It’s been just 10 days when India women hockey team began its Tokyo Olympics campaign - their third ever appearance at the marquee event and a second straight after Rio Games in 2016. India lost to Netherlands 1-5. They would suffer two more morale-crushing defeats but they seem to be a thing of distant past. As of today, the entire nation is basking in the glory of the magnificent 16 squad members who have already created history by sealing a maiden semi-finals berth at the Games and that too after beating a three-time Olympic gold medalist Australia.
The mid-tournament resurgence is a testament of their resolve and a statement of how far they have come since the Rio 2016 when they failed to win a single match with a draw their only consolation.
But today, they are dreaming. A victory from one of the two matches they will play now in Tokyo will ensure a historic medal. A win in each and they will have added a golden chapter in the illustrious history of Indian hockey.
But in their path, they now face a formidable rival in Argentina who are a roll of their own.
Here are the group and quarter-finals results for both teams:
Pool A Results
Match 1: Lost to the Netherlands 1-5
Match 2: Lost to Germany 0-2
Match 3: Lost to Great Britain 1-4
Match 4: Beat Ireland 1-0
Match 5: Beat South Africa 4-3
Q/F: Beat Australia 1-0
Pool B Results
Match 1: Lost to New Zealand 0-3
Match 2: Beat Spain 3-0
Match 3: Beat China 3-2
Match 4: Beat Japan 2-1
Match 5: Lost to Australia 0-2
Q/F: Beat Germany 3-0
Savita Punia (Goalkeeper): The senior-most member of the squad Savita has been hailed as The Wall of this team. It was a key save from the 31-year-old late into the quarterfinal clash as she lay on the turf to push the ball away that kept Australia at bay and secured a 1-0 win. In fact, Australia won two late penalty corners but an alert Savita ensured a clean-sheet. India will need their custodian at her very best against a Argentina who have been pumping plenty of goals at the tournament.
Agustina Albertarrio (Forward) and Agustina Gorzelany (Defender): The two have combined to score five goals so far for Argentina with Albertarrio hitting two field goals while Gorzelany converting three penalty corners. Indian defence line-up will have to be wary of the two, not allowing them easy way in.
India vs Argentina Head-to-Head (Recent)
In the lead up to the Olympics, India toured Argentina where they drew one and lost of their three matches against the senior team. They lost two matches against their B team and drew two against a junior side.
Some Important Numbers from the Games so far
Goals Scored: India - 8 | Argentina - 11
Goals Conceded: India - 14 | Argentina - 8
Field Goals: India - 3 | Argentina - 6
Penalty Corners (Converted/Won): India - 5/34 | Argentina - 4/25
Penalty Strokes: India - 0 | Argentina -1
Attacking Circle Penetrations: India - 85 | Argentina - 99