The Hague, 14 June 2014: Akashdeep Singh scored twice against Korea to help India finish at the 9th position in the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 played at The Hague, Netherlands today.
The Sardar Singh led side showed their attacking flair throughout the match to register the 3-0 victory over Korea. India opened their account through Akashdeep Singh in the 6th minute and Korea really had no answers. The first India goal came from the hard running of SV Sunil. His blistering pace saw him leave the Korea defence standing, and his slipped pass was sent with pin point accuracy for Akashdeep Singh to slot home. The Korea forwards tried to create opportunities as they chased for an equaliser, but PR Sreejesh has had an outstanding tournament in goal and he was up to anything thrown at him.
At the other end, his Korea counterpart Lee Myungho was playing his part in keeping the score attainable, notably a tremendous save from a Rupinder Pal Singh penalty corner, and several further saves from the incursions of the India forwards.
Despite Lee’s heroics, India added two more goals in the second half. First, a penalty corner struck by Rupinder Pal Singh in the 43rd minute hit a defender on the line to earn India a penalty stroke. The tall defender composed himself and slotted home to double the lead.
The game was put beyond doubt when an aerial from Rupinder Pal Singh released Ashkadeep Singh. His initial one-on-one with keeper Lee resulted in a loose ball falling to Sunil. He slipped his pass back to Akashdeep in the 49th minute who slammed it into the goal and sealed the game for India.
The captain of the India team, Sardar Singh said “Our tournament started really good, we had lots of youngsters playing and they have had to learn quickly. They are improving really quickly. Beating Korea was good and we need to do that again in the Asian Games to qualify for the Olympics. If we play like we did today we will continue to improve. We worked on improving our defending, particularly after conceding in the last minutes against Belgium and England, and after those games we didn’t concede like that again.“
Chief Coach Mr. Terry Walsh said “Here is the game from our perspective, I thought we made some basic errors in the first half, but the second half we really dominated. We mixed different styles of play – they call it the European way and the Asian way, but I feel that it is just two styles of play. The team has improved a lot in this tournament and I am happy with the performance of Akashdeep also who scored two goals in today’s game“