The Republic of Korea failed to capitalise on their positive start as they succumbed to a 36-20 defeat against India at the Al Wasl Sports Club in Dubai on Friday in the second semi-final clash. Captain Ajay Thakur and Girish Maruti Ernak again proved to be the pick of the lot, as they completed a Super 10 and High 5 respectively, to end Korea’s spirited resistance.
Korea started on the front foot by taking out Rishank Devadiga in India’s very first raid. In the fourth minute, Ajay opened India’s account from a do-or-die raid, but Jang Kun Lee came forward to pull a super raid and take a four-point lead for his country. However, by the end of the first quarter, India had ensured that the score remained level.
Once the initial jitters were done away with, India starting to display their A-game. Even though Kun Lee continued to trouble the defenders, by the 15th minute, Korea had been handed their first All-Out of the match. With another wave of do-or-die raids and tackles, India entered the breather with a five-point lead.
Ernak’s brilliant single-hand tackle started proceedings of the second half. By the 24th minute, India had handed Korea their second All-Out to take a 14-point lead. However, Korea wasn’t prepared to let the match slip away after a steady beginning and scored five back-to-back points to reduce the gap and take the scoreline to 28-17.
That didn’t deter the world champions, as they were back to their lethal best in the last quarter with Ernak picking up his High 5 and Thakur completing his Super 10 with minutes remaining on the clock. The match ended on India’s favour as the scoreline read 36-20.
India will now find themselves facing their old foes Iran in the all-important final to be held on Saturday with coverage to begin at 7:30PM IST.