Aug 23, 2008 at 02:59pm IST

South Korea defeat Hungary, win women's handball bronze

Beijing: Two-times Olympic champions South Korea staged a late surge to defeat Hungary 33-28 and claim the women's handball bronze medal on Saturday.

The Koreans came from behind to grind out victory against a dogged Hungarian outfit, posting a win that will ease their pain over missing out on the gold medal decider due to a controversial last-gasp goal from Norway.

Left back Moon Pilhee scored a game-high 10 goals to bolster her team's cause, while right back Hong Jeongho chipped in eight.

IN HIGH SPIRITS: South Korean players throw their coach Lim Young-chul in the air after their women's handball bronze medal win against Hungary.

Hungary made a positive start and led 6-2 in the early stages but the Koreans fought back and were ahead 7-6 after 10 minutes, helped by a hat-trick from Moon.

Former world handballer of the year Anita Gorbicza made her presence felt with a deft underarm shot from that flummoxed Korean goalkeeper Lee Minhee as Hungary again edged ahead, with the scores 15-13.

The teams remained evenly matched, the Koreans using speed and neat passing and the Hungarians relying on their height to shoot over the top of their opponents.

Korea levelled at 15-15 when Park Chunghee whipped a shot into the corner but Hungary immediately hit back, a pattern that was repeated four times until Korea regained the lead at 19-18.

The tit-for-tat goals continued until the final five minutes, when Korean left wing An Junghwa was fouled as she shaped up to shoot and the subsequent penalty gave the Asian team a two-goal buffer.

Another five unanswered goals put Korea ahead 33-27 going into the final minutes and Hungary had no time to make up the deficit.

The gold medal match between Norway and Russia will be played later on Saturday.