The Indian women’s hockey team made history on Monday as it stormed into the semifinals of the Olympic Games hockey tournament for the first time.
India defeated world No. 2 Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals for their maiden entry into the medal rounds of the Olympic Games hockey tournament. Gurjit Kaur scored the only goal in the match in the 22nd minute, which eventually proved to be the difference in the game.
India made a disciplined start to the game, making multiple entries into the circle and averting Australian attacks with considerable ease in the first quarter. The hard work was rewarded in the second quarter when India won their first penalty corner of the game.
Gurjit Kaur rose on the occasion to give India the lead in the game.
Incidentally, India’s record in the penalty corners had been dismal throughout the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the side had failed to convert 17 penalty corners in the group stage match against Ireland! However, Gurjit delivered when it mattered the most.
While a penalty corner was the reason for India’s goal, Australia won ten of them throughout the game but failed to convert them, thanks to a disciplined defensive performance coupled with great saves from Savita Punia.
The Indian goalkeeper was immense in the final quarter in particular, when she stepped off the line to thwart Australia’s shot on target with a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the game.
India will now meet Argentina in the first semifinal of women’s hockey. The Indian men’s hockey team had also reached the semifinals on Sunday — they will meet Belgium on August 3.