Dubai: India overcame a slow start to beat Republic of Korea 36-20 in the semi-final of Kabaddi Masters here on Friday. Captain Ajay Thakur led from the front and Girish Ernak was a rock at the back for India as they sealed their place in the final.
India will now play Iran in the final on Saturday. Jang Kun Lee put up a spirited performance for Republic of Korea but didn't get enough support from his teammates. It was a sluggish start from India but after the first 10 minutes they asserted their supremacy on the match.
Jang Kun Lee opened Republic of Korea's account in the first minute with a successful raid. Skipper Ajay Thakur got India's first point in the third minute. India leveled the match at 2-2 in the fourth minute with their first tackle point of the night. Republic of Korea got their first tackle point in the sixth minute. Jang Kun Lee produced a super raid in the 8th minute to give Republic of Korea 7-3 lead.
Pardeep Narwal scored his first raid point as India trailed 4-7 after nine minutes. Ajay Thakur came up with a two-point raid in the next minute as India cut the deficit to just one point.
Monu Goyat scored a raid point in the 14th minute as India led for the first time in the match.
There was no looking back from India from the 15th minute as they inflicted the first all out of the match to lead 13-8. Monu Goyat scored another raid point for India in the 18th minute to give them 15-9 lead.
Indian led 16-9 at the end of the first half.India started the second half strongly as their defence led by Girish Ernak was in fine form. An all out was inflicted in the 24th minute as India led 25-11. Rishank Devadiga made a two-point raid to give India 26-11 lead.
Ajay Thakur scored a raid point to give India 30-17 lead. India never allowed to make a comeback as they showed their superiority. In the last five minutes, India took their foot off the pedal but ran out comfortable winners with the score 36-20 in their favour.(UNI)