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Vandana Katariya becomes first Indian woman hockey player to score a hat-trick in Olympics
The experienced Vandana Katariya scored thrice against South Africa to keep the Indian women's hockey team in contention for the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics.
The most experienced forward of the Indian woman's hockey team Vandana Katariya became the first women's hockey player to score a hat-trick at the Olympics as India beat South Africa 4-3 in their last Pool A fixture on Saturday.
With this victory, the Indian team stays in contention to reach its first-ever quarterfinal of the Olympics in 41 years. However, it can only happen if Great Britain beat or draw with Ireland later in the day. If Ireland wins, they will go through the quarters instead.
Katariya put Indian ahead in the fourth minute of the match after getting the ball through from a great run by Navneet Kaur. It was equalised for South Africa by Tarryn Glasby just 30 seconds before the end of the first quarter. Vandana again put India in the lead when a penalty corner drag-flick by Deep Grace Ekka took off from the stick's deflection to make the scoreline 2-1. South African skipper Erin Hunter once again drew level in a match of fluctuating fortunes.
Neha scored for India again to take the lead at 3-2 after slipping the advantage. South Africa's Marizen Marais further equalised to make it 3-3. Vandana Katariya scored her third goal and put India in the lead for the fourth time. That was the final goal scoring action of the game as India won the match 4-3