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India eye Asia Cup win for direct World Cup ticket

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Sat, Aug 31, 2013 06:00 hrs
​hockey

Ipoh (Malaysia): Their World Cup berth all but secured, a confident India would look to book a direct ticket to next year's mega-event by winning the ongoing ninth Asia Cup hockey tournament when they clash with defending champions South Korea, here tomorrow.

Both India and Malaysia have virtually qualified for the World Cup to be held at The Hague, Netherlands after South Korea shut the door on Pakistan with a narrow 2-1 win in the first semifinal.

Pakistan, record four time World Cup champions, will be missing the show-piece event for the first time since the inception of the tournament in 1971.

Korea having already qualified for the World Cup, Pakistan's passage to the quadrennial event was possible by winning the Asia Cup.

But their defeat has opened the door for India and Malaysia who will now just have to wait for the official confirmation from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) after the conclusion of the Oceania Cup in November.

But the Sardar Singh-led Indian side will be in no mood to wait till November and would be desperate to secure their direct ticket to Hague with a win over South Korea tomorrow.

Having finished a lowly a seventh in the last edition of the tournament in 2009, redemption will also be in the minds of the Indians when they take on Korea tomorrow.

Two-time champions India last won the Asia Cup in 2007 on home soil when Southern city of Chennai hosted the event.

And having defeated Korea 2-0 in the pool stages, the Indians would be brimming with confidence ahead of the summit clash.

India, who has so far looked the best side in the tournament, are unbeaten going into the final and they would look to keep their record intact tomorrow.




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