Tokyo: India defeated Germany by five goals to four in the bronze medal match. Germany won a penalty corner in the final second, but Indian keeper P.S. R. Sreejesh miraculously saved it and became the savior of literally 130 crore people.
Exciting. Proud. Incredible. Indian hockey has won an Olympic medal four decades later. The Indian men’s team won bronze in the Olympics by defeating Germany by five goals to four. India came back with a three-goal lead after trailing by three goals to one. This is the first time since winning gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics that India has won a medal at the Olympics. This is India’s third bronze medal in the history of the Olympics. So far, India has won eight gold, one silver and three bronze medals.
Prior to this, India had won bronze medals at the 1968 and 1972 Olympics. With this victory, India’s medal tally in Olympic hockey rose to 12. Eight gold, one silver, and three bronze. India is also the team that has won the most Olympic gold in hockey.
While Simranjeet Singh scored a pair of goals for India, Rupinderpal Singh, Hardik Singh and Harmanpreet Singh also found the target. Timor Ores, Benedict Fork, Nicholas Whelen and Lucas Windfeder all scored for Germany.
At the start of the match, Germany dominated. The German battlefield was filled with excellent short passes. The result came in the second minute. Germany took the lead in the second minute after finding fault with the Indian defense. Timor Ores scored for Germany. After giving up the lead in the first over, the Indian forward woke up. India then won a penalty corner but Rupinder Pal Singh failed to find the back of the net.
India failed to create good scoring chances in the first quarter. However, the Indians woke up in the second quarter and equalized in the 17th minute. Simranjeet Singh scored for India. Simranjeet, who received a long pass from Neelkanth Sharma, slammed the ball into the back of the net. With this the match got excited. Despite Germany making good progress, India’s Malayalee goalkeeper Sreejesh filled the field with brilliant saves.
But the joy of India did not last long. Germany took the lead with two goals in a row after finding fault with the Indian defense. Germany scored the second goal in the 24th minute through Nicholas Wellen and scored the third goal in the 25th minute through Benedict Fork. Both goals came from India’s defensive error. This gave Germany a 3-1 lead. India trailed by two goals. As part of that, he also won a penalty corner. Rupinderpal, who took a penalty corner, hit the ball to the post but the German goalkeeper hit it. But the ball went straight to Hardik Singh, who was unmarked. Hardik scored India’s second goal in the 27th minute. Shortly afterwards, India found the back of the net and the game was in full swing. This time Harmanpreet Kaur scored for India through a penalty corner. The goal was scored in the 29th minute. The score was 3-3. At the end of the second quarter, India and Germany drew level.
India scored their fourth goal of the match early in the third quarter. Rupinder Pal Singh scored for India from the penalty spot. In the 34th minute, the referee awarded a penalty in favor of India for dropping Harmanpreet inside the box. An experienced Rupinder who took the spot kick did not make a mistake. Rupinder gave India the lead with ease. India, trailing 3-1, struggled with increased vigor to take a 5-3 lead. This time Simranjeet Singh scored for India. Simranjeet received a brilliant pass from Gurjant Singh and easily got the ball into the net. With this, Germany collapsed. At the end of the third quarter, India maintained that lead. The Germans found the back of the net in the fourth quarter and scored the fourth goal. Lucas Windfeder scored from the penalty spot in the 48th minute. With this, the score became 5-4. Soon after 41 years, the Olympic hockey medal went to India.