India's 4-3 loss to Korea means that Malaysia seal the 2014 World Cup spot. Sardar Singh's team will have to wait for the Oceania championship to finish in October-November.
India's VR Raghunath named most Outstanding Player of the Tournament. The drag-flicker ended as India's highest goalscorer. Also, India's vice-captain and goalkeeper PR Sreejesh was named the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
All the goal scorers:
Korea: Jang Jong Hyun (28th min, PC), You Hyo Sik (29th), Nam Hyun Woo (57th, PS), Kang Moon Kweon (68th)
India: Rupinderpal Singh (48th, PC), Nikin Thimmaiah (55th), Mandeep Singh (66th).
19:00 (IST) It's full time and South Korea finally hold on to a 4-3 win to seal gold medal. Heartbreak for India who have to settle for gold.
18:58 (IST) Kang Moon Kweon scores in 68th minute to give Korea back the lead. it's 4-3 in Korea's favour and looks like game over for India.
18:55 (IST) Mandeep scores an excellent field goal with five minutes to go in the match. India level it 3-3.
18:52 (IST) Ramandeep fails to convert a field attempt from a close in position, swats it over the Korean net. 6 minutes to go.
18:46 (IST) GOAL! Nam Hyun Woo easily flicks a penalty stroke in the 57th minute. Koreans now lead 3-2. they had earned the penalty stroke after the flick from the PC hit Manprit's body at the Indian net.
18:42 (IST) GOAL! Nikkin Thimmaiah scores from a lovely reverse flick in the 55th minute and India level it 2-2.
18:35 (IST) GOAL! Rupinderpal Singh comes to the party and flicks it hard on the right corner of the net, converting from a PC in the 48th minute. India pull one back, it's 2-1 in Korea's favour.
18:24 (IST) India have started better in the second half, trying hard to keep the possession. Korea on the other hand, are trying to pressurise India with speed.
18:13 (IST) it's half time and South Korea have a massive advantage with a 2-0 lead. Jang Jong Hyun and You Hyo Sik scored for Korea.
18:07 (IST) GOAL! Korea make it 2-0 in no time as You Hyo Sik scores a field goal (29th minute) as Indian defence is caught unawares. India trailing now and under pressure.
18:06 (IST) GOAL! Korea make their first penalty corner count as Jang Jong Hyun scores in 28th minute to make it 1-0. This the 8th goal in the tournament for Jang.
18:01 (IST) Nithin pushes India's first penalty corner and Raghunath flicks but it hits the Korean rusher on the chin. No second PC for India.
17:57 (IST) PR Sreejesh comes to the rescue once again. In the 21st minute, Koreans make the best of a slender chance but an aware goalie clears the ball.
17:52 (IST) India forward Ramandeep Singh fumbles on an Uthappa pass inside the D and the Koreans get a lifeline.
17:45 (IST) 10 minutes into the game and still no goals. India denied a chance to enter the South Korean D.
FACTOID: Out of the 8 previous matches in Asia Cup history, India have defeated South Korea 6 times and lost twice.
17:35 (IST) Sardar Singh and Manprit Singh make the India starting XI as Birendra Lakra, Nithin Thimmaiah, Nikkin Thimmaiah are benched.
17:30 (IST) As the two teams sing their national anthems, the drizzle has become lighter, which could be good news for the players on the field.
17:14 (IST) India vs South Korea match starts in about 20 minutes. Latest from the venue is that it is still drizzling at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium. Play is expected to start on time as seasonal rain has hardly effected any games in the Asia Cup so far.
17:00 (IST) Pakistan beat Malaysia 3-1 to seal the bronze medal. Abdul Haseem Khan scored a brace and Muhammad Imran hit the net once for Pakistan. For the hosts, Faizan Saari was the goal scorer. (Read full report).
Their World Cup berth all but secured, a confident India would look to book a direct ticket to next year's mega-event by winning the ongoing ninth Asia Cup hockey tournament when they clash with defending champions South Korea, here today.
Both India and Malaysia have virtually qualified for the World Cup to be held at The Hague, Netherlands after South Korea shut the door on Pakistan with a narrow 2-1 win in the first semifinal.
Pakistan, record four time World Cup champions, will be missing the show-piece event for the first time since the inception of the tournament in 1971.
Korea having already qualified for the World Cup while Pakistan's passage to the quadrennial event was possible by winning the Asia Cup. (Read full preview)
Road to the Final - India
India beat Oman 8-0
India beat South Korea 2-0
India beat Bangladesh 9-1
India beat Malysaia 2-0
Road to the final - South Korea
South Korea beat Bangladesh 9-0
South Korea lost to India 2-0
South Korea beat Oman 10-0
South Korea beat Pakistan 2-1.
The two squads:
India - Sardar Singh (Captain), Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra, Chandanda Aiyanna Nikkin Thimmaiah, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Dharamvir Singh, Gurmail Singh, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Malak Singh, Mandeep Singh, Manpreet Singh, Nithin Thimmaiah, VR Raghunath, Ramandeep Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, PR Sreejesh, Thirumala Rao Potunuri, SK Uthappa.
South Korea - Lee Seung IL (Captain), Cho Suk Hoon, Hyun Hye Sung, Jang Jong Hyun, Jung Man Jae, Kang Moon Kweon, Kang Moon Kyu, Kim Jae Hyeon (goalkeeper), Kim Seong Kyu, Kim Young Jin, Lee Dae Yeol, Lee Jung Jun, Lee Myung Ho, Lee Nam Yong, Nam Hyun Woo, Oh Dae Keun, Yoon Sung Hoon, You Hyo Sik.
Asia Cup triumph will bring belief to Indian hockey: Sardar Singh
The lows of Indian hockey have far outnumbered the highs in recent times, but captain Sardar Singh today said the "belief" could return if the team wins the ninth Asia Cup here on Sunday.
Sardar and drag-flicker V R Raghunath were the only members of the present team who were part of the Indian side which failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a massive low given that the country was an eight-time gold-medallist at the event.
The star midfielder said winning a major tournament was long due for Indian hockey and the Asia Cup triumph would infuse new "life" into the game back home.
"It's been long time that we didn't taste any good win or won a major tournament. The Asia Cup can bring belief among hockey lovers back on the Indian team," Sardar said on Friday at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium. (Read more).
How India's World Cup chances depend on minnows Fiji
A fairly complex process adopted by the international hockey federation (FIH) has identified 11 out of the 12 teams that will participate in the 2014 World Cup to be played in The Hague, Netherlands. For India, winning the Asia Cup final against South Korea on Sunday, is a sure-shot path to make the world championship.
India are within sniffing distance of a spot in the 2014 World Cup of hockey in the Netherlands after South Korea defeated Pakistan in a semifinal match of the Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia on Friday. The defeat brought gloom in the Pakistan camp because for the first time in 42 years, the Asian giants will not feature in a world championship. (Read: Pakistan mourn 'darkest day in sports')
India will guarantee themselves a berth in the World Cup if they can beat Korea in the Asia Cup final in Ipoh on Sunday. Earlier this week, India had beaten the Koreans, the defending champions, 2-0 in the group stage. In case of a defeat, India will still have a chance. Only in the extremely unlikely case of Fiji beating Australia or New Zealand to clinch the Oceania Cup, India will lose out on a World Cup spot. (Read: Indian Olympians urge team to focus on improving before 2014 World Cup)
Interestingly, it was Pakistan that mooted the idea of a World Cup. The first World Cup was played in Barcelona, Spain in 1971 and Pakistan won the 10-team tournament while India finished third. Pakistan have won the World Cup the maximum number of four times while India won just once in 1975. (Read more)
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