A day after creating history, the Indian women’s hockey team is now set to take on Argentina in the semi-final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
India put on a defiant display against a mighty Australian women’s team in the quarter-final on Sunday, beating them 1-0. Australia had, in fact, entered the round as outright favourites, having won all of their Pool B matches with a goal difference of +12.
India’s organized defense, however, proved out to be stronger than what Australia would have expected. Despite winning as many as nine penalty corners, the team led by Edwina Bone failed to net a goal. Credit where it’s due; although India weren’t really as threatening as Australia in front of the goal, their defensive solidity earned them the well-deserved win. Expect Sjoerd Marijne to go with a similar tactic against Argentina.
Speaking of Argentina, their road to the semi-final wasn’t smooth either. Their Tokyo 2020 campaign kicked off with a 3-0 defeat against New Zealand. They finished third in Pool B after winning three of the five matches.
The team, however, had a sudden surge in form in the quarter-finals. They beat Germany 3-0 through sheer domination. Not only did they concede just three penalty corners, they only allowed Germany a mere eight shots. On the contrary, Argentina attempted 15 shots on goal.
The fact that Argentina scored two goals from penalty corners against Germany is a worrying fact considering India’s substandard record of defending those. Be that as it may, India will once again enter the match knowing that they have nothing to lose and that gives them the edge, as was the case against Australia.
On Wednesday, India will have to up the ante in attack while also keeping its defensive structure intact. Against Australia, they could only muster five attempts on goal with only one of them coming on target. The team needs to do better than that.
India vs Australia women’s hockey full squads
India women’s hockey squad: Savita Punia (goalkeeper), Deep Grace Ekka, Nikki Pradhan, Gurjit Kaur, Udita, Nisha, Neha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Navjot Kaur, Salima Tete, Rani Rampal (captain), Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Sharmila Devi
Argentina women’s hockey squad: Belen Succi (goalkeeper), Agustina Gorzelany, Valentina Raposo, Emnilia Forcherio, Noel Barrionuevo (captain), Valentina Costa Biondi, Sofia Toccalino, Agostina Alonso, Rocio Sanchez Moccia, Victoria Sauze, Eugenia Trinchinetti, Micaela Retegui, Sofia Maccari, Agustina Albertario, Maria Jose Granatto, Delfina Merino, Victoria Granatto, Julieta Jankunas.
Where to watch India vs Argentina women’s hockey semi-final at Tokyo 2020 Olympics in India?
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics women’s hockey semi-final match between India and Argentina will be telecast on Sony Pictures Network and national broadcasters Doordarshan (DD Sports and DD National). Coverage will begin live at 3:30 PM IST on August 4, Wednesday.
Live streaming of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics women’s hockey match between India and Argentina will be available on the SonyLIV app and website.
Featured photo: Hockey India