Incheon :  India bidding to regain the men’s hockey gold after 16 years and gain a direct entry into the 2016 Rio Olympics, are bracing up for their toughest task as they face arch-foes Pakistan in a high-octane clash today.

The crunch match between two-time winners India and eight-time gold medallists Pakistan, who are the title holders in Pool A, is the highlight of the league phase of the tournament and the team that plays well under severe pressure should win. Both India and Pakistan have scored two victories apiece though the latter have scored an extra goal to stand atop the pool standings.

India opened their tournament with a thumping 8-0 win over Sri Lanka, a team that was competing at the Asian Games after the 1982 New Delhi edition, and followed it up with another heavy 7-0 victory over minnows Oman.

Indian coach M K Kaushik said that the team is very confident ahead of its high-profile match against Pakistan. “The team is very confident but any match against Pakistan is always a big contest. Everything has gone well so far.

“The team has made progress from the CWG. We will treat it as just another match and not put pressure on ourselves.”—PTI

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