After beating the World no.2 Australia, India women Hockey team will look to create history when they face Argentina in the semifinal of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. As the Men’s Hockey team lost against Belgium in the semifinal by 2-5, the expectations were high from the Rani Rampal-led team.
In fact, not many expected India’s women’s team to stun Australia in the quarterfinal of the Tokyo Olympics. However, Gurjit Kaur scored in the 22nd minute of the game through a short corner and India were able to hold on to their lead.
However, there is no doubt that India will have a tough task at hand as Argentina is placed at the third place in the FIH Rankings. In fact, the Indian women’s team will need to replicate their performance against Australia in the match versus Argentina, if they are to challenge the South American team.
“We were extremely happy with our team performance against Australia, who are a world-class hockey team,” she said. “However, there is not much time to look back, and our focus is fully on the semifinal against Argentina. At this stage of the competition, matches do not get any easier. We are going to give everything we have on the field,” she added.
Meanwhile, India and Argentina had taken on each other earlier in the year in which the latter had won two matches whereas one ended in a draw. However, Rampal added that those matches will not hold much significance as the Olympics are a different ball game altogether.
“Both teams will be relatively familiar with each other’s style of play as we faced each other in a few matches earlier in the year,” she said.
“Having said that, an Olympic semifinal is a completely different equation and no tour game can recreate the same kind of intensity and atmosphere. This is surely the toughest test that our team will face. We are feeling confident about our games and have the necessary self-belief to put our best foot forward,” Rampal added.
India will face Argentina at the Oi Stadium on 3rd August at 3:30 PM IST.