After annihilating Maldives 15-0 the Indian Contingent came into this tie against South Korea, with high hopes. South Korea on the contrary came into this fixture after gathering three points, beating Thailand 5-0. A win for both the sides would mean an automatic qualification for the quarters, however a loss with an enormous scoreline, could result into an all important third and final match, for India, against Thailand and for South Korea, against Maldives.
As expected the Ladies in blue, lined up in a 5-4-1 formation with Aditi, Suprava, Radharani, Ashalata, Romi, Umapati, Prameshwori, Bembem, Sasmita, Bala and Kamala, all starting. South Korea, however lined up in a classic 4-4-2.
The match began with both sides trying to construct play in the opening minutes. After exchange of light blows, South Korea delivered the sucker punch as they went on to score in the 8th minute, the Korean forward doing justice to a beautiful collection of passes. The Koreans decided to build on this solid start as exactly a minute later, the Indians through Faulty defending conceded another. In under 10 minutes, South Korea were enjoying a hefty 2-0 lead, whereas the game seemed to be running out of the hands, for the ladies in blue. South Korea did not recede this momentum and constant threats were barged onto the Indian Defense, which looked clueless at times. The Indian Contingent started to gather their pace and hope, Bembem Devi started to pull strings in the midfield, but a 35th minute goal by Park, put an end to all Indian Hopes. The Koreans looked more physically fit than their counterparts and showed no signs of slowing down, crossing and passing their way towards the Indian Goal. A beautiful accurate through ball, converted cheekily into the left corner resulted in yet another goal. 4-0. The Indian submarine already sunk by the Korean Torpedo, looked for signs of life as retaliation inform of a cross, to no good effect, was on its way in the 43rd minute. Exploited again by the long ball, the Indian Contingent embarrassed, looked to cover their faces as they succumbed to a fifth goal. The match was more than over in the first half itself, the score line displayed 5-0 and the Indian Contingent looked far from life.
Failing to register even one shot at goal in the first half, the Indian Contingent began their second half with the traditional circle team talk. Seconds into the half, it seemed as if the Indians had found long lost hope, with constant pressing and marking their opponents. While the Indians had plans of their own, the Korean Juggernaut displayed no signs of stopping. Minutes later, the Korean contingent wasted two glorious opportunities to score their sixth. Constantly dropping wide, the two Korean forwards proved too much for the Indian Wing backs, regularly testing Keeper Aditi Chauhan. Three minutes into the second half and the Koreans breached Indian lines as a perfectly timed header, did justice to an inviting cross. The Koreans did not stop with their attacks, much like the Indians against Maldives, finding the net in the 50th minute, only for celebrations to be cut short by an offside flag. The 51st minute marked another disappointing event for the Indian Contingent, as Bembem Devi was sent off, earning a a second yellow card consequently. Ironically, there were no signs of a tactical reform, the Indians constantly mauled by their Korean opponents. An aura of uneasiness and panic creaked through as a naive tackle by Romi, resulted into a penalty subsequently scored by Jeon. It looked as if the Korean rolling stone would match India’s goal scoring spree against Maldives with Yoo converting an inviting cross into a goal, around the 63rd minute marker. Minutes later Yoo, went on to score her fourth after a defensive splitting pass, met by an even better cross, came her way.9-0, displayed a degraded scoreline when compared to the chances missed and the shots saved by inform keeper Aditi Chauhan. With South Korea enjoying possession the Indians failed to contain their swift movement, goal scares coming their way every now and then. Failed attempts to play the ball from the back line resulted in yet another goal as the Korean Wingers pierced an accurate ball, only for Jung to score her goal. The game finished 10-0 with the Koreans attacking, a perpetual sight throughout the 90 minutes.
Korean Delight resulted into Indian Heartbreak, conceding 10 goals after scoring 15 in their opening fixture, showed clear signs of defensive lapse. A switch from the 4-2-3-1 to the 5-4-1 also took its toll as the fullbacks were unable to cope with the pacey Korean wingers. Playing Thailand in their third and final match on the 21st of September, the Indian Contingent should ensure a win, if they are to spared by any last gasp horrors. Meanwhile, the South Koreans displayed their attacking intent and quality with much charm and joy. A side which has scored 15 in two games, whilst conceding nil, South Korea could very well be the team to win this coveted trophy, having already secured their way into the quarter finals.