A relatively young Indian hockey team will have to play out of their skin and avoid silly errors against a formidable South Korea on Tuesday if they desire to keep their unbeaten run intact at the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy.
Having started the tournament on a high with a 5-0 pounding of hosts China, India suffered a setback of sorts when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Japan, largely due to a lapse in concentration from the defensive line which led to a last-minute equaliser.
But against the nimble-footed Koreans the Indians cannot afford to relax at any moment as a defeat at this stage of the tournament can jeopardise their chances of a podium finish.
Unlike hosts China and Japan, the Indians are also aware that the Koreans are a much superior opposition side in terms of fitness as well as experience.
India would be eyeing an outright win as a defeat or another draw can make life difficult for the Rajpal Singh-led side ahead of tough fixtures against Guangzhou Asian Games gold-medallist champions Pakistan and runners-up Malaysia.