"Impossible is nothing": Indian Women's Hockey Team beat Australia to enter Olympic semi-finals
New Delhi, August 2, 2021
"Impossible is nothing". This epic quote belongs to legendary boxer Mohammed Ali.
The Indian women hockey team relived this quote in Tokyo on Monday. They wrote a script which even their staunchest supporters never thought was possible.
India pulled off an incredible win beating almighty Australia 1-0 to storm in to the semi-finals of the Olympic hockey, an unchartered territory for them where they will face Argentina on Wednesday.
Argentina defeated Germany 3-0 in their quarter-final match earlier.
The Indians played their hearts out and fought toe-to-toe against the formidable opponents who are ranked World Number 2.
They were superb in attacking and brilliant in defence as Gurjit Kaur (22') emerged as the only goalscorer of the match.
Australia had most of the ball possession in the opening minutes of the match and created a chance early on in the game. However, goalkeeper Savita stood between them and the goal.
In the 9th minute, Vandana Katariya made a brilliant pass to Rani in the circle, but the latter couldn't tap the ball into the goal.
Australia made a few circle penetrations in the last few minutes of the first quarter, but they couldn't find a way to break the deadlock.
It was a close contest as the second quarter started. Australia made a circle penetration in the 6th minute of the second quarter and earned a penalty corner but it was muffed.
India countered and earned a penalty corner. Gurjit Kaur (22') carried out the drag-flick and found the back of the net to make it 1-0.
Australia put some pressure but the Indian defence foiled their attempts. In the 11th minute, Salima Tete made a circle penetration and took a shot, but she looped the ball over the crossbar.
Indian kept the pressure as the two teams went into the break with Australia trailing 0-1.
Australia began the third quarter aggressively and made a circle penetration straight away, but they failed to breach the defence.
Australia earned a penalty corner in the third minute of the third quarter; however, they couldn't convert their opportunity. They forced another penalty corner in the next minute, but the defenders pushed the ball away fantastically.
The world number 2 team kept trying to put pressure on their opponents, but the Indians kept intercepting the ball.
In the 13th minute, Neha made a brilliant pass to Navneet in the circle, but the latter took a shot, but couldn't find the back of the net. Sharmila Devi drove the ball from the right in the final minutes of the third quarter; however, the Indians couldn't deflect the ball into the goal.
In the 7th minute of the fourth quarter, Australia earned two penalty corners, but the defenders made brilliant saves and ensured that they stayed in the lead.
The desperate Australians kept pressing forward, kept making circle penetrations, but they just couldn't find a way to breach the defence.
With just three minutes left on the clock, the Australians earned a penalty corner. The Australians took a shot, but Monika calmly tapped the ball away from the goal.
They forced earned another penalty corner soon after and got very close to the goal, but the Indians held their nerve and directed the ball away.
The Indians kept most of the ball possession in the final minutes of the match and ensured that they booked a place in the semi-finals.