Hyderabad: A day after the Indian men’s hockey team made it to the semifinals after a gap of 49 years in the Olympics, women followed their counterparts into the last four stage. The Rani Rampal-led side created history by entering their first-ever Olympic semifinals’ after upsetting favourites Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinal match, at Tokyo Games on Monday.
Indian will now take on Argentina in semifinals on Wednesday.
India took the lead through Gurjit Kaur’s goal in the 22nd minute and kept the Aussies women at bay to go into the break. But the Australians were relentless in their pursuit for the equaliser. After failing to find a goal in the third quarter, the team from Down Under were on the attack mode in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. However, Indian defence stood strong, thwarting the Australian attack, including a penalty corner, in the dying moments.
The Indian team erupted in joy after the victory while the Australians’ could not control the heartbreak. While Indian women erupted running around in joy with support staff, the Aussies women, left in shock, burst into tears.
India entered the quarterfinals on the back of luck and good performances. Having suffered three straight losses, India stayed in contention for a quarterfinal berth after defeating South Africa 4-3. They also needed some luck as Great Britain had to defeat Ireland in their last league match and that’s what happened, paving way for India to qualify for the last 8 after being placed fourth in the pool B.
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