India warmed up for their Asian Games field hockey clash against arch-rivals Pakistan by thrashing Oman 7-0 on Tuesday as South Korea nudged ahead of Japan in the race for the semi-finals. (Day 4 Blog | Medal Tally)
India, seeking their first Asiad gold medal since 1998, converted five penalty corners and a penalty stroke in the one-sided pool B game, but several scoring opportunities were wasted.
India and Pakistan face-off on Thursday in the competition's marquee match that could determine the pool leader. Both teams have won their first two games in the 10-nation tournament. (Shooter Bindra Finishes Asian Games Career With Bronze)
India beat Sri Lanka 8-0 in their opener, while Pakistan showed their prowess with a 2-0 win over China and a 14-0 rout of Sri Lanka.
"There is always room for improvement, but we will be well-prepared for Pakistan," said India's Australian coach Terry Walsh. "I am confident we will do well."
Two teams from each pool qualify for the semi-finals. (Also Read: Ghosal Settles for Squash Silver)
Hosts South Korea, the highest ranked Asian team at number eight and four-time champions, took a step towards the last four from pool A with a 4-0 demolition of Japan. (India Win Two Bronze in Wushu)
Veteran Jang Jong-Hyun scored off a penalty corner and a penalty stroke as the Koreans swept past the lacklustre Japanese with two goals each in the first and third quarters.
South Korea beat Singapore 12-0 in the first game, to join Malaysia at the top of the pool with six points each.
Japan, left with one win from two games, must defeat Singapore and Malaysia in their remaining matches to stay in the hunt for a semi-final berth.
In other matches, Bangladesh beat Singapore 2-1 in pool A and China blanked Sri Lanka 6-0 in pool B.