Despite putting their hearts out, the Indian women's hockey team lost out to Great Britain 3-4 in the bronze medal playoff match in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. With this, India registered fourth place while the Great Britain clinched their third consecutive Olympic medal, news agency ANI reported.
While goalkeeper Savita was the star of the team, Great Britain started the match with an attacking strategy giving no chance to the Indian forwards and in sequence creating excellent opportunities for their forward line. There were some incredible saves by Savita to make sure the team remains goalless into the second quarter.
But after a brilliant run from the right flank by ES Rayer, the Great Britain team made their dominance count in the second quarter., forcing an owl goal from Indian defender Deep Grace Ekka. Soon, GB's Sarah Robertson doubled their team's lead by a pacy field goal, after Nisha got the green card.
However, the Indian team pulled up their socks and scored two goals in quick succession to level the match. Leaving no chance whatsoever for the opposite team to react, dragflicker Gurjit Kaur came to the party and struck both PC to Maddy Hinch's left. In the last minutes of the first half, Vandana Katariya gave the Indian team a very crucial lead with an absolute poacher of a finish after latching on to a loose ball inside the D. Before going into the second half, India led Great Britain 3-2.
In the second half, the GB's forwards showed more resolve with Pearne-Webb utilising a brilliant move and scored the equaliser in the third quarter of the game. Later, Grace Balsdon gave the team lead in the fourth quarter to make sure to clinch the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics.
Twitterati Erupts In Support
Meanwhile, Twitterati applauded the terrific efforts put in by the team and wished them luck in future. Hockey India also took to the micro-blogging website to praise the team.
"Jo kabhi na ho paya ho, wo karke dikhaya hai, Namumkin ko mumkin karna, is Team ne sikhaya hai! The journey has been nothing short of inspirational," Hockey India posted on Twitter along with the team's picture.
"Congratulating the opponent team for winning the bronze medal, Hockey India posted, "Right back at you. It was a brilliant game. Raising hands. Congratulations on the Bronze Medal, @GBHockey," the tweet read.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter to shower applauds on India's brave performance in Tokyo. "We narrowly missed a medal in Women's Hockey but this team reflects the spirit of New India- where we give our best and scale new frontiers. More importantly, their success at #Tokyo2020 will motivate young daughters of India to take up Hockey and excel in it. Proud of this team," he wrote on his Twitter handle.
Team's Progress In Olympics
Indian Women Hockey team has lived their dream run in Tokyo. Despite losing their first three matches of the Olympics, the team managed to reach the quarterfinals and defeated Australia, before putting a fearless battle against Argentina, India Today reported.
This was only the third time the Indian women's team is making its presence felt in the Olympic Games. Since 1980, they made their first appearance in the 2016 Rio Olympics, where India had finished at the bottom of the table and failed to even reach the knockout rounds, according to Times Now.
Taking the grind of five years, the Indian team made sure to make their mark for the first time event and returned with a bang in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.