Ordos: Asian Games champions Pakistan pipped South Korea 3-2 and will now clash with India in order to clinch a place in the summit clash of the Asian Champions Trophy.
Pakistan are on top of the table with nine points followed by India with eight. Japan are third on seven points with Korea stationed fourth having six in their kitty. That puts four teams with a possibility of entering the final.
India`s match with Pakistan on Friday becomes a virtual semi-final as Michael Nobbs` men need to beat them in order to enter the final.
India can afford a draw provided Malaysia beat Japan. India could then sneak into the final on a better goal average that too if Korea beat China, the lowest ranked team in the tournament.
Goal averages would also count for Pakistan and Korea if India beat Pakistan. The safest bet for India, however, would be to beat Pakistan.
In another match, Japan beat China 3-2. China took the lead in the 27th minute Song Yi converted a field attempt. Japan fought back with an equalizer on the break when Kazuyuki Ozawa scored from the top of the circle.
Japan added another two after the break in the 45th and 53rd minute. They took the lead through a penalty corner conversion by Shinji Kawauchi and a field attempt for the third goal by Tanaka Kenta.
Pakistan battled hard for their victory knowing that a win over Korea strengthened their chances of a place in the Champions final.