India Beat Great Britain 3-1 in Men's Hockey to Enter Top-Four For First Time in 41 Years
The Indian men's hockey team created history at the Tokyo Olympics. The eight-time Olympic champions entered the semifinals of an Olympics men's competition for the first time after 49 years. India defeated Great Britain 3-1 in a quarterfinal match on Sunday. India scored three field goals through Dilpreet Singh (7th minute), Gurjant Singh (16th), and Hardik Singh (57th) to seal the win for the eight-time Olympic champions. The lone goal for Great Britain was scored by Sam Ward in the 45th minute.
Even though India's last of the eight Olympic gold medals came way back in the 1980 Moscow Games, there were no semifinals in that edition as only six teams participated in the event. The last time India featured in the semifinals of the Olympics was in the 1972 Munich Games where they lost 0-2 to arch-rivals Pakistan. India will take on world champions Belgium in the semifinal on Tuesday.
For a country that gave the world stalwarts like Major Dhyan Chand and Balbir Singh Senior among others, it has been especially painful to watch the hockey teams' Olympic debacle before this edition. India started their campaign on a winning note thanks to a hard-fought 3-2 win over New Zealand in their Pool A opener. However, a 1-7 thrashing at the hands of world No. 1 Australia raised alarm bells but the Manpreet Singh-led side quickly recovered to beat Spain 3-0, reigning Olympic champion Argentina 3-1, and outclassed Japan 3-5 en route to the quarterfinals.
India next faces Rio Olympics runners-up and current world champion Belgium in the semifinals on August 3 - the winner of which will progress to the final for the gold medal match. The two losing semifinalists will contest for bronze on August 5.