Magical 24 hours for Indian hockey. India women defeated three-time champions Australia by a solitary goal to make their maiden Olympic semis on Monday in Tokyo. They will meet Argentina in the semis on Wednesday. Yesterday, their male counterparts defeated Great Britain to make the semis for the first time in more than four decades. India, who started as underdogs, produced probably their best performance in a long, long time. And the goal came in the 22nd minute with Gurjit Kaur burying a PC. And full credit to Sjoerd Marijne, who spent a not so successful spell with the men's team, for transforming this unit to world-beaters. Follow live updates of India vs Australia here.
10:56 AM IST: Here's what goalscorer Gurjit Kaur said after the win: "We are so happy, it is the result of hard work that we put in for several, several days. In 1980, we qualified for the Games but this time, we made the semifinals. It is a proud moment for us... This team is like a family, we have supported each other and found support from the country as well. We are very happy."
10:03 AM IST: 4th Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Less than 60 seconds left. India keeping the possession inside the Aussie half. Then a quick counter from the Aussies. India win the possession back.
And it's India. Indian women make history. First semis for India.
10:00 AM IST: 4th Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
And what! India escape. No, another PC. Madison Mae Fitzpatrick's push goes wide. India somehow makes a scrambled clearance. Danger averted, for now. Two minutes left.
9:58 AM IST: 4th Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
And it's the 6th PC for Australia.
9:56 AM IST: 4th Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Aussies now with 11 outfield players. India win a freehit inside their own D. Aussies take the referral, as expected, asking if there's a push from an Indian player. Big call to make. It can be a PC for the Aussies.
9:54 AM IST: 4th Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Aussies on the press again. India win a free hit. But Aussies testing the Indian defensive line again. Less than five minutes left.
9:52 AM IST: 4th Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
India on the counter with Rani Rampal making a run. But the Indian skipper fails to find Sharmila. Green ard for Niki Pradhan for obstruction.
9:50 AM IST: 4th Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Fourth PC for the Aussies after Mariah Williams makes a dangerous run and the ball hits the body of an Indian player. Another PC. Good save by Monika who blocks the ball with her upright stick.
9:49 AM IST: 4th Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Fleeting glimpses of Sjoerd Marijne on the sidelines. He must be nervous. Aussies make the first penetration of the quarter. But cool defensive work from India. Aussies get another chance. But wasted.
9:45 AM IST: 4th Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
India try to use empty spaces. Limited success. Then, Neha Goyal wins the possession back. Another penetration from the right by Navneet Kaur. Aussies defend well.
9:42 AM IST: 4th Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
15 minutes more... And Aussies chasing. Neha Goyal on the run, from the left flank. But she fails to link up.
9:38 AM IST: 3rd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
India playing the second fiddle. Then, from a counter, Sharmila Devi sends a cross but Rani Rampal fails to make a proper connection. And a green card to Brooke Peris for obstruction.
India win another free hit inside the Aussie half. And they thwart Aussie move after losing the possession. Hooter. It's still 1-0 in favour of India.
9:35 AM IST: 3rd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
India taking time, slowing down the tempo. Good game management. And win a freehit after an Aussie footed the ball. Circle entry but the ball out of play after getting deflected from Sharmila Devi.
9:32 AM IST: 3rd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Ambrosia Malone commits a foul inside the Indian D. India then press for a rare attack in the third quarter. Switching flanks, yet limited action inside the Aussie half.
9:29 AM IST: 3rd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Long corner for Australia. India, however, manage to avert the danger. Dangerous ball, ball rising from an Aussie stick inside Indian D. But the Aussies win the possession back. Poor spell for India. Another long corner for Australia.
9:27 AM IST: 3rd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Another PC for Australia as Sushila Pukhrabam plays one after the whistle, well outside the D after making a clean tackle. No referral left for India! But India's defenders at the fore again.
9:24 AM IST: 3rd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
PC for Australia. Meek clearance as Madison Fitzpatrick makes a dominant presence inside the D. Danger averted for India, somehow, as Australia continue to draw blank from PCs.
9:22 AM IST: 3rd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Aussies on the press soon after the restart. Clean defensive work from India.
9:18 AM IST: Half-time: Australia 0-1 India
India got only three chances but scored one (from the lone PC). There was woodwork too. Aussies got seven chances, including three PCs. Penetration wise, Aussies got two more than India (eight to six). And possession-wise, India enjoyed a slight advantage - 51 to 49.
All in all, India are having their day!
9:11 AM IST: 2nd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Half-time: End of second quarter and India having a brilliant outing, so far.
9:10 AM IST: 2nd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Ambrosia Malone wins the back for Australia, but the 'favourites' fail to penetrate. India on the counter. Neya Goyal keeps possession, then rolls back. Aussies intercept.
9:07 AM IST: 2nd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Salima Tete on the run again, this time from the right flank and goes for the goal. Just misses the target. Grace Ekta is back after serving her 'green card'.
9:06 AM IST: 2nd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Emily Chalker wastes a brilliant chance to equaliser after Udita makes a mess in defence inside the D.
9:04 AM IST: 2nd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
India score for the first time with a direct hit from the PC and the Aussie concede from PC at Tokyo Games.
Aussies are pushing for a quick equaliser.
9:01 AM IST: 2nd Quarter: Australia 0-1 India
Scorching run from Salima Tete. But no support, and Aussies on the counter. But India win the possession back and win their first PC. Vandana Katariya!
GOAL! Gurjit Kaur buries it. India strike in the 22nd minute.
8:58 AM IST: 2nd Quarter: Australia 0-0 India
Back-to-back PC for Aussie. No, it's overturned for the back stick stop. Breather for India.
8:57 AM IST: 2nd Quarter: Australia 0-0 India
Dangerous aerial ball and India win possession back. But soon allow the Aussies to attack. Free hit, just outside the box. Kaitlin Nobbs on the ball, and from the following the play, Aussies get the first PC, for pushing, possibly. India are asking for a review.
And India lose the review/ referral. Too early?
8:54 AM IST: 2nd Quarter: Australia 0-0 India
Another 15 minutes... India so far doing very well to keep the Aussies at bay. Aussies scored 15, joint match in the pool stage.
8:48 AM IST: 1st Quarter: Australia 0-0 India
Australia win a long corner after another move. Aussies are having a good spell. India resort to the long ball, a scoop to escape the trouble. Then, good switch.
And it's goalless in the first quarter.
8:44 AM IST: 1st Quarter: Australia 0-0 India
This is turning up to be an open game. Brooke Peris gets a good chance on the counter, then India launch their own. And medical attention for Sharmila Devi after clashing with Aussie goalie Rachael Lynch. Sharmila is fine.
8:41 AM IST: 1st Quarter: Australia 0-0 India
What a move. India first make a brilliant interception near the centre line, then almost find the goal. But Rani Rampal's deflection from Vandana Katariya's cross hits the far post.
8:39 AM IST: 1st Quarter: Australia 0-0 India
Long corner for India, but waste the opportunity to build up. India enjoying a bigger share of possession.
8:38 AM IST: 1st Quarter: Australia 0-0 India
Lalremsiam shows promises, as usual. But Kaitlin Nobbs is running the show in the midfield.
8:35 AM IST: 1st Quarter: Australia 0-0 India
Strong response from India. First circle entry but lacks purpose. Australia, on the counter, test Indian defence.
8:34 AM IST: 1st Quarter: Australia 0-0 India
Mighty escape for India. Australia almost find the first goal after an early pressing from the right flank.
8:32 AM IST: 1st Quarter: Australia 0-0 India
India starts the proceeding. And soon lose the possession.
8:13 AM IST: If India beat Australia, they will meet Argentia in the semi-finals on August 4 (Monday). Argentina defeated Germany 3-0 in the first quarter-final in the first match today.
8:04 AM IST: Big day for Indian national women's hockey team. Team sheet is out for the quarterfinal clash against Australia.
Game faces ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¥
Here is the Starting 1âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£1âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ£ for an all-important Quarter-Final against Australia.#AUSvIND #HaiTayyar #IndiaKaGame #Tokyo2020 #TeamIndia #TokyoTogether #Cheer4India #StrongerTogether #HockeyInvites #WeAreTeamIndia #Hockey pic.twitter.com/YLHLPRLuTv— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) August 2, 2021
World No. 10 India qualified for the quarterfinals as the fourth team in their group. Great Britain handed them a lucky break when they ousted Ireland from the competition. Australia finished on top of their group.
On paper, the India vs Australia may look an uneven contest but the Indian girls showed great spirit in bouncing back after suffering three straight defeats. India finished with two victories with Vandana Katariya scoring a hattrick against South Africa.
Like their men's team, the Aussies have been very strong so far. They have scored 13 goals and conceded only one. By comparison, India have scored seven and conceded 14.
Captain Rani knows the enormity of the occasion but the team is full of self belief now.
"Winning our matches against Ireland and South Africa while facing elimination speaks a lot about the determination and mentality of this team. Competing against a world class team like Australia and to get to the semifinals in Tokyo 2020 will require a special performance and I am confident that we have the ability to achieve a special result. We will go into the game without putting too much pressure on ourselves and do what we do best – play hockey,” said Rani.
The winners of the India vs Australia match will face the winners of the quarterfinal match between Germany and Argentina.
India: Rani, Savita Punia, Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita Duhan, Monika Malik, Navjot Kaur, Neha Goyal, Nisha Warsi, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Vandana Katariya. Alternate players: Reena Khokhar, Namita Toppo
Australia: Emily Chalker, Edwina Bone, Jane-Anne Claxton, Savannah Fitzpatrick, Kate Jenner, Stephanie Kershaw, Amy Lawton, Rachael Lynch, Ambrosia Malone, Kaitlin Nobbs, Brooke Peris, Karri Somerville, Georgia Wilson, Grace Stewart, Renee Taylor and Mariah Williams. Alternate players: Greta Hayes, Madison Fitzpatrick.