Hangzhou, 4th October 2023: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team secured a spot in the Final of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, with a thrilling 5-3 win over Korea in the 1st Semi-Final on Wednesday. India will face the winner of the second Semi-Final between Japan and China in the Final of the tournament for a chance to win the Gold medal and secure a spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics. Hardik Singh (5′), Mandeep Singh (11′), Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (15′), Amit Rohidas (24′), and Abhishek (54′) scored the goals for India to get the important win. Manjae Jung (17′, 20′, 42′) scored a hat-trick for Korea.
~ Hardik Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Amit Rohidas, and Abhishek scored goals for India ~
The match started with India immediately entering deep inside Korea’s half to test their defence. Hardik Singh (5′) helped India get off the mark as he picked up a rebound inside the circle and hammered it into the nets. Korea tried to attack from the left flanks, but Nilakanta Sharma did well to chase down the Korean forward. Minutes later, India doubled their lead with a sensational team goal as a long ball into the circle was collected by Gurjant Singh and he passed it to Mandeep Singh (11′), who deflected it into the nets. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (15′) tapped the ball into the nets after picking up a rebound and India took a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Trailing by three goals, Korea started moving with urgency inside India’s half and earned an early penalty corner. Manjae Jung (17′) made the most of a variation in the set-piece and Korea pulled a goal back. Korea continued to test the Indian defence from the left flanks, and Manjae Jung (20′) deflected the ball past the Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh as Korea further reduced the deficit. But Amit Rohidas (24′) relieved the pressure on India, as he struck a powerful dragflick from a penalty corner to make it 4-2. India remained alert in defence to prevent any further attacks and reached halftime leading 4-2.
The second half started with India searching for an early goal as Mandeep Singh made a dangerous run only to be stopped in his tracks by the Korean defence. Hardik Singh showcased excellent stick work to break through the Korean defence and he managed to enter the circle. But Seunghoon Lee intercepted his pass towards Sukhjeet Singh. Korea earned a late penalty corner and Manjae Jung (42′) scored again to complete his hat-trick and make it 3-4 for Korea. The cagey third quarter came to an end with India still in lead by a goal.
Still trailing by a goal, Korea began a brilliant move from the right baseline, but a dangerous high ball stopped the attack. Hardik Singh and Mandeep Singh tried to combine in the middle to build an attack, but Korea continued to press deep inside India’s half. Abhishek (54′) finally broke Korean resistance as he latched on to a loose ball inside the circle and struck a powerful tomahawk into the nets to extend India’s lead to 5-3. Sanjay made crucial interceptions as Korea tried to trouble India’s defence. India managed to hold off the opposition to win the match 5-3 and qualify for the Final.
Indian Men’s Hockey Team will compete in the Final on Friday, October 6th, 2023.
The matches will be broadcast live on Sony Sports Network and live stream on Sony Liv.
HOCKEY INDIA TEAM PARTNERS
Odisha (India’s Best Kept Secret) – Major Team Partner
Sports Authority of India (SAI)
About HOCKEY INDIA
HOCKEY INDIA (HI) is the governing body with exclusive mandate to direct and conduct all activities for both men and women’s hockey in India. It is recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India as the sole body responsible towards promoting Hockey in India.
Headquartered in New Delhi, Hockey India was established on 20th May, 2009 and is affiliated to the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).
Committed to the development of Hockey in the country, Hockey India with the assistance of Sports Authority of India and Department of Sports, Government of India, trains players at sub-junior, junior and senior level. The governing body engages in Coaching the coaches with International Standard certification programs, educates and equips technical officials and umpires to find a foothold in international arena, provides world-class infrastructure and International exposure for the players besides regular international competition. Hockey India has also pioneered in bringing top International hockey events to India such as the FIH Men’s World Cup in 2010 and 2018, FIH Champions Trophy in 2014, FIH Junior Men’s World Cup in 2016 and 2021, FIH Hockey World League Final in 2017. With its vision to popularize the game and constantly promote it, Hockey India brought the Indian Men’s Hockey Team into the top three in the world. Hockey India is also dedicated to getting the Indian Women’s Hockey Team into the top three in the world.
Odisha – the Eastern State of India – is known for its love for Hockey and over the years it has evolved to be the Global Hub of Hockey. The State successfully hosted the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, followed by the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha, FIH Olympic Qualifiers Odisha, and FIH Hockey Pro League 2020-21. Odisha has previously hosted the Champions Trophy 2014 and the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017. Odisha also hosted the FIH Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup in 2021.
Kalinga Lancers, the team owned by the State, were the winners in the Hockey India League 2017. Taking a step further towards realising the dream of restoring the glory of Indian Hockey at the global level, the State is sponsoring the Indian Hockey Teams till 2033.
Odisha also hosted the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023.