Former champions South Korea were restricted to a five-goal margin victory by Asian Games debutants Indonesia at the GBK Hockey Stadium.
The Koreans are playing their first match in the tournament and are the top-seeded team in group B. The Koreans are five-time winners of the gold medal. They are expected to make the final yet again. Their success came in 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2014.
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But today against a vastly inferior team they looked jaded. It was not due to a lack of chances. They had 17 penalty corners and scored only three. They scored two field goals from 19 shots at goal. It was certainly not a good statistic but the Koreans coach Huh Sang-young was not overly perturbed over the scoring rate.
“We played as well as we could for today. It is the first match and I only can see them getting better. The fact remains that they had a lot of scoring chances and we need to sharper with our finishing,” he said.
The Indonesian are only playing in their first-ever Asian Games. They restricted the Koreans to just three goals in the first three quarters. They defended in numbers and gave little away in terms of mistakes. Indonesian coach Yannuar Pribadi said he was proud of his players as did not show any nervousness playing against a top side.
“The standard between the two sides are huge and we knew it will be a tough match. But my players did well and restricted the scoreline. We lost heavily to India but today there was more composure and players fought hard. It was a good effort form a team that is not ranked in the FIH list,” he said.
The scored the opening goal in the seventh minute through Kim Bomi off a field attempt.
Cho Eunji then added the second from a penalty corner set-piece move in the 16th minute. In the 21st minute from another penalty corner, the Koreans increase the lead through Cheon Seulki.
The third quarter saw the Koreans mounting attack after attack, but the Indonesians held fast to their ground. Indonesian goalkeeper Selby Amalia Florentina must be given credit for her efforts in keeping the ball out. She is 25 years of age and is playing in her 11th international cap. Lee Yurim and Lee Youngsil added the final two goals in the 52nd and 56th minutes respectively.
The Koreans will next play Thailand after day’s break while the Indonesians play the Thais on Saturday.