In Ipoh (Malaysia) on Tuesday, Pakistan crushed Chinese Taipei 13-0 and Malaysia downed Japan 4-2 to enter the Asia Cup hockey semifinals from group B. The semis will be played on Friday.
India play Bangladesh on Wednesday and Korea take on Oman in the last set of league matches in group A. India are unbeaten in two games while Korea are second in the pool with a win and a loss. If India win against Bangladesh, they will top their group and play Malaysia, the No. 2 team in group A.
Hockey superpowers India and Pakistan have put up their strongest showings so far. The winner of the tournament qualifies directly for the World Cup, to be played in The Hague next year in June. Korea have already qualified for the world championship.
Pool B has been dominated by Pakistan, who breezed through to the semi-finals conceding only a single goal against while scoring 24. A 7-0 win against Japan on the opening day was followed by a more difficult 4-1 success against Malaysia before the Greenshirts wrapped up their pool stage play with a hefty 13-0 defeat of Chinese Taipei.
After an 8-0 win against Oman on the opening day and a world ranking-defying 2-0 victory against Korea, India face Bangladesh in their last pool stage clash. The second Pool B semi-finalist will be decided when Oman take on Korea, who need a draw while Oman have to win.