Chennai, August 6, 2023: The third day of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2023 witnessed a mesmerizing display of hockey prowess as three gripping matches unfolded at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai. From resolute defenses holding strong against persistent attacks to stunning comebacks and impressive individual performances, the day had it all. Fans were treated to exhilarating action as China and Korea battled to a tense 1-1 draw, Pakistan staged an impressive fightback to secure a thrilling 3-3 draw against Japan, and India returned to their winning ways with a commanding 5-0 victory over Malaysia. The high-octane matches have set the stage for an intense competition, leaving spectators eagerly anticipating what the remaining days of the premier hockey event will bring.
In a tightly contested match, China put on a resolute defensive display to earn their first point in the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2023 by holding Korea to a 1-1 draw at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium on Sunday. China’s newfound defensive approach proved effective as they denied multiple scoring opportunities to the Korean side.
The tempo was set early in the first quarter when Korea dominated possession, but China remained composed with solid defensive tactics, deploying man-markers on key Korean players and cutting off their midfield outlets. Korea’s attempts to break through the sturdy Chinese defense were met with strong resistance.
Korea finally found a breakthrough in the 18th minute from a penalty corner, with Jonghyun Jang’s well-executed drag flick sending the ball between China’s goalkeeper Caiyu Wang’s legs. The majority of the stadium, which was filled with passionate Korean supporters, erupted in celebration.
Undeterred, China grew into the game in the third quarter and began to make attempts at circle penetration through the right flank. Their patience paid off in the 43rd minute when Dongquan Pan deflected a powerful slap shot into the circle, and Gao tapped it past the keeper to equalize the score.
Both teams intensified their efforts to secure a win in the final quarter. Korea won a penalty corner in the 54th minute, but China’s goalkeeper Wang once again proved to be formidable, denying their attempts to take the lead. The match concluded with a thrilling display of skill and determination, but neither side could break the deadlock, ending the match in a well-fought 1-1 draw.
The HERO of the Match was Meng Lei (China, No 21) for his outstanding defensive performance and contributions to his team’s resolute display. The young player of the match was Liu Junjie (China, No 05), who showcased his potential on the field.
KOREA SET TO FACE INDIA, CHINA TO PLAY PAKISTAN, MALAYSIA WILL TAKE ON JAPAN ON THE 4TH DAY – 7th August 2023 – OF HERO ASIAN CHAMPIONS TROPHY 2023
Following the drawn match, Korea earned their first three points and will now look to claim another three points against India in their upcoming match on Monday, August 7. On the other hand, China, having secured their first point in the tournament, will be eager to register a victory against Pakistan, who are currently ahead by just one point. Malaysia will also take on Japan on Monday, August 7.
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About the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF)
The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) is the governing body for the sport of hockey in Asia, recognized by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Founded in 1958, the AHF today has 33 Member National Associations and organizes and sanctions more than twenty types of continental and regional events across all levels and age groups as well as overseeing the hockey competitions in several multi-sport events such as the Asian Games.
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