Indian men's hockey team failed to reach the final, but their women compatriots still have a chance to make the gold medal round at Tokyo Olympics. A historic feat already achieved, a rampaging Indian women's hockey team would aim for more glory when it takes on mighty but beatable Argentina in the semifinals of the Olympics on Wednesday.
A bunch of 18 fearless and determined Indian women did the unthinkable when they stunned three-time champions Australia 1-0 on Monday to enter the Olympic semifinals for the first time.
Drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur rose to the occasion when it mattered and converted India's lone penalty corner in the 22nd minute to surprise the world number two side.
Coming into the match, the odds were totally against India but the side led by talismanic Rani Rampal and coached by master tactician Sjoerd Marijne exceeded expectations.
India's best performance in the Olympics came way back in the 1980 Moscow Games where they finished fourth out of six teams.
In world no.2 Argentina, the Indian women will up against tough opponents who are hungry for Olympic success after missing out in Rio five years back.
The Argentina women have won two silver medals at the 2000 Sydney and 2012 London Games but a gold has eluded them.
And they are on course for the yellow metal after reaching the semifinals for the first time since 2012, stunning 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Germany 3-0.
The recent head-to-head record gives Argentina the edge. Before the Olympics earlier this year, the Indian women's team toured Argentina as part of preparation for the Games. India played seven matches there -- the first two against the Argentine youth team which the visitors drew 2-2 and 1-1.
Match and telecast details
Match: Tokyo Olympics, women's hockey, semi-final match between India and Argentina
Date: August 4 (Wednesday), 2021
Time: 3:30 PM IST/7:00 PM local
Venue: Oi Hockey Stadium - North Pitch, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Olympics is being telecast live on the Sony TEN 2, Sony TEN 2 HD, Sony SIX and Sony SIX HD TV channels in India. Sony TEN 3, Sony TEN 3 HD, Sony TEN 4 and Sony TEN 4 HD is broadcasting Tokyo 2020 in regional languages.
Live streaming of the Tokyo Olympics is available on SonyLiv.
(With PTI inputs)