Even a draw would help Korea advance to the next round

The knockouts start a bit early for India. With three points from the victory over Canada, the host needs to put it past Korea in its last Pool ‘C’ match on Tuesday to enter the quarterfinals of the Junior World Cup hockey tournament here. Korea has three points too and will advance to the next round even if it pulls off a draw against India because of a better goal difference.

Supported by history, India is upbeat. According to statistician B.G. Joshi, India defeated Korea 3-1 in its only meeting in the Junior Worlds so far.

The memory of thrashing the Koreans 6-1 in the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia less than three months ago is still fresh for the home side and will give it a psychological edge.

Coach Gregg Clark has a word of caution though. “We won that game comfortably. But this is a World Cup, not just any six-nation tournament around the world.”

The home team needs to tighten several loose ends. Getting rid of glaring weaknesses – and spoiling scoring opportunities – will help the team immensely.

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