LAHORE - Korean hockey team have edge over Pakistan team as they have good statistical record against three-time Champions Pakistan in the Hockey Asia Cup and now both the teams are set to take on each other in the semi-finals at Ipoh (Malaysia) today (Friday).

Out of six meetings between the two leading Asian teams, Korea won three matches while Pakistan emerged as a winner on two occasions and one match ended in a draw. Pakistan thrashed Korea 7-0 in their opening clash of the 2nd Asia Cup held at National Stadium, Dhaka (Bangladesh) in 1985. According to statistical record, both the teams played 3-3 in the 3rd Asia Cup 1989 in New Delhi, India.

In the 4th Asia Cup 1989 in Hiroshima (Japan), Korea hammered Pakistan 4-0 in the semi-finals. Fifth Asia Cup 1999 in Kuala Lumpur, Pakistan defeated Korea 1-0 in the league rounds. But Korean took revenge 5-4 in the final to win their maiden crown. At Malaysian city of Kuantan, Korea beat Pakistan by solitary goal in the 8th Asia Cup to win their second title. In those matches, Pakistan have scored 14 to Korea's 13 goals.

Pakistan is now in dire need of victory against South Koreans, who have already qualified for the Hockey World Cup 2014 to be held in The Hague, Netherlands from May 31 to June 15, 2014. If Pakistan wins against the Koreans, they will enter the finals where they are likely to face their arch-rivals India. Both the neighbouring countries are hungry for success and want to qualify for the World Cup as both the teams have record that they always qualified for the World Cup but this time, only one of them will get a chance to get berth in the mega hockey event.

Most of the Pakistan hockey legends are declaring Pakistan team as favourites to win the semi-final and hoping a titans clash between the two arch-rivals in the Hockey Asia Cup final. Now it is up to green shirts how better they perform to give nation a gift in form of qualifying for the Hockey World Cup 2014 as the prayers of the entire nation are with them.

Brimming with confidence after three consecutive wins, India will have to guard against complacency when they take on hosts Malaysia, a side which is capable of springing up surprises in the second semifinal. Unlike their opponents, the Indians will be high on confidence after securing their semifinal berth with an unbeaten record. The Sardar Singh-led side spanked debutants Oman 8-0, followed by wins over defending champions South Korea (2-0) and Bangaldesh (9-1) to top Pool B.

Malaysia, on the other hand, finished second in Pool A after they won against Chinese Taipei and Japan but lost to Pakistan in their Pool A engagements. Fully aware that two more wins here would ensure their ticket for next year's World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands, the 11th ranked Indians cannot afford to relax in the business end of the eight-nation tournament, and especially against an unpredictable side like Malaysia. India, who never missed out on a World Cup berth since the tournament's introduction in 1971, will like to avoid the repeat of yet another debacle after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the Indian team had failed to qualify for the first time in the history of the game.

Having played Malaysia on numerous occasions, the Indians, who start as favourites, know very well that the hosts on their given day can upset top teams of the world. Another factor which will work against India in the semifinal is home support. Come tomorrow the Malaysians would be backed by a vociferous home crowd, a fact which India captain Sardar Singh admitted.

"It is a very crucial match for us in the recent times. Malaysia is tough opponent. You cannot predict them. We will have to play against the entire stadium tomorrow as they will have home support behind them," Sardar told PTI ahead of the semifinal encounter. "But we are completely focussed on our job. We know we have to win and we are confident of pulling it across," he said.