Tokyo: A day after the Indian men's team entered the Olympic semifinals following a 49-year gap, the Indian women's hockey team made history on Monday as it stormed into the semifinals of the Olympic Games hockey tournament for the first time.
India defeated world No. 2 Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals for their maiden entry into the medal rounds of the Olympic Games hockey tournament.
This is India's biggest win in women's hockey as the team is playing in the Olympics only for the third time and had struggled to the knockout rounds, finishing fourth in Pool A.
Coming into the match, the odds were totally against India as in world no.2 Australia, a mighty unbeaten opponent, awaited them in the last four round. But the Indians, determined to prove a point, produced a strong and brave performance to eke out the narrow win over the Hockeyroos.
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 Australians.
India's best performance in the Olympics came way back in the 1980 Moscow Games where they finished fourth out of six teams.
In that edition of the Games, women's hockey made its debut in the Olympics and the sport was played in a round-robin format with top two teams qualifying for the final.
The Rani Rampal-led side will play Argentina in the semifinal on Wednesday