NEW DELHI (AFP) Former champions India and Pakistan stand in the way as South Korea defend their Asian Games field hockey title with a ticket to the London Olympics at stake. Under International Hockey Federation rules, the winner and possibly the losing finalist in the 10-nation competition will get a direct entry to the 2012 Games. The other teams will face a hazardous qualification system that saw eight-time Olympic champions India miss out on the 2008 Beijing Games for the first time. India failed to win a medal at the Doha Asiad four years ago when they drew with South Korea 1-1 in a league match they needed to win to advance to the semi-finals. The Koreans went on to take the gold medal with a 3-1 win over surprise finalists China, who knocked out Pakistan in the semi-finals. We cant afford another Doha, said Indian hockey official Narendra Batra. But our performance over the past year gives me hope that we will do well at the Asian Games. India, under Spanish coach Jose Brasa, have shown signs of a revival, securing second behind world champions Australia at the recent Commonwealth Games. India delighted home fans by beating Pakistan 4-1 at the World Cup in February-March and then engineered a 7-4 thrashing of their arch-rivals at the Commonwealth Games, both wins coming on home turf in New Delhi. But Indias most memorable win came in the Games semi-final against European champions England when they scored twice in the last 10 minutes to make it 3-3 before winning the penalty shoot-out. We were the best Asian team at the Games and want to build on that in China, said captain Rajpal Singh. The confidence-level of the team is high. Under-pressure Pakistan are desperate to win a medal in Guangzhou after finishing last at the World Cup and an embarrassing sixth at the Commonwealth Games. Pakistan, who won the last of their seven Asian Games gold medals in Beijing in 1990, have not bagged a major title since the World Cup triumph in Sydney in 1994. But Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Asif Bajwa was confident his team will shine in China under new Dutch coach Michel van den Heuvel. I am not too concerned about the recent setbacks, especially against India, said Bajwa. Our main target this year is the Asian Games because our journey back to the top will begin there. Pakistan have been drawn with India, Japan, Hong Kong and Bangladesh in Group B of the preliminary league with the top two teams advancing to the semi-finals. The other group comprises South Korea, China, Malaysia, Oman and Singapore. The India-Pakistan encounter on October 20 will be spiced up by reports that the Pakistanis complained they were heckled and abused by Indian fans at the Commonwealth Games, a charge the hosts denied. The Koreans go into the competition as the top side in the continent after adding the Asia Cup title last year to the Asian Games gold in Doha. The Koreans narrowly missed a semi-final spot at the World Cup when they were ousted by the Netherlands on goal difference despite beating the Dutch 2-1 in the last league match. The womens competition will feature defending champions China, runners-up Japan, bronze medallists India, South Korea, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Thailand.