A thumping win and a tepid draw will be followed by the marquee game of the Asian Champions Trophy for India, as PR Sreejesh's men face off against their biggest rivals Pakistan. Win the tournament or not, that will matter little if India don't find a way to beat Pakistan.
The rivalry is spicy enough anyways, but owing to the recent increase in tensions between the two countries, this match will have extra spice added on top of an already hot main course, and the team that can handle that heat and come out at the end of it cool, calm and collected will end up on the winning side.
India began their Asian Champions Trophy in tremendous fashion, spanking Japan for 10 goals, with Rupinder Pal Singh scoring six of his own.
Rupinder and the rest of India, though, could not find their attacking range in their second match, with South Korea holding them to a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Indeed, had it not been for a third quarter equaliser from Lalit Upadhyay, India might not have even been able to pick up a single point, so there is a lot of improvements that need to be made if they are to top Pakistan.
There were plenty of circle penetrations from India in the South Korea match and quite a few shots on target, over ten, but for the most part, India were not impressive or consistent enough, with their defence, at times, looking pretty shaky a well. Coming off a big victory like the one against Japan, you would have expected India to carry that momentum forward, but it was almost as if they had half their minds already trained on the big Pakistan match.
Well, now India will have to focus completely on the big encounter and they will know Pakistan will give them their toughest challenge yet. India's neighbours have won one and lost one so far, making this an important match for them.
After beginning the Asian Champions Trophy with a loss to Malaysia, Pakistan bounced back by beating South Korea, so that bit of winning momentum will be on their side when they lineup against India.
India, though, are the better ranked side and if they can maintain a high level of hockey through the entire match, they should be able to trip up their arch-rivals.
Asian Champions Trophy 2016 schedule: India vs Pakistan.
Date: Sunday, October 23.
Time: 4pm IST, 3.30pm PKT, 6.30pm local time, 11.30am BST, 6.30am ET.
Venue: Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan, Malaysia.
TV guide: India: Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD4. Pakistan: PTV. South East Asia: Fox Sports. Middle East: OSN Sports. UK: BT Sport ESPN.