Updated: Mon, 02 Aug 2021 11:12 AM IST
Tokyo (Japan) | Jagran Sports Desk: The Indian women's hockey team on Monday stunned the three-time champions Australia and defeated them by a solitary goal to reach the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. This is the first time in the history of the Olympic Games when the Indian women's hockey team has qualified for the semi-finals.
Coming into the match, the odds were totally against India as they were up against the mighty Aussies, who are ranked number 2 in the global rankings. However, Gurjit Kaur emerged as a hero for India as she scored the solitary goal of the match in the 22nd minute.
The Australians were never really able to recover from that stage as the Rani Rampal-led India showed determination to prove a point in the quarter-finals. Though the kangaroos played aggressively and secured their first penalty corner in the 20th minute, India defended brilliantly to stop Australians.
Later in the game, Australia secured three back-back-to-back penalty corners, but goalkeeper Savita and Deep Grace Ekka stood like a wall to stop the Australian juggernaut. Thereafter, India continued to play cautiously as the Australians failed to breach the defence of the Rani Rampal side.
India, who had finished last in the 2016 Rio Olympics, would now face Argentina in the semi-finals of the tournament on Wednesday.
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.
Earlier on Sunday, the Indian men's hockey team reached the last four of the Olympics for the first time in 41 years as the team defeated Great Britain 3-1. The last four berth had eluded the Indian men's hockey team since the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games where the team led by V Baskaran won the eighth Gold medal for India.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)