India vs Pakistan, another battle, another heart-stopping, cannot-take-your-eyes-off-it, pulse-pounding encounter awaits when the two rivals clash in the semifinals of the Champions Trophy 2014 hockey tournament in Bhubaneswar.
India did not have the greatest of times in the group stages, even if they did come away with a massive victory over the Netherlands in their final game, and neither did Pakistan, but both teams have shown plenty of quality and nous when it has come to the win-it-or-you're-out-the-reckoning-for-the-title stages, sending the European sides Belgium and Holland packing.
The home team were staring down the barrel after going down by two goals to Belgium in their quarterfinal match on Thursday, but this India side is a different beast, and they did not panic, went on doing what they do best, and eventually found a way through, once, twice, and another couple more times to prevail 4-2 in handsome fashion.
"I am delighted with the way the team came back and took the lead in the game," said Sardar Singh to hockey India's official website after the win in the quarters. "Belgium is one of the toughest teams to beat and sticking to our plan and the guidance from [coach] Roelant Oltmans really helped in this game.
"It is a good morale boost for the whole team as we enter the semifinals but we will not be taking things lightly."
Of course, it is not possible to take things lightly considering that Pakistan are the opponents in the semifinal, because no matter what the situation, what the context, an India vs Pakistan matchup is always important – the be all and end all.
"The semifinal match with Pakistan is going to be very interesting," said India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who was the hero when India last beat Pakistan in the final of the Asian Games.
"We are still good in defence and penalty corners and our strategy will not be different from before.
"Pakistan are also playing well and they are also skilful. The India-Pakistan match is similar like other matches but the emotional factor is going to be so much more different. The team is set and ready for the match and our focus is to win the semifinal match."
While India picked up a nice little win over Belgium, Pakistan's was equally if not more impressive, with the men in green knocking out the Netherlands 4-2.
"India vs Pakistan in the semifinal is nothing less than the final for us as it has been very long since these two teams met in an international tournament like this one," Pakistan captain Muhammad Imran said. "A tough fight is witnessed whenever these two teams have met in the past and this semifinal will prove to be a terrific one.
"We have done our homework for this match and we are looking forward to the high-intense semifinal clash."
The other semifinal will also be an exciting one between defending champions Australia and European powerhouses Germany.
Australia eased past Argentina in the quarterfinals, while Germany showed their defensive resolve and tactical awareness to quell the England surge. Any team could win this particular match, even if Australia will probably go in as the slight favourites, what with them being the champs.
Belgium vs Netherlands and England vs Argentina will be played earlier to decide the standings, before the two semifinals take centre-stage.
Schedule:Belgium vs Netherlands (11.30 am IST, 6 am GMT).
England vs Argentina (1.45 pm IST, 8.15 am GMT).
Semifinals:Germany vs Australia (5.15 pm IST, 11.45 am GMT).
India vs Pakistan (7.30 pm IST, 2 pm GMT).
Where to Watch Live
The India vs Pakistan semifinal and the other matches of the Champions Trophy 2014 hockey will be shown live in India on Ten Sports. Viewers can also watch all the games via free live streaming online on Ten Sports Live.
Viewers across the world can also ensure they do not miss out on the action with a live stream option on the official Youtube channel of FIH.