India scored a minute from the hooter to beat Pakistan 2-1 in their concluding league match in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Thursday.
Sunil Sowmarpet scored the all-important goal in the 69th minute to keep the team in the hunt for third place.
The victory took the former champions' points tally to nine from six outings, while Pakistan have just three from five outings.
Earlier, Great Britain rallied to hold South Korea 1-1. The draw affected favourites Great Britain's chances of making it to the final. They have eight points from five games, while South Korea have five from as many matches.
New Zealand entered the final of the tournament for the first time after defeating hosts Malaysia 4-1. They lead the league table with 12 points from five matches.
Their opponents in the final will be known only on Friday after Argentina and Great Britain play their last matches of the round-robin league. Argentina currently have nine points from five matches, while Britain are on eight points from five games.
Yoon Sung Hoon put the Koreans ahead in the 22nd minute while Jonty Clarke restored parity in the 50th.
The India - Pakistan match was a rousing affair, with the former calling the shots for a major part only to be done in by poor finishing.
Sandeep Singh enabled the Indians go into the breather a goal up by scoring in the 31st minute from a penalty-corner.
Pakistan's old warhorse and penalty-cormer ace Sohail Abbas drew level in the 61st minute.
India, out of the reckoning after losing to Argentina on Wednesday, pressed hard and were rewarded for their aggression in the dying minutes when Sunil latched on to a pass at the top of the circle on the right, veered past the advancing Pakistan goalkeeper and sent the ball into an empty goal.
Britain dominated the match against Malaysia after Ryan Archibald opened the scoring in the fifth minute.
Shea Mcaleese (16th minute), Nick Wilson (33rd) and Shay Neal (61st) added to the tally while Malaysia's consolation goal was scored by Hafifi Hafiz in the 45th minute.