Suryakant Jena

India's dream of winning a historic gold medal on her maiden entry into the knockout stages of the women's hockey semi-final at the Tokyo Olympics ended in heartbreak on Wednesday. The inspiring eves went down 1-2 to a resilient Argentina despite scripting a spirited performance.

The Women in Blue could not have made a better start to their biggest ever match in history when Gurjit Kaur put them ahead in just the second minute of the match. But mighty Argentina led by its skipper Maria Noel Barrionuevo came back strongly and continued to control the match till the last minute.

Barrionuevo leveled it for the South American side at 18 minutes due to slack defense by the Indian eves. The Argentine skipper then stunned everyone by scoring her second from a penalty corner after halftime.

Despite an all-out effort towards the closing stages of the match, the two-time Silver medalists Argentina hung to its lead and entered the final.

India's fairy-tale run, which saw them reach the semifinals after losing their first three matches is still not over as the Women in Blue will now take on Great Britain in the Bronze Medal match on Friday.

The loss of the crucial knockout match by the Indian women's team which comes just a day after their men's teammates also lost their semi encounter against powerful Belgium however has nowhere disheartened the hockey fans in the country.

Wishes flooded the social media in praise of the valiant performance of the Indian hockey contingents especially the women team. Notable personalities to celebrities and even the common man have all taken to the internet to admire the hockey Olympians.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pen a heartfelt note for the Indian women's hockey team. 

Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha, which is the official sponsor of the Indian hockey team also expressed his pride on the courageous performance of the hockey eves and encouraged them not to lose hope and march on for good times ahead.