Tokyo: India’s dream of a gold medal on their maiden entry into the knockout stages of the women’s hockey competition came to a premature end when the team lost 1-2 to Argentina in the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics here.
It looked like India’s fairy-tale run, which saw them reach the semifinals after losing their first three matches, will continue when drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur put them ahead in the second minute. Reaching the final would have assured India a medal but that was not to be as Argentina came back strongly and ended India’s dream.
Skipper Maria Noel Barrionuevo scored a brace of goals as Argentina emerged 2-1 winners to reach the final and set up a clash with reigning world champions the Netherlands on Friday.
India will play Great Britain for the bronze medal on Friday.
The Indians dominated the first quarter and held possession. Vandana Katariya and Navneet Kaur made some good runs into the shooting circle. The Indians created a couple of good chances but could not double their lead.
Argentina established their ascendancy into the midfield as the Indians fell back to defend, left too many spaces and the South Americans slowly took control of the match.
Men hockey team faces Germany for bronze
Tokyo: The Indian men’s team was set to meet Germany in the bronze medal match while Australia and Belgium, the world’s top two ranked teams, were scheduled to clash for the hockey gold medal at the Olympic Games here.
Australia defeated Germany 3-1 in the second semi-final at the Oi Hockey Stadium.
India had lost to world champions Belgium 2-5 in the first semi-final earlier in the day.