Hockeyroos out of Games after India loss
The Hockeyroos' Olympic dreams have been shattered in one of the great women's hockey upsets of the Games, beaten 1-0 by India in the quarter-finals.
Playing in only their third Olympics, India were given little chance against an Australian side that had won all five games and conceded just one goal to reach the final eight.
But the Hockeyroos were unable to crack the Indian defence, a Gurjit Kaur drag flick that bobbled home on 22 minutes the difference as they joined the Indian men's team in the final four in Japan.
It was India's only short corner while Australia were unable to score from any of their nine - they converted just two-of-25 across the tournament - while Rosie Malone hit the post after 90 seconds.
Their exit comes after the program was torn to shreds by an external review prompted by claims of bullying that saw omitted goalkeeper Rachael Lynch resort to a legal challenge to earn back her spot in the side.
Coach Paul Gaudoin and his assistant and selector stood down in the lead-up to the Games, but Australia's hot start in Tokyo under new coach Katrina Powell had them believing they could add to their three Olympic titles.
"We've had a massive 18 months and our team has had to go through so much stuff off the field that I'm so proud of," Malone said.
"It really felt like the way we were playing this was going to all come together at the end for us and make it all worth it.
"There's a lot of excitement for the future of the Hockeyroos and I think we are heading in the right direction with our team and our sport.
"I know that this will just make all of us even stronger, but right now thinking about waiting another few years to try and chase our dream is a bit hard to swallow.
"It just felt like one of those days where things just weren't really going our way and some of the chances that we got in other games would have gone in."
In what was their first Olympics appearance since 1980, India lost their first three games after going winless to finish last in Rio.
But they beat South African and Ireland to sneak into the final eight and will now play for a medal for the first time in a semi-final against Argentina, who Australia beat 2-0 earlier in the tournament.
"I can't believe it ... I knew we could do it but you still have to," India coach Sjoerd Marijne, who hinted he would be releasing a book about the side's rise later this year, said.
"Today the defence was very good and then we got one chance and we made it.
"I'm very happy for Gurjit because if she doesn't score she gets a lot of comments (from critics).
"I kept telling her 'listen, you only need one goal to make a difference in one match' and today she showed it."
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