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South Korea rout Australia

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June 19, 2006 18:40 IST

South Korea turned in a superb performance to upset Olympic champions and holders Australia 3-0 in a crucial pool 'A' match of the 15th Sultan Azlan Shah eight-nation hockey tournament at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

The Koreans scored thrice in the first-half, with Jang Jon Hyun converting two penalty-corners, in the 17th and 23rd minutes, and Kang Seong Jung sweeping home a Seo Jeong Ho pass in the 19th.

In other matches of the day India beat Malaysia 5-2, while Pakistan edge past Holland 3-2.

The Aussies, who appeared rather overconfident at the start, paid dearly for complacency, and with three goals in arrears left themselves far too much to do in the second session against the determined Koreans, who were unrecognizable from the side that drew 2-2 with Malaysia less than 24 hours ago.

The difference between the teams was that the Koreans utilised the few scoring chances that came their way while the Aussies, who had beaten India 4-1 last night, wasted theirs.

Australia had a few opportunities, but Troy Elder found the crosspiece with a 35th minute penalty-corner and then skipper Brent Livermore hit wide from close with the goalkeeper out of position.

The Korean speed and running proved far too much for the Aussies, who were simply out of the game in the first-half.

The Aussies showed urgency in the second session, but the crafty Koreans, covering and marking well in the defence, repelled the attacks with aplomb.

An overjoyed Korean manager Choi Sung Jun, speaking on behalf of coach Cho Myung Jun, admitted that the 3-0 scoreline was a huge surprise.

"But all credit to our deep defenders who played extremely well and our penalty-corner specialist Jang Jong Hyun came good today. Overall, we are simply overjoyed at today's victory," said Choi.

The manager said that having played Australia on a regular basis, they knew their opponents well enough.

"We studied their tactics and it helped us to win today. Of course, we were a bit lucky that Australia missed a few chances, but to beat the world's best team so convincingly is very satisfying for us," Choi added.

Australian coach Barry Dancer slammed his wards for coming to the match with a "wrong attitude".

He admitted that his players were complacent today.

"We had beaten Korea and Malaysia in training matches and also India last night convincingly.

"Yes, our players were complacent, but full praise to the Korean defence that I think played exceptionally well today," Dancer said.

Pakistan edge past Holland

Playing against a rusty Dutch team, Pakistan sizzled with pace and precision to post a 3-2 win over the Europeans.

Consistent performer Rehan Butt drew first blood for the Pakistanis in the fifth minute while Imran Warsi (20th minute) and Shakeel Abbasi (24th) scored the other two goals.

Pakistan, whose sole intention was attack, however, conceded two goals in the process with the Dutch replies coming through Floris Evers (15th) and Roderick Weusthof (70th).

Holland could not hamper the scoreline any further, thanks to the outstanding saves by Pakistani goalkeeper Salman Akbar.

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