Incheon (South Korea), 29 September 2014: Having secured three wins out of four at the 17th Asian Games, the Indian Men Hockey team successfully carved its way into the semi-final of the tournament. India will now play hosts South Korea in the semi-final tomorrow at Soenhak Hockey Stadium in Incheon, South Korea to book a berth in the finals of the 17th Asian Games.
The Indian Men Hockey team have proved their mettle in the tournament after defeating Sri Lanka 8-0, Oman 7-0, losing a tough clash against Pakistan 1-2 and then defeating China in their last pool match 2-0, the Indian men have been successful in penetrating their way into the semi-final. With a total of three wins to their credit, the Indian Men Hockey team is riding high on their impressive performance in the tournament and is geared up to face South Korea tomorrow in a crucial clash where a win confirms a seat to the Finale.
Keeping the track record of both the teams in mind, tomorrow’s match will be a nail biter as both the teams have given a tough fight to each other whenever they have met. While at the 2006 Asian Games, India and South Korea settled for a draw at 1-1, it was at the 2010 Asian Games when the Indian Men Hockey Team played against South Korea for the 3rd/4th position and defeated South Korea 2-1 to secure a bronze medal finish in the Games. It will be interesting to see a match between the two teams, where South Korea will be looking at avenging the last Games’ defeat and entering the final, India on the other hand will be seen unleashing all weapons to repeat as well as better the 2010 Asian Games’ results against South Korea and secure a berth in the final of the 17th Asian Games.
Speaking on the importance of the semi-final against Korea, the Indian Men Hockey Team’s Chief Coach Terry Walsh said, “We have achieved the first target of the competition and are now entering the crossover matches of the tournament. Playing South Korea at their home environment brings some very good challenges for our team. We will need to bring a high quality of ball handling and decision making to the game. Matching South Korea’s urgency and physical strength must also be achieved. Our team has every capacity to be very effective in this match and I am confident that with endeavour and persistence we will do well in this semi-final.”
Speaking on the match against Korea, the Indian Captain and midfielder Sardar Singh said, “The preparations are touching high altitudes as we approach the semi-final against South Korea. With the first aim to enter the semi-final of the tournament being accomplished, the focus now is to outperform South Korea in the semi-final and secure a spot in the final. The team is fully prepared and considering the importance of this match against South Korea we are looking forward at performing our best and generate favourable opportunities and results.”