A perfect opening win in the bag, India will now target another comprehensive result when they play South Korea in their second match of the Asian Champions Trophy. In what will be the hors d'oeuvre to the massive India vs Pakistan match on Sunday, this game will be important for the team in blue in order to maintain the momentum and confidence going into that massive contest.
As long as India keep the same intensity from the Japan match, which they won 10-2, a win should come their way, considering they are the higher ranked team – India are sixth in the world while South Korea are ranked 11th – and have the firepower, both in open play and in penalty corners, to put South Korea to the sword.
Rupinder Pal Singh was the main man for India in that win over Japan, with the drag-flicker scoring six goals. The defender's penalty corner skills could come in handy again, against South Korea.
What India coach Roelant Oltmans needs to make sure is that his players are focussed on this match and this match alone. It is easy for the India squad to already be looking ahead to the Pakistan game, but if they do that, there is a good chance that Korea could take advantage and with it deflate the Indians' confidence.
So, keeping their eye on this match will be key, and if they manage to play to their optimum levels, they should have enough in them to top the Koreans. South Korea will hope India's attention is already on that Pakistan match, because that will give them a real opportunity of picking up a win on Saturday.
Playing two matches in two days, especially when one of them is against arch-rivals Pakistan, is not ideal for India, but the schedule is what it is and it will be up to the players to ensure they expend as little energy as possible on Saturday while ensuring the result is not affected – easier said than done.
Where to Watch Live
The ACT match is scheduled for a 4pm IST (6.30pm local time, 7.30pm SKT, 11.30am BST) start. Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD4 will show the match live in India. Online live streaming option is on Hotstar.