2016 Kabaddi World Cup :: Republic of Korea stun hosts India in spectacular opener - News

Republic of Korea stun hosts India in spectacular opener

07 October 2016

India began their 2016 Kabaddi World Cup campaign in disappointing manner as they lost 32-34 to Republic of Korea. A hushed silence fell at The Arena as India crumbled under pressure in the last two minutes to lose their opening game of the tournament. Republic of Korea looked down and out in the second half but it was Jang Kun Lee who produced a terrific performance in the last two minutes to turn the game in his team’s favour. Anup Kumar scored eight points for India but it wasn’t enough for his team. 

It was a slow start by both teams as they exchanged empty raids in the first three minutes. Dharmaraj Cheralathan scored the first defence point for India in the 2nd minute while the Korean defence sent Rahul Chaudhari to the bench early on as the visitors led 3-2. Home captain Anup Kumar scored three points with a super raid in the sixth minute as India led 5-4. Republic of Korea forced a super tackle in the seventh minute to lead 7-6. Chaudhari scored his first raid point in the 10th minute as India inflicted an all-out to lead 12-9. Korean star man Jang Kun Lee was kept quiet by the Indian defence as he scored just one point in the first 10 minutes. 

Chaudhari scored two raid points in the 12th minute as India opened a five-point gap to lead 14-9. Jang Kun Lee had just one successful raid in the first half as the Korean raiders struggled to get points. Pardeep Narwal came on as a substitute in the 18th minute and scored with his first raid as India led 18-10. The visitors’ defence forced another super tackle in the 19th minute as they trailed 12-18. Dong Ju Hong, the Korean captain, scored a raid point in the 20th minute to close the gap to five points as they trailed 13-18 at the end of first half. 

Republic of Korea began the second half strongly as they scored two points in three minutes to trail 15-18. Manjeet Chhillar forced a super tackle in the 25th minute as India looked comfortable leading 21-15, followed by Pardeep Narwal taking the team to 23-15. With eight minutes to go, the Korean defence sent Narwal to the bench as they trailed 19-24. A superb raid by Dong Jeon Lee in the 35th minute turned the game on its head as India was reduced to just one man. Ajay Thakur scored two points and saved India from an all-out but they successfully inflicted an all-out soon after as the visitors lessened the deficit to 25-28. Jang Kun Lee then scored with a bonus point in the 37th minute. 

It was a tense last few minutes for the Indian team as Republic of Korea fought back on multiple occasions to reduce the deficit. Jang Kun Lee then produced a brilliant super raid in the penultimate minute as his team tied the game at 30-30. Anup Kumar scored with a raid in the last minute but Jang Kun Lee scored two more points to lead 32-31. Republic of Korea held their nerve in the dying seconds and scored a remarkable upset to win 34-32. 

India will next play Australia on Saturday and hope to get a win under their belt, while a buoyant Republic of Korea get a day’s rest before facing Argentina on Sunday.