Indian women's hockey team captures nation's imagination, here's a look at their fairytale run at Tokyo 2020

The Indian women's hockey team might have lost a golden opportunity to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, but they most definitely have won millions of hearts. Their run at the Tokyo Games is nothing less than a fairytale that will inspire the youngsters. The Rani Rampal-led team came very close to winning a medal but lost to Great Britain 3-4 in the third-place match. 

Here's a look at India's journey at Tokyo Olympics: 

The Netherlands vs India (Netherlands: 5 - India: 1)

India's run at the Tokyo Olympics had ups and downs as they were off to a disappointing start as they lost their first three games in the Pool stage. Indian team was defeated 5-1 against Netherlands. Rani Rampal was the only goalscorer in the first quadrant but Netherlands players gained momentum after a goal in the third quadrant opened floodgates for Netherland women against India. 


Germany vs India (Germany: 2 - India: 0)

The Indian women's hockey team played their hearts out in their second Tokyo Olympics encounter against the World Number 3 Germany. The Indian team had many chances to score, but couldn't find a way to get on board, before going down 0-2 against the Germans. 


Great Britain vs India (Great Britain: 4 - India:1)

Team India lost 4-1 against Great Britain that had slimmed their chances of making it into the qualifiers. Sjoerd Marijne, the coach of Indian women's hockey, called it the "worst match" of the ongoing Olympics. 


Ireland vs India (Ireland: 0 - India: 1)

The team then bounced back, as Navneet Kaur scored a late winner and the team kept its quarterfinals hopes alive in the Olympics with a 1-0 win over Ireland in a must-win penultimate pool match. 


India vs South Africa (India: 4 - South Africa: 3)

The team then defeated South Africa 4-3 in their final Pool A clash. Vandana Katariya (4th, 17th, 49th minutes) scored a hat-trick while young Neha Goyal (32nd) was the other goal-getter for India. Vandana also became the first Indian women player to score a hat-trick at Olympics. They were qualified for the quarter-finals after Great Britain defeated Ireland 2-0 in the last game of Pool A. As a result, the Indian women's team finished at the fourth spot in Pool A and hence progressed to the next round. 


India vs Australia Quarterfinals (India: 1 - Australia: 0)

With a medal in sight, the team had defeated Australia 1-0 in the quarter-final clash. The team booked a historic berth in the semi-finals as they were going play semis for the first time at Olympics. One goal from Gurjit Kaur, which she scored in the first half, gave an advantage to India.


India vs Argentina semifinal (India: 1 - Argentina: 2)

The dreams were, however, dashed when India lost 1-2 to Argentina in the semi-finals. Despite Gurjit Kaur opening the scoring, it was Argentina who emerged as the winner. 


India vs Great Britain bronze medal match (India: 3 - Great Britain: 4)

Indian displayed a courageous show against Great Britain in the medal match and gave a tough fight. However, they missed out on a medal and their dreams of winning a historic medal in women's hockey at the Games were shattered after Great Britain pulled off a 4-3 win. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised their performance as he wrote, "We will always remember the great performance of our Women’s Hockey Team at #Tokyo2020. They gave their best throughout. Each and every member of the team is blessed with remarkable courage, skill and resilience. India is proud of this outstanding team."


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