The Indian women’s hockey team was held to a 1-1 draw by South Korea, but the Savita Punia-led unbeaten side still continued to lead its pool in the Asian Games here on Sunday.
Navneet Kaur (44th min) scored the equaliser for the higher-ranked India after Cho Hyejin (12th) had put South Korea ahead at the Gongshu Canal Sports Park Stadium.
Thanks to the draw, the Indian team, currently ranked sixth in the world, held onto the top spot in Pool A by goal difference over 12th-ranked Korea.
The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the semi-finals.
India crushed Singapore 13-0 in the opener before notching a 6-0 win over Malaysia.
Both teams looked to score from the word go but the Koreans had the first opportunity of the match when Cho Hyejin shot at the goal. However, Deep Grace Ekka effected a fine save to keep India from going behind.
The Koreans, though, took the lead minutes later. Cho Hyejin scored off a penalty stroke after she was fouled by Udita inside the circle.
The first quarter ended with Korea 1-0 ahead. The Indians lacked the finishing skills upfront.
Desperate to find the equaliser, India earned a few penalty corners but none of them resulted in a goal as the first half ended with South Korea leading by a goal.
The third quarter also went along similar lines until Navneet found the back of the net off a penalty corner.
The two teams tried hard to take the lead in the fourth and final quarter but their efforts did not translate into goals, as they shared honours.
India failed to convert a penalty corner towards the end and they also had a player advantage at that stage of the game.
India’s Parveen Hooda (red) competes against Uzbekistan’s Sitora Turdibekova in the 57kg boxing quarter final match on Sunday. PTI photo
Bronze for Nikhat, Parveen gets Paris quota
Two-time world champion Nikhat Zareen’s winning streak came to an end as she signed off with a bronze medal while Parveen Hooda grabbed a Paris Olympic quota at the Asian Games here on Sunday.
Competing in the women’s 50kg category, Zareen lost a fiercely contested semi-final battle 2-3 to two-time world championships medallist Raksat Chuthamat of Thailand.
Parveen moved past Uzbekistan’s Sitora Turdibekova by unanimous verdict to move into the 57kg semi-final and confirm India a medal.
Zareen, who has dropped down from her preferred 52kg weight class as it doesn’t feature in the Paris Olympic, hasn’t lost a bout since October’s National Championships in 2021. She had even out-punched Chuthamat at the world championships earlier this year.
But on Sunday, Chuthamat came well prepared for the Indian pugilist, who has stamped her authority in the international arena.