2 min read.Updated: 01 Aug 2021, 07:35 PM ISTLivemint
Before this game, India had played Great Britain eight times in the Olympics, winning four and losing as many games
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Indian men's hockey team defeated Great Britain in the quarterfinals 3-1 on Sunday. Now, the Indian team will face world champions Belgium in semi-finals on Tuesday. Today's win is historic as India has entered semifinals of Olympics Games after 49 years.
The last time Indian team played in the semifinals of the Olympics was in 1972 Munich Games. But they lost 0-2 to arch-rivals Pakistan.
Today, the India team was ahead from the very beginning, with two goals in first two quarters. Great Britain tried to make a comeback but couldn't cross the solid defense put up by Indian goalkeeper, PR Sreejesh.
In total, India scored three field goals through Dilpreet Singh (7th minute), Gurjant Singh (16th) and Hardik Singh (57th) to seal the win against GB.
Desperate Great Britain's only goal came in the 45th minute.
The Men in Blue was up against Great Britain in quarterfinal after a long gap of 41 years. Before facing Great Britain, the Indians had won four of five matches to finish second in Pool A behind Australia. Great Britain, on the other hand, had finished third in Pool B with two wins, one loss and one draw.
Now, the Indian team has won five of six games. Before this game, India had played Great Britain eight times in the Olympics, winning four and losing as many games. However, India held an edge in terms of goals scored in the Olympics.
On 30 July, the Indian team had defeated Japan 5-3 in the Tokyo Olympics. This was India's fourth win in the mega event. Japan scored three goals but the India were in the lead throughout the game and dominated proceedings.
In Olympics, the Indian hockey team has so far scored eight gold medals, with the last one in the 1980 Moscow Games. However, since then, Indian hockey's performance dipped. The Indians registered their best finish — a fifth place — in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
The team had failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Games and finished last in the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, in the last five years, Indian hockey improved its performances, and climbed to the third place in the world rankings.
Punjab announces ₹2.25 cr each for state's hockey players on winning gold
On 30 July, Punjab Sports and Youth Services Minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi announced that the hockey players from the state participating in the Tokyo Olympics would now get ₹2.25 crore individually on winning a team gold medal. Earlier, an amount of ₹2.25 crore was given to the entire team for winning a gold medal.
Rana Sodhi said that "out of a total of 20 players from Punjab, 11 players are giving their best in the Indian hockey team competing in Tokyo Olympics". He expressed hope that the country will win 3 to 4 medals in the Olympics.
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