Ahmedabad: Seven-time champions India failed to make a positive start to their campaign as they were stunned 32-34 by South Korea in the opening match of the Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad on Friday.
It was an extraordinary effort by Korea, who came back strongly at the death to clinch a thrilling win over favourites India.
India were in the lead for most of the contest but Korea managed to reduce India's lead to three points with little over three minutes on the clock at the fag end of the match.
Indian captain Anup Kumar said: "Our raiders weren't at their best today, we also made some mistakes at the end and that's why we lost. But nothing's lost yet. We will get back and correct our mistakes."
India were 18-13 ahead at the half time but Korea were giving them a real run for their money. Anup Kumar lead from the front and has been in top form but his fellow raiders Jasvir Singh and Rahul Chaudhari could not get going. Dharmaraj Cheralathan and Manjeet Chhillar had a good half.
In the second half, Korea reduced the deficit to just three points at 15-18 but two superb ankle holds from Manjeet put India 22-15 ahead. Not ready to give up, Koera, however, slowly and steadily made it 19-24 and then 26-29 before leveling at 31-31.
Deepak Hooda was then outnumbered by Korea, who went into the lead at 33-31, courtesy Super raid by Jang Kun Lee.