The Indian women’s hockey team’s hopes of defending the Asia Cup title went up in smoke as Korea secured a 3-2 win in the semifinal at the Sultan Qaboos Complex here on Wednesday.
India started brightly and took the lead in the 28th minute through Vandana Katariya before Korea made a brilliant comeback after the change of ends. It scored thrice through skipper Enubi Cheon (31st), Seung Ju Lee (45th) and Hyejin Cho (47th) to stun the holder.
Two minutes from the breather, India secured back-to-back penalty corners and Vandana scored off the second.
The Koreans marched out a completely different side after the breather and drew parity in the 31st minute when Cheon sounded the boards off a penalty corner after the first shot was saved by Savita.
Poor penalty corner conversion cost India dear as Gurjit, who completed 100 international caps, was off-target. Just before the end of the third quarter, Korea nosed ahead through Lee as Savita made a mess of a routine save.
Two minutes into the fourth and final quarter, Korea made it 3-1 when Cho pushed home past an off-balance Savita after receiving a pass from Hyejeong Shin.
With time running out, Lalremsiami reduced the margin for India six minutes from the hooter, guiding in Vandana's high ball but it was too little too late.
The result: Korea 3 (Cheon 31, Lee 45, Cho 47) bt India 2 (Vandana 28, Lalremsiami 54) .