After defeating Australia 1-0 on Monday at Oi Hockey Stadium — North Pitch — the Indian women’s hockey team made Olympic history by qualifying for the semi-finals for the first time.
Gurjit Kaur scored the game’s lone goal during the first half through a penalty corner in a closely contested match, marking a historic day and possibly the greatest moment for women’s hockey in India. The Indian players were determined to give it their all in order to ensure that Gurjit’s efforts were not in vain.
The Australians threw it all, but the Indian women refused to give in, even as the pressure from the Aussies increased with each passing minute.
Just raw, sheer emotions. 🥺❤️— #Tokyo2020 for India (@Tokyo2020hi) August 2, 2021
This celebration of the #IND women’s hockey team after defeating world no. 2 #AUS had us all go through a rollercoaster of emotions! 👏🔥
Tokyo2020 | #UnitedByEmotion | #StrongerTogether | #Hockey pic.twitter.com/cZvyFWaXFy
The first quarter got off to a fast start, with both teams putting their foot on the gas, and both teams’ forwards coming dangerously close to finding the back of the net. After the first fifteen minutes, however, none of them were able to score.
In the second quarter, India got its second penalty corner of the game after saving one on the other end. Gurjit, India’s star drag flicker, made the most of the opportunity, giving the Women in Blue a crucial lead over the mighty Aussies.
After hitting the legs, the ball hit a stick and found its way into the goal for the Indians. Notably, Australia had only conceded one goal so far in the tournament.
As expected, the Hockeyroos arrived in waves in the second half in search of a goal. However, India’s defence and goalkeeper Savita remained unflappable.
As the game progressed, the Indian team made sure they didn’t give the Australians any space, as chances for their forwards became increasingly rare. With some smart defence in the final quarter, India kept Australia at bay once more, ensuring that the Hockeyroos’ dream of reaching the semi-finals was not shattered.
Earlier on Sunday, the Indian men’s hockey team defeated Great Britain 3-1 to advance to the final four of the Olympics for the first time in 41 years.
The Indian men’s hockey team had not qualified for the final four since the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, when V Baskaran’s team won India’s eighth gold medal.