Akashdeep Singh India
Akashdeep Singh fired India into the gold medal match of the Asian Games 2014Hockey India

It doesn't come much better than a between-the-legs no-look winner into the top corner to send your team into the final of the Asian Games 2014 hockey tournament. The man to provide that moment of magic was Akashdeep Singh, who scored a goal for the ages to give India a fighting 1-0 win over South Korea in the semifinals.

The last-four encounter was almost an attack vs defence drill for the majority of the match, with India looking to penetrate a red Korean wall that stuck to their plan of keeping it as tight as possible at the back pretty well.

For nearly three quarters, India were left a frustrated bunch as the South Korea fort held on, and that too, a little too comfortably for the team in blue's liking.

India, for all their possession, created only a few opportunities in the first 40-odd minutes, with penalty corners also very much at a premium.

When the penalty corner did come, in the second quarter, VR Raghunath could not find a way past South Korea goalkeeper Lee Myung-ho, who was in inspired form for the home side, batting the ball away like it was an annoying little fly.

Much of India's play came down the right, particularly in the crucial third quarter when India finally broke through. SV Sunil came close to creating the first goal down the right, playing in a nice cross, which wobbled inside the South Korean team's circle, before Myung-ho came to the rescue again, swatting away the ball just ahead of the waiting India attacker.

India kept pressing and probing, looking to keep possession and trying to maintain as much patience as possible against this well-drilled South Korea defensive unit, and, ironically, their best chance – before the goal that is -- came via a counter-attack, when India pounced on a loose ball in their own half and sprung forward.

The ball eventually found Gurwinder Singh Chandi, who slalomed his way past a couple of Korean defenders and into the circle, before seeing his cross across goal evade his teammates.

India would be rewarded for their relentless pressure, though, with just over a minute left in the third quarter and the goal was well worth the wait.

Akashdeep was given the ball inside the penalty area, and the India forward, with his back to goal, manufactured a brilliant strike through his legs and into the top corner with Myung-Ho, in terrific form, a mere spectator.

South Korea, needing at least a goal to stay alive, were now forced to go on the attack, leaving holes in their defence, which India, with their pacey forwardline, could exploit. However, despite creating a few openings, India's final ball or that final dribble to get away the shot was lacking, which in turn kept South Korea in the game.

The home team threw the kitchen sink at India in the final couple of minutes, and in the process won their first penalty corner of the match. However, India, with that beautiful goal, would not be denied as they moved ever closer to winning their first Asian Games men's hockey gold medal in 16 years.

Pakistan now lie in wait after India's rivals fashioned a victory over Malaysia in the other semifinal via a shootout, following a 0-0 draw in regulation time.

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