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China holds Korea to 1-1 draw in Champions Trophy

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Chennai: In a tightly contested match, China put on a resolute defensive display to earn their first point in the Asian Champions Trophy 2023 by holding Korea to a 1-1 draw at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium on Sunday.

China’s newfound defensive approach proved effective as they denied multiple scoring opportunities to the Korean side.

The tempo was set early in the first quarter when Korea dominated possession, but China remained composed with solid defensive tactics, deploying man-markers on key Korean players and cutting off their midfield outlets.

Korea’s attempts to break through the sturdy Chinese defense were met with strong resistance.

Korea finally found a breakthrough in the 18th minute from a penalty corner, with Jonghyun Jang’s well-executed drag flick sending the ball between China’s goalkeeper Caiyu Wang’s legs.

The majority of the stadium, which was filled with passionate Korean supporters, erupted in celebration.

Undeterred, China grew into the game in the third quarter and began to make attempts at circle penetration through the right flank. Their patience paid off in the 43rd minute when Dongquan Pan deflected a powerful slap shot into the circle, and Gao tapped it past the keeper to equalize the score.

Both teams intensified their efforts to secure a win in the final quarter. Korea won a penalty corner in the 54th minute, but China’s goalkeeper Wang once again proved to be formidable, denying their attempts to take the lead.

The match concluded with a thrilling display of skill and determination, but neither side could break the deadlock, ending the match in a well-fought 1-1 draw.

The Hero of the Match was Meng Lei (China, No 21) for his outstanding defensive performance and contributions to his team’s resolute display. The young player of the match was Liu Junjie (China, No 05), who showcased his potential on the field.

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