It was a heartbreak for Birendra Lakra’s men as they failed to qualify for the final of the 2022 Asia Cup. India drew their last Super 4s pool game against South Korea 4-4. Korea pipped India in terms of goal difference to qualify for the final. They will now play Malaysia in the summit clash. Nilam Sanjeep, Maninder Singh, Mahesh Sheshe Gowda, and Shakthivel Mareeswaran scored the four goals for India while Jang Jonghyun, Ji Woo Cheon, Kim Junghoo, and Jung Manjae scored for Korea.
The Men in Blue started the goal-scoring when Nilam Sanjeep converted a penalty corner in the eighth minute of the play. Nilam scored with a low flick to the right bottom corner of the Korean net past Kim. However, Korea made a quick comeback through a penalty corner aced by Jang Jonghyun who was bang on target to draw a level for Korea in the 12th minute.
The second quarter saw a bit more action with both teams scoring two goals each. Korea made it 2-1 two minutes into the second quarter when Ji Woo Cheon chose his spot after being fed by Jungjun Lee following a defensive lapse from Pawan Rajbhar inside his own circle. But India drew level three minutes later when Maninder Singh converted the team’s third penalty corner.
Mahesh Sheshe Gowda restored the lead a minute later but Kim JungHoo equalized for Korea through a fine field goal from an acute angle. Both the teams went into the half-time locked at 3-3. The third quarter saw India restoring their lead in the 37th minute through an unmarked Sakthivel Mareeswaran, who tapped in a cross from Sheshe Gowda from the right flank.
India kept the lead till the 43rd minute but a late equalizer from Jung Manjae in the 44th minute crushed all hopes of a young Indian side to make it into the final of Asia Cup.