Tokyo: The Indian women’s hockey team put up a gritty performance but it was not enough to secure a maiden Olympic final berth as it lost 1-2 to world no.2 Argentina in a hard-fought semifinal of the ongoing Games here on Wednesday.
India still have a chance to win the bronze medal as they will take on Great Britain in the third-fourth place play-off match on Friday.
The Indians fought valiantly and gave Argentina a run for their money by taking the lead in the second minute through a penalty corner conversion by Gurjit Kaur.
But the Las Leonas bounced back strongly with skipper Maria Barrionuevo’s (18th, 36th minutes) twin strikes from penalty corners to secure the hard-fought win.
The bunch of 18 fearless and determined Indian women had already done the unthinkable when they stunned three-time champions Australia 1-0 on Monday to enter the Olympic semifinals for the first time.
Coming into the match, the odds were totally against India but the side led by talismanic Rani Rampal and coached by master tactician Sjoerd Marijne exceeded expectations.
India’s best performance in the Olympics came way back in the 1980 Moscow Games where they finished fourth out of six teams.
In that edition of the Games, women’s hockey made its debut in the Olympics and the sport was played in a round-robin format with top two teams qualifying for the final.
The Netherlands will play Argentina in the final on Friday.
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