Delhi: India were aware of the fact that only a win can take them to the next round and thus brought in first choice goalkeeper Sushant Tirkey ahead of Harjot Singh. With 10 minutes to go for the final hooter, India were well within a chance to stay alive in the tournament. But, Korean short corner specialist Seungju You pumped in two goals in two minutes to end the hosts’ dreams.
A 3-3 draw was enough to take Korea to the quarterfinal while Indian hockey rue the fact that they missed out on yet another opportunity to make a mark on the world stage.
Overall, the Indian juniors will have to curse themselves for not being able to maintain their lead after being 3-1 up till the 58th minute of the game.
The Indian defenders conceded soft short corners to Korea in the 4th and 16th minutes. Though You failed to find the target in the first, he succeeded in the second to put India on the back foot. Despite Korean dominance, Indians did manage to come back before the lemon break.
India should also thank Argentinean umpire Marcelo Servetto for bringing them back in game in the 24th minute when Koreans were reduced to 10 men after a routine looking infringement.
India got their third penalty corner, five minutes before the first half, and Gurjiner Singh made no mistake in bringing it in level with Korea. Moments before the lemon break, India managed to get their 4th penalty corner with Imran Khan and skipper Manpreet Singh making some great run through the midfield. Gurjinder yet again made no mistake and put India ahead with identical conversion
Stopwatch: India 3 (G Singh 32, 35, M Singh 45) drew Korea 3 (S You 16, 58, 60); Germany 6 (N Bruns 19, 68, C Ruhr 42, 56, M uller 52, og. 4) bt Egypt 0; Belgium 2 (M Plennevaux 60, 65) drew with Pakistan 2 (M Dilber 41, 54); The Netherlands 7 (T Hiebendaal 10, R Van 21, M Baal 23, 47, T Algera 57, R Bovendeert 34, 64) bt Canada 0