By Ajitpal Singh
KIM Byung Hoon's trademark penalty corner flick help South Korea edge Pakistan 1-0 to win the 8th AirAsia Men's Asia Cup and also claiming the automatic berth to next year's World Cup.
It is their third Asia Cup title after having won it in 1993 (Hiroshima) and 1999 (Kuala Lumpr).
Korea coach Cho Myung Jun took a risk by not naming four key players including main flicker Jang Jong Hyun for the tournament.
Despite their absence, the Koreans, the World No 5, were a class above the other teams.
"We had a good tournament here. Overall, our tactical edge have us the advantage against the other teams. We are happy to earn the World Cup,"said Myung Jun yesterday.
Pakistan earned back-to-back penalty corners in the opening minutes but flicker Sohail Abbas failed to make both count.
Korea goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho denied Pakistan two golden opportunities from Muhd Tariq and Rehan Butt in the23rd and 35th minutes, respectively.
As for Korea, they hardly penetrated into Pakistan's semi-circle in the first half.
However, the Koreans started second half furiously and attacked relentlessly at the Pakistan goal. They earned two penalty corners but both attempts by Kim Byung Hoon failed to find the needed goal. Byung Hoon eventually scored the winner in the 66th minute.