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Tokyo Olympics: Women’s hockey team created history, reach semi-finals for the first time

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Tokyo Olympics: The Indian women’s hockey team made a memorable performance and made it to the semi-finals of the Olympics for the first time. In the quarter-finals played on Monday, India defeated world number-4 Australia 1-0. The heroine of the victory was goalkeeper Savita Poonia, who made a total of 9 excellent defenses. At the same time, the only and decisive goal for India was scored by Gurjit Kaur on the penalty corner in the 22nd minute. India will now face Argentina in the semi-finals on August 4, who defeated Germany 3-0 to make it to the semi-finals.

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The Indian players created some excellent chances in the first quarter, but they could not score. In the ninth minute of the game, Vandana Kataria’s shot went out while hitting the post. Australia also had chances to score, but the Indian defense could not penetrate it.

In the second quarter, Australia had the upper hand for the first five minutes. During this, Australia got three penalty corners, but the Indian goalkeeper and defenders thwarted this opportunity. Then India got a penalty corner in the 22nd minute of the match, which was converted into a goal by drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur to give India a 1-0 lead.

Australia got a total of six penalty corners in the third and fourth quarters, but the Indian defense foiled these opportunities again. However, in the 43rd and 44th minutes of the third quarter, India also got opportunities to score. But Navneet Kaur and Rani Rampal could not cash it in.

The best performance of the Indian women’s hockey team at the Olympics was in the 1980 Moscow Games. At that time India was ranked fourth out of six teams. Now the Indian women’s team’s fourth place in the Tokyo Olympics has been ensured. After defeating Argentina in the semi-finals, the women’s team will be sure to win a medal at the Olympics for the first time.

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The Indian women’s team was placed in Group A along with Netherlands, Germany, Britain, Ireland and South Africa. At the same time, teams from Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Japan, China and Spain were included in Group B. All the teams played each other and the top four teams from both the groups advanced to the quarter finals. India finished fourth in their group with two wins and three losses.

The women’s team’s campaign in Tokyo began with three successive defeats to the Netherlands, Germany and defending champions Britain, but made a spectacular comeback to beat South Africa 4-3 after beating higher-ranked Ireland 1-0. He kept himself in the race. India’s place in the last eight was ensured after beating Ireland 2-0 in the final match of Britain’s Pool A.

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