The Indian women’s hockey team scored a late goal to eke out a narrow 1-0 victory over Ireland in a must-win penultimate pool match to stay alive in the Olympics in Tokyo on Friday.

Needing a win to keep their hopes alive after three consecutive losses, India waited anxiously for 57 minutes before Navneet Kaur scored the winner to keep her side in the hunt for a quarterfinal berth.

India will now need to win their final Pool A match against South Africa on Saturday and hope for Ireland to face defeat at the hands of Great Britain to seal their quarterfinal berth.

“We had so many penalty corners and Ireland defended well”, said India captain Rani. “We had so many opportunities and we missed so many opportunities. There was a lot of pressure because this was a must-win game for both teams. And I am so proud because we stayed calm.”

The top four teams from each pool qualify for the knockout stage.

Inputs from PTI