Indian Women's Hockey Team beat Australia 1-0 to reach Tokyo Olympics semifinals for the First Time
The Indian Women’s Hockey team has done the unthinkable; they have beaten 3 times Olympic Gold Medallist and 2 times world champion Australia. This could win easily be counted as one of the biggest upsets of the decade. The Indian women's hockey team created history, reaching their first-ever semifinal in Olympics after the side stunned World No.2 Australia 1-0 on Monday. Gurjit Kaur scored India's sole goal from the penalty corner to lead India to the final four of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The sole goal from Gurjit Kaur in the 22nd minute was enough to sail past the Aussies and book their place in the first-ever Olympics semi-final. India defended well in all the quarters and denied goals from 7 Australian penalty corners. Australia entered the quarterfinals as big favorites in the game against India, having topped in their group standings. India, meanwhile, had lost their first four matches before making an impressive comeback in the final two games against Ireland (2-1) and South Africa (4-3) in the group stage.
Just last week, India was struggling for a place in the quarter-finals after 3 defeats in the opening games. Then they turned their fortunes around by training hard and have registered their third win on the trot. India did not get outpaced by the speed of the Australians and generated several quick counters to keep the opposing defense busy. The Indian defense led by Deep Grace Ekka held firm throughout the match, soaking up all the pressure the Australians exerted.
Contrary to expectations, India made a dominant start against Australia, making multiple entries into the circle and almost taking a lead early in the game when Vandana Katariya and Rani Rampal matched up inside the D. However, the Indian captain narrowly missed the net, finding the goalpost. India also continued to avert the Australian attacks with a disciplined defense, not allowing big channels for the Aussie forwards to operate in.