Two wins out of three is a pretty decent return for India so far from the Rio 2016 Olympics, but the men's hockey team will the know the importance of making it three out of four when they face off against the mighty Netherlands in a Pool B match on Thursday.
India currently sit third in Pool B, with six points from three matches, one behind second-placed Holland and three adrift of top-of-the-table Germany â€“ to imagine, if India had not conceded that last minute goal to Germany, it would have been a three-way tie at the top.
To avoid running into a strong side in the first round of the knockouts, it is imperative for India to finish strong in Pool B, which is why a win is essential against the Dutch.
Coming off a 2-1 victory over Argentina, India's confidence, going into this match with the Netherlands, will be high, but confidence alone will not get them over the line against the European giants. India need to defend well, not allow the Netherlands to dictate terms and, crucially, not lose their concentration in the final moments of the match, particularly if the scoreline is close.
"We are only done with three matches and have two more to go," India captain PR Sreejesh told Hockey India's official website. "We need to play harder and better because it will determine whom we play against in the Quarter Finals. The higher we finish in the points table, the lesser ranked team will play with us from the other pool.
"If you see, the team has gradually improved from where we started. The opening match with Ireland was tough with a close win. But the second match against Germany was totally different. We had improved considerably from the first match though we did not score as many goals.
"In the third match, we scored and also played well in all the areas. I can see the consistency in the team and the way we are performing is instilling confidence in every player. If we keep up this momentum, then definitely I feel we can do wonders."
Wonders can wait till the knockout rounds. For now, India need to concentrate on getting the job done against the Netherlands, because the last thing Roelant Oltmans' men will want is to setup a quarterfinal clash with a team like Australia.
Where to Watch Live
India vs Netherlands is scheduled for a 10 a.m. local time (6.30 p.m. IST, 2 p.m. BST) start. Live TV listings and live streaming options are below.
Netherlands: TV: NOS.
UK and Ireland: TV: BBC. Live Streaming: BBCiPlayer.
Brazil: TV: SporTV, Globo, Fox Sports and ESPN.
Argentina: TV: ESPN and DirecTV. Live Streaming: ESPN Play Latin America.
Australia: TV: Channel 7, 7Two and 7Mate. Live Streaming: Channel 7 online.
Germany: TV: ARD and ZDF.
Belgium: TV: VRT-RTBF.