New Delhi:A plucky South Korea fought back superbly from a goal deficit to stun three-time champions the Netherlands 2-1 in an action-packed match but that was not enough to qualify for the semifinals of the hockey World Cup here on Tuesday.
In a fast-paced edge-of-the-seat Pool A thriller between fourth and fifth ranked sides in the world, the South Koreans struck back after the Dutch had taken a lightning fast lead in the first minute through Ronald Brouwer.
The lower-ranked South Koreans took control of the game from towards the end of the first half to inflict the Dutch their first defeat in the World Cup in front of a sparse crowd under floodlights at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.
The South Koreans, who had beaten the Dutch in their last three international matches, twice in 2009 and once in 2008 -- all in the Champions Trophy -- fought back with goals from Hyun Woo Nam Hyun Woo Nam (31st) and Jong Ho Seo (45th).
Despite the loss, the Netherlands pipped South Korea to the post for a semifinal berth on goal difference though they have the same points -- 10 each from three wins, one draw and one loss.
The Dutch, who finished second in Pool A behind Germany (11 points) had a goal difference of 10 (15 scored and five conceded) while the South Koreans, who finished third in the pool, had eight (16 scored and eight conceded).