Chennai:Defending champion India rallied twice to defeat South Korea 3-2 in the men's field hockey Asia Cup on Monday.
Winning three successive matches, India has placed one foot inside the semifinals. Its remaining Pool B games are against rank outsiders Bangladesh and Thailand.
Asian Games gold medalist South Korea, Asia's highest placed team in world rankings, must ward off a challenge from China on Wednesday to secure its passage into the next round.
China and South Korea have six points each from three matches. Both lost their games against India.
South Korea first breached the Indian defense in the ninth minute with a rasping penalty corner shot from Jang Jong-hyun, but India soon drew level as striker Shivender Singh deflected in a cross from the left flank.
Kang Seong-jung's opportunistic flash strike against put the Koreans ahead midway in the first session only to see the home team restore parity through Ignace Tirkey's field goal.
Prabhjot Singh scored India's match winner just before halftime when he picked up a diagonal pass from right and sent a stinging reverse drive past the goalkeeper.
Asian Games silver medalist China hammered Thailand 13-0 and Bangladesh overcame Sri Lanka 3-2 in other Pool B fixtures Monday.
China's goal spree featured six foals from skipper Hu Huiren, five of them through penalty corner conversions.
Japan consolidated its position in Pool A, logging six points from two matches after captain Yamabori Takahiko's six-goal burst clinched it a 7-1 victory over Hong Kong.
Japan and Malaysia are tied at the top of Pool A standings with six points each from two outings.
Pakistan recovered from Saturday's defeat by Japan to outplay Singapore 8-0 and bounce back into semifinal contention.
Abbas Haidar and Rehan Butt contributed two goals apiece to the Pakistan tally.