The Indian women’s hockey team produced one of the biggest upsets in hockey at the Tokyo Olympics as they knocked out Australia in the quarter-finals to secure a historic semi-final berth on Monday.
A goal from Gurjit Kaur through a penalty corner in the 22nd minute was the difference between the two sides as India defended valiantly to thwart waves of Australian attack.
Despite being underdogs in the contest, India started brightly and they almost took the lead early when a brilliant piece of play from Vandana Katariya set up Rani Rampal who saw her effort hit the woodwork.
The two teams began the second quarter just as they started the first going all out and Australia won an early PC that was saved by Savita.
However, India weren’t as generous at the other end and took a deserved lead in the contest when Gurjit Kaur scored from a PC and preserved the lead into the interval.
Australia came hard at India in the third quarter but India survived a barrage of PCs and wave after wave of Australian attack to come unscathed and maintain their slender lead.
With a victory in sight, India seemed even more resolute in the final quarter as Australia’s frustrations grew. Australia won two late PCs but India had bodies on the line to clear the danger every time.
Reaching the semi-finals is a historic achievement for the ninth-ranked India who had qualified for their first Olympics in 36 years at Rio in 2016.
India will face Argentina in the semi-final on August 4.