India won gold in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics final, defeating arch-rivals and defending champions Pakistan 1-0. It was India’s sixth Olympic gold. Manpreet Singh and his team defeated Argentina, the 2016 Rio Olympic winners, 3-1 in Tokyo on Thursday to advance to the quarter-finals.
The victory is noteworthy, especially in light of India’s 1-7 defeat to Australia on Sunday, because it keeps India in second place in Group A, behind the world No. 1 team, after victories over New Zealand and Spain earlier in the tournament, ensuring a potential easier draw in the last eight.
“I feel terrific after the win, but there are still a lot of things to work on,” Rupinder Pal Singh, a defender, told Reuters. “The big games are coming up in a couple of days.”
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In April, India proved that their back-to-back triumphs against Argentina in their own backyard in Buenos Aires were a solid predictor of their current level of hockey. On Thursday, India, now rated No. 3 in the world, was clearly the better team at the Oi Hockey Stadium, with 53 percent possession and 28 circle penetrations (compared to Argentina’s meagre eight) and eight penalty corner opportunities (compared to their opponent’s two).
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