Putting up a gallant and gritty fight India beat Germany 5-4 to win the bronze medal after winning the Men’s Hockey bronze medal play-off match at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday. Down 1-3, India fought back to register a 5-4.
It was India’s first Olympic medal in hockey after 41 years. The last was Gold in Moscow Olympics 1980
Even though they conceded a goal in the last quarter, the Indian defended stoically to deny the Germans. Keeper Sreejesh was on the money to keep out two penalty corners in the dying minutes of the match.
India conceded early – in the 2nd minute itself with Timur Oruz scoring a field goal to give Germany a 1-0 lead which they held on to at the end of the first quarter.
India though recovered and drew level in quick time, two minutes into the second quarter when Simranjeet scored via a field goal to make it one-all. However, in the 24th minute, Niklas Mellen restore his team’s one-goal advantage.
A minute later 2-1 became 3-1 with Benedikt Furk scoring a field goal of his own. The Indian response to the quick setbacks was swift.
Hardik Singh scored a couple of minutes later with Indian converting a penalty corner to make it 3-2. Riding the momentum, they won another penalty corner two minutes later and Harmanpreet Singh made no mistake to make it 3-3.
After an eventful start, the half-time break came as a much needed breather for the two opponents with the first two quarters already accounting for six goals in total.
Third quarter belonged to India who came refreshed as they pounded two goals in the space of three minutes to take a two-goal lead. First, Rupinder Pal Singh scored his first goal of the match scoring through a penalty stroke in the 31st minute to hand his team a 1-0 lead.
Then, Simranjeet scored his second field goal of the match to make it 5-3 in the 34th minute
Congratulating the Indian men’s hockey team on their bronze medal win, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: ‘Historic! A day that will be etched in the memory of every Indian. Congratulations to our Men’s Hockey Team for bringing home the Bronze. With this feat, they have captured the imagination of the entire nation, especially our youth. India is proud of our Hockey team. Field hockey stick and ball.’
Historic! A day that will be etched in the memory of every Indian.
Congratulations to our Men’s Hockey Team for bringing home the Bronze. With this feat, they have captured the imagination of the entire nation, especially our youth. India is proud of our Hockey team. ?
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 5, 2021