Asian Games gold medal winner and defending World Cup winner, Indian men’s kabaddi team got shell-shocked when Iran defeated them by 27-17 in the semi-finals of Asian Games 2018.
India, who lost to the South Korea in the group stage by a margin of 1 point and therefore had to settle with the 2nd place in the group. They lost the semis too against Iran’s best defense and settled with a bronze medal only.
Seven-time gold medalist, India had a good start to the match but the Iranians came back strongly to tie the scores by 9-9 during the half time.
After the half-time, the Indian raiders tried to gain advantage but the Iran’s defense, along with their raider, was extraordinary. They did not allow Indian players to play freely and prevented them from taking the lead. They had more then five super tackles which just showed the story of the whole match and sealed a spot in the gold medal match, where they will take on Korea.
In the group match against Korea, India had the opportunity to win or at least draw the game in the last raid of the match. Captain Ajay Thakur took the responsibility of the raid, but the Korean defender dashed him out after he took the bonus point. Hence, both teams got 1 point each and Korea, therefore, was able to pull off the shocker.
If India would have defeated them or tied the match against Korea, they would have played Pakistan in the semis, an easier opponents compared to mighty Iranians.
However, there was some good news from the women’s section as Indian women’s kabaddi team entered its third successive final at the Asian Games with a dominating win over Chinese Taipei.
The Indian team, which won the gold medal in the last two editions of the Asian Games, continued its impressive run by defeating Chinese Taipei 27-14 in the last-four contest.
The Indian women’s team – a three-time World Cup champion (2012, 2013 and 2014) – will face Iran, who defeated Thailand in the other semis of the Asian Games 2018.