India women's hockey team on Monday registered a historic win by making it to the Olympics semifinals. Underdogs India defeated Australia 1-0 to secure an unprecedented place in the semifinals, with many comparing the victory to Bollywood film Chak De! India. For many, it was a deja vu moment as they were quickly reminded of Shah Rukh Khan's sports drama. The actor reacted to India's win keeping up with his trademark wit and humour. Harking back to his role as a tough and dedicated hockey coach in the acclaimed sports drama, the Bollywood superstar encouraged the Indian women's hockey team to bring a gold medal.
Responding to a tweet by Sjoerd Marijne, Chief Coach Indian Woman Hockey, the actor wrote, "Haan haan no problem. Just bring some Gold on your way back….for a billion family members. This time Dhanteras is also on 2nd Nov. From: Ex-coach Kabir Khan (sic)."
Shah Rukh played Kabir Khan in the 2007 Shimit Amin-directorial film which saw his character lead the Indian women's hockey team to their win against Australia in the World Cup. Coincidentally, the reel victory was scripted in real life today after the team, led by Dutch coach Sjoerd Marijne and captain Rani Rampal, created history by advancing to its first ever semifinal at the Olympics in Tokyo after beating three-time champions Australia by a solitary goal.
For the unversed, India defeated world No. 2 Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals to storm into the last-four stage, marking their maiden entry into the medal round with a brilliant performance against a team that had dominated the tournament so far and was one of the favourites to win the gold medal.
The Indians attacked aggressively, defended stoutly and controlled the midfield that allowed them to enjoy possession in the first half. Australia could not get into their rhythm early on and kept chasing the ball in the entire match.
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(With inputs from agencies)