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.
One of the things we will remember #Tokyo2020 for is the stupendous performance by our Hockey teams.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 4, 2021
Today and through the Games, our Women’s Hockey team played with grit and showcased great skill. Proud of the team. Best of luck for the game ahead and for future endeavours.
Girls, cheer up and don't lose your heart. You all have made India proud by reaching the semi-finals at the #Tokyo2020 Olympics in Women’s Hockey! You can still come back with medal🏅— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) August 4, 2021
I recall how our girls were geared up for Tokyo Olympics from the very beginning. #Cheer4India pic.twitter.com/C1k1xfykOj
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.
Proud of you girls 👏— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) August 4, 2021
Congratulations Indian Women Hockey Team for putting up a brave fight and playing your hearts out in the semi-final match at #Tokyo2020. Your performances have been inspirational and wish all the very best for future. #Cheer4India