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, in Ipoh on Sunday.
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.