Preview: India vs South Korea Hockey Match live streaming and TV telecast info, Asia Cup 2017
India are all set to kick-start their campaign in the Super 4 stages of the Hockey Asia Cup 2017, as they face off against title rivals South Korea, in Dhaka, on Wednesday.
The Indians, lead by Manpreet Singh, have been on rampant form so far, scoring field goals at will against their opposition in Group A. They scored as many as 15 goals in three group stage matches against Japan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
However, there is a rather sharp contrast to the level of teams that they faced in the group stages, to the number of teams that they will be facing in the Super 4s. While they will still be facing Pakistan one more time, the other two sides, namely South Korea and Malaysia, are considerably stronger than the likes of Japan and Bangladesh, presenting a bigger challenge for the Indians.
The Indians have been lead well by Manpreet Singh, in the absence of captain and goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, as they have more or less rampaged across opposition defences in the first round.
The Indian attack has been lead well by Akashdeep Singh, who has shown an overall gameplay required for the modern forward. Not only has he shown an eye for scoring goals, but he has also shown the ability to beat defenders, play the good passes, make read where the midfielders will play the through passes, and also set up goals by the dozens.
He has been well supported by Ramandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay, who have spread terror down the opposition flanks with their swift movement, turning many turnover in possession into goalscoring chances.
The midfield has been manned well by Chinglensana Singh, and skipper Manpreet Singh. The duo has been instrumental for the Indians so far, as they have greatly contributed in both defence and attack. In all of their three group stage matches, India have kept long bouts of possession, almost laying a siege on the opposition goal at periods. The midfield has been crucial in playing this kind of game, as they have had to pass with precision while the opposition defenders man-marked the Indian players inside the circle.
The defence has also mostly looked solid, with the likes of Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, and Dipsan Tirkey. However, what has made India’s defence completely different under new coach Sjoerd Marijne, with the iconic Sardar Singh playing in the heart of the back line.
Sardar has been a revelation in defence, something that has helped India keep long bouts of possession in the opposition half. His passing ability has helped the other players play it back to him time and again, when they could not find the gaps in the defence. Essentially, Sardar has played as a point guard in basketball, while attacking, but dropped back in defence, during turnovers.
However, one thing that coach Marijne has still to work on, are India’s penalty corners. India have been wasteful with their penalty corners so far this tournament, and that is something that will not please any coach. In big games, like the one against Korea, the Indians will need to take all the chances that they get.
The Koreans, on the other hand, have not been as prolific as they were originally expected to be. Their defence, especially is a matter of concern, as they have shipped five goals in the three group stage matches. To make matters worse, they also suffered a loss at the hands of Malaysia, a match that they were expected to win.
However, the Super 4 stage offers both the sides a new dawn in the tournament, as they need to start from scratch, in order to gather the required number of points and make it to the top two, which would ensure a berth in the summit clash of the tournament.
The India vs South Korea match is set to get underway at 5pm, on Wednesday.
The match will be broadcasted live on Star Sports. You can also stream it live on Hotstar.com