday.
With this win in the ninth-10th place play-off match, India had managed to avenge upon their 3-4 loss to South Korea in the final of last year’s Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia.
Akashdeep opened India’s account in the sixth minute by tapping in a square-pass from SV Sunil and then rounded off the scoring with a reverse hit in a crowded circle in the 50th minute.
In between, Rupinder Pal Singh converted a penalty stroke in the 42nd minute after his penalty corner flick was stopped by a defender with body on the goal-line. India ended the World Cup one notch below their eighth-place finish at New Delhi edition in 2010. The first raid gave India the lead in the sixth minute of play when captain Sardar Singh fed Sunil the ball on the right flank in a counter-attack starting from inside the Indian circle.
Sunil moved up, down the flank beating the only defender blocking his view of the goal and drew out the Korean goalkeeper before squaring the ball for Akashdeep to flick into an open goal.
South Korea posed a threat to India in the 10th minute when unmarked Jeon Byung-jin picked up a pass on top of the circle and had only the goalkeeper PR Sreejesh in front. But as he took the shot after tapping the ball into the circle, Rupinder dived across to deflect the ball out. A sustained Indian pressure on the rival circle in the 20th minute saw the Koreans put up a solid defence to keep the ball out of the scoring area and curbing the space available for the Indian strikers.
Rupinder again deftly tackled Korean striker Jeon Byung-jin on top of the circle in the 27th minute.
Three minutes later, India came close to scoring again when Sunil dribbled into the circle after picking up a long aerial ball on the 25-yard line.
Netherlands win women’s WC
Olympic gold medallists Netherlands defeated Australia 2-0 in the title showdown to clinch the women’s hockey World Cup at the Kyocera Stadium here Saturday. This was the fourth time these two nations met in the women’s World Cup title encounter, and The Netherlands have won three of them.
Out of 13 women’s World Cups since its inception in 1974, the Dutch have won it seven times. The Dutch men will have a chance of completing a title double in front of home fans tomorrow, when they take on the defending champions in the men’s final.
The Netherlands won both the men and women’s hockey World Cups in 1990, when they were held in different countries. On the only occasion that the men and women’s World Cups were held together — in the Dutch city of Utrecht in 1998 — The Netherlands men won the title, but the women were beaten by Australia. Captain Maartje Paumen, one of the four Dutch players winning her second World Cup gold, put her team ahead in the 12th minute with a penalty stroke conversion.
The penalty stroke was awarded when Ross Dross was brought down by the goalkeeper and a defender inside the circle.
Livewire striker Kim Lammers increased the lead by beating goalkeeper Rachael Lynch with her second try in the 29th minute, after her initial shot was blocked by the custodian.
Argentina’s star striker Luciana Aymer, playing in her fifth World Cup, scored twice in the bronze medal playoff that the South American nation won 2-1 against the USA.