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Asian Champions Trophy: Harmanpreet hat-trick powers India to 4-1 win over South Korea

first_imgHarmanpreet Singh scored a hat-trick of penalty corner conversions to help India beat South Korea 4-1 in the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat on Wednesday.Courtesy of the loss, South Korea’s chances of making the semi-finals were dashed.Harmanpreet opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a drag-flick and then scored the last two goals in the last quarter (47th and 59th minute) to become the third player in the tournament to score a hat-trick. India’s Dilpreet Singh and Pakistan’s Aleem Bilal are the other players to have registered hat-tricks.Gurjant was the scorer of the other goal from India, when he made it 2-0 in the 10th minute when he picked up a through ball on top of the circle, turned around and sent a stinging shot into the boards.Lee Seung-Il brought Korea back into the game with an opportunist strike in the 20th minute.Lee picked a short pass inside the scoring zone and sent a rasping shot into the top left corner of the goal, but Korea could not deliver goal-bearing shots in some openings they created after half-time.However, after that, the Koreans had little to smile about as Harmanpreet’s double strike knocked them out of the tournament.India retain the top spot after an impressive 4-1 victory over Korea. Here’s a look at how the six teams stand following the matches on 24th October. #IndiaKaGame #HeroACT2018 pic.twitter.com/EPaBq7d06FHockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 25, 2018Harmanpreet’s return to goal-scoring action sealed the fate of the encounter.”I feel happy the way I am shooting the penalty corners. I just focused on a job and they goals came,” said Harmanpreet.advertisementAfter Korea’s loss in their last preliminary league outing, they are left on three points.The four semi-finalists have been decided, but the league standings will be finalized only after Malaysia, Pakistan and Japan play their last preliminary round matches on Thursday.India stayed on top of the standings with 13 points from five outings, followed by Malaysia on 10 points from four matches, Pakistan on seven points from four outings and Japan on four points in four games.Korea will play Oman Saturday in the play-off to decide the fifth and sixth positions.Hosts Oman, who are yet to earn a point from four fixtures, still have a game against Japan remaining.Even a victory over Asian Games gold medallists Japan, Oman cannot log more than three points.Indian coach Harendra Singh was all praise for Harmanpreet.”He is one of the best penalty flickers in the game,” the coach said.(With inputs from IANS)last_img read more