The Indian women’s hockey team kept their Olympics 2021 quarter-finals qualification hopes alive after defeating South Africa 4-3 in a pulsating group stage match at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday.
Given the nature of the results in Pool A so far the hockey teams need six points and a good goal difference, if it comes into play, to qualify for the knockouts.
The Indian women’s hockey team has pulled up its socks in the last few games after a horrid start (when they lost to Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain) in Tokyo. They have now beaten Ireland and South Africa to register two wins out of their five group-stage matches.
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India’s fate (their qualification for the quarterfinals) will be known after the Ireland vs Great Britain match, scheduled to be played later in the day.
South Africa have already been eliminated from the knockouts while the Netherlands and Germany have 12 points each (with one match to play). Great Britain has 6 points with a match (against Ireland) left in hand. Ireland are on 3 points but already have a superior goal difference than India (should it come down to that).
What happens if Ireland wins?
At the end of five matches, India have six points and a goal difference of -7, while Ireland have three points and a goal difference of -5. A win against Great Britain would take Ireland to six points and, with a superior goal difference, they will pip India for a spot in the quarterfinals.
What happens if Great Britain wins?
If Great Britain wins against Ireland, India will go through comfortably as they have six points, as opposed to Ireland’s three.
What happens if the Great Britain vs Ireland hockey match ends in a draw?
If the Great Britain vs Ireland match ends in a draw, India will go through as Ireland will only have four points compared to India’s six.
To sum up, Indian women’s hockey will be spending the most nervous few hours of their life (till the result of Great Britain vs Ireland match comes out in the evening). However, that’s what happens when you leave it late in any sport, and the Indian women’s hockey team would have known that coming into a major tournament like the Olympics.
Also read: India at Olympics 2021: Analysis of men’s hockey team performance during the group stage
Pool A table