Prodigal India missed chances galore, got a goal overturned at the fag end before going down by a solitary first half penalty corner goal against 2006 silver medallists South Korea in the Asian Games women's hockey competition, here today.
India, who went into the match with a victory over Malaysia and a defeat against Japan under their belt, dominated the entire second half after conceding an early goal to the Koreans but failure to apply the finishing touch, which cost them the match and precious points.
To their chagrin, the Indian women also saw their last-gasp goal from captain Surinder Kaur being overturned by umpire Moyano Sanchez of Argentina, who first signalled a goal, but conferred with other umpire Chen Hong of China after the Koreans protested and then overturned her own verdict. The defeat, eighth against the Koreans since women's hockey made its Asian Games debut in 1982, has virtually ended India's hopes of a gold or a silver medal.
But the Indian women, who lost 3-5 to the Koreans when they met previously in the Asian Champions Challenge in the latter's backyard, remain in the hunt for the bronze if they finish the round-robin league third or fourth as there is a play-off for the medal between the 3rd and 4th league finishers.
India, who have lost 22 matches out of 35 played against their East Asian rivals going into today's tie, pressed hard for the equaliser and were all over the Korean area towards the fag end of the match, in which the only goal was scored by Kim Jonghee with a penalty corner conversion.
The Indians were at the receiving end of the Korean attack in the first ten minutes before Joydeep and Kirandeep Kaur combined beautifully to tear apart the rival defence only to falter at the all-important end.