Koreans lift maiden title of London Cup-Match Analysis
Nam Yong Lee scored a hat-trick and had an assist, as the Asian giant, South Korea, edged past New Zealand by 4-3 and lifted the maiden title of the London Cup that was played at the University of Westminster Sports Ground in Chiswick, London on July 17,
It was a best show in the crowd-packed arena, where Korea and Black Sticks battled each other in a rain-drenched seventy-minute action. Korea availed most of the scoring chances in order to keep New Zealand under pressure throughout the two halves.
New Zealand’s Coach, Shane McLeod, speaking to the media after the match said that they had gained plenty of new experiences in the four-nation tournament. He further stated that they displayed a well-organised and wonderful hockey in all the games. He added,
“In a final however, there are critical moments when you are under pressure and the team that is the most clinical in the circle and makes the most of their opportunities is going to win the game.”
At the same time, Black Sticks' skipper, Phil Burrows, was of the opinion that they had made an impressive comeback, but they failed to create extra-chance in the concluding minutes. He stated, “We had some great chances, perhaps just one extra pass and
we would have found the goal. We did well to get back to 3-3, but we got caught out with Lee coming onto the pitch after a green card, so we have to be much more aware of things like that.”
Korea and New Zealand landed on the field with a mission to lift the title of the London Cup. Though the Black Sticks have had edge of their previous victory over Korea by 2-0 in the round match, they failed to hold the Asian giants in the title-clash.
The Black Sticks commenced the crucial game quite vividly and carried out back-to-back attacks against Korea which served them in the very early minutes. With seven minutes into the first half, Simon Child received a pass and tapped it at the roof of the
cage. The Black Sticks received three penalty-corners, but to no avail.
The Koreans also led some counter-attacks which paid them off in the later time. Nam Yong Lee came into action in the 22nd minute and scored his first goal of the day from the field effort. Suk Hoon Cho added a goal in the very next minute and
expanded the advantage up to two. It was the complete action from the two squads in the first half of play with Black Sticks trailing by a single goal, 2-1.
The Black Sticks missed a couple of penalty-corners in the first thirty-five minutes of play, while the opponent players from Korea failed to convert three chances.
In the second half, both the teams played aggressively and exchanged two goals in the period. The Koreas displayed an impressive defence in the wanning minutes of the game and denied several attacks from the Black Sticks.
Nam Yong Lee scored two goals in the 48th and 65th minutes for Korea, while Stephen Jenness and Shea McAleese accounted for one goal each for the Black Sticks. As the time finished, Korea won the game as well as the first title of the