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Koreans rally to beat the Kiwis
03 Jun 2005 08:07

by S. Thyagarajan, The Hindu

Sluggish and surprisingly unsystematic in defence and attack, the Korea struggled to get the better of New Zealand in a 6-4 win at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia yesterday. 

That Korea managed to emerge winner, with the last goal coming nine seconds before the hooter conveys the oscillating fortunes in the contest. 

The win gives Korea an outside chance to figure in the final depending on the outcome of the matches involving Pakistan and the defending champion Australia. Former champion, Pakistan heads the table with 13 points, while Australia has 11 followed by Korea with 10. New Zealand finished its programme with seven points. 

Stunned by the two early goals though Phil Burrows and Geredh Brooks within five minutes from the start, the Koreans knew they had a battle on their hands. The Kiwis, with the mid-field working delectably under the leadership of Simon Towns, were far more constructive than the more famous Koreans whose defence in the match on Thursday was awful. 

A goal out of a solo run by Jong Ho Seo put some life into the Koreans, but the initiative was with New Zealand which enlarged the margin through the goal by Bryce Colin. A neat penalty corner by Jong Hyo Jang narrowed the lead by half-time (2-3). Another penalty shortly after the break culminated in Byung Hoon Kim finding the equaliser. A quick sally by Seo was intercepted by Simon Towns, but umpire Javed Sheikh awarded a stroke much to the chagrin of the Kiwi defenders. 

Kyung Seok Kim put the team ahead only to see Brooks making the best of a penalty corner skirmish to level 4-4. 

A draw was on the cards as the Kiwi goalkeeper Paul Woolford brought off a few lovely saves leaving the Koreans desperate. Yellow cards to Burrows and Jong Hyun Jang heightened the tension briefly before Hyo Sik You moved up unchallenged to slot the winner. The Kiwis made a last ditch effort to force a draw but only ended up conceding another goal through Jon Ho Seo. 

Points Table
Pakistan 13pts
Australia 11pts
Korea 10pts
New Zealand 7pts
Malaysia 4pts
South Africa 1pt
India 1pt

Thursday 26 May
India 2 defeated South Africa 1
Australia 3 defeated Malaysia 1
Pakistan 2 defeated New Zealand 1

Friday 27 May
Australia 3 drew Korea 3
New Zealand 2 drew India 2
Malaysia 1 drew South Africa 1

Saturday 28 May
Pakistan 3 defeated Korea 2

Sunday 29 May
Malaysia 4 defeated India 1
Pakistan 2 defeated South Africa 0
Australia 2 defeated New Zealand 1

Monday 30 May
Korea 4 defeated Malaysia 0
New Zealand 2 defeated South Africa 0

Tuesday 31 May
Pakistan 2 drew Australia 2
Korea 4 defeated India 1

Wednesday 1 June
Australia 8 defeated South Africa 3
New Zealand 3 defeated Malaysia 1
Pakistan 3 defeated India 2

Thursday 2 June
Korea 6 defeated New Zealand 4

Friday’s Matches
Korea v South Africa, 1.35pm
India v Australia, 3.35pm
Malaysia v Pakistan, 5.35pm

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