New Delhi :New Zealand survived waves of South Korean attacks before pulling off a 2-1 upset victory to keep alive their semifinal hopes in the hockey World Cup here on Friday.
The Black Sticks, ranked three places below their opponents at eighth, scored through Andrew Hayward (fourth minute) and Dean Couzins (22nd) in their third Pool A match.
South Korea pulled one back with Lee Nam Yong scoring from a penalty stroke in the last minute.
The Kiwis defended their citadel admirably well against the Koreans who did most of the attacking throughout the match in front of a handful of spectators at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.
With today's victory, New Zealand kept themselves in contention for a semifinal berth with two wins and a loss from three matches. They have two more matches to play --against Argentina and Germany.
With a draw and a win from three matches, South Korea are not out of contention but they will find it difficult to make it to the semifinals as they play Canada and the Netherlands in their remaining matches.
South Korea were to blame themselves as they did most of the attacking throughout the match and failed to score from seven penalty corners they got in the match -- six in the second half itself.
New Zealand, who had made it to the World Cup through a qualifier, took the early lead through a Andrew Hayward penalty corner in the fourth minute.
South Korea pressed hard for an equaliser but their forwards failed to give the finishing touches and the Kiwi defenders maintained a tight man-marking, denying their opponents space and penalty corners they were looking for.
South Korea could not convert their only penalty corner of the first half in the ninth minute and in the 11th minute, a nice reverse stick shot from hard-working Korean captain Jong Ho Seo was too high to create any problem for Black Stuik goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex.
Against the run of play, New Zealand got a penalty stroke in the 22nd minute and captain Dean Couzins did not make any mistake to take his side to 2-0 at the breather.
South Korea regrouped themselves in the second session and New Zealand had mostly to defend inside their own 25 yards.
Shin Seok Kyo's side wasted seven penalty corners in the second session, either finding a defender or the goalkeeper or failing to stop the ball to take the penalty corner hit.
At the fag end of the match, South Korea were awarded a penalty stroke by Indian referee Satinder Kumar which Lee Nam Yong converted but that was too late in the day.