Tokyo Olympics: Semifinal Clash Against Germany “The Toughest Test”, Says Indian Women’s Hockey Captain Rani Rampal
The Indian women’s hockey team put up a fantastic display of skill and tenacity during their 1-0 victory over Australia in the quarterfinal match of the Tokyo Olympics on Monday. High on confidence and self-belief after the momentous victory, the Indian women’s hockey team has now firmly set its sights on the all-important semifinal encounter against Argentina on Wednesday. Much like the Indian team, Argentina has also gone from strength to strength in the competition, securing the semifinal berth after a convincing 3-0 victory against Germany in the quarterfinal on Monday.
The Indian Women’s Hockey Team, led by Rani Rampal, will count on their recent experience of playing against Argentina during their extensive tour of the country in January this year.
“We were extremely happy with our team performance against Australia, who are a world-class hockey team,” she said.
“However, there is not much time to look back, and our focus is fully on the semifinal against Argentina. At this stage of the competition, matches do not get any easier. We are going to give everything we have on the field,” she added.
Rani alluded to the Indian Women’s Hockey Team’s recent tour of Argentina as one of the factors that could play a role heading into the match.
“Both teams will be relatively familiar with each other’s style of play as we faced each other in a few matches earlier in the year,” she said.
“Having said that, an Olympic semifinal is a completely different equation and no tour game can recreate the same kind of intensity and atmosphere. This is surely the toughest test that our team will face. We are feeling confident about our games and have the necessary self-belief to put our best foot forward,”
Indian women’s hockey team chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said Indian team will be focussing on the task and staying in the moment in their semifinal match.
“It will be a difficult match for us. I think Argentina is a good team. We played them in January and we know that Argentina is a hard team to beat. Their defence is very strong. We have to convert our goal-scoring opportunities like we converted the Penalty Corner against Australia,”
“It’s all about focussing on the task and staying in the moment and being busy with what we have to do well ourselves. I have told all the girls again that it’s about putting all the energy you have in the match,” said Marijne.
India will take on Argentina at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo on Wednesday at 15:30 hrs IST.
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