75 years of independence, 75 iconic moments from Indian sports: No. 65- India team beats Germany to win men’s hockey Olympic bronze

India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes. 

India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes. 

The Indian men’s hockey team overturned a 1-3 deficit to earn its first medal in 41 years with a 5-4 win over Germany in a high-octane bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics.

August 5, 2021: India ends 41-year wait to win Olympic medal, beats Germany to win bronze

This was India’s fifth medal at the Tokyo Olympics, after the medals of Mirabai Chanu, P. V. Sindhu, Lovlina Borgohain and an assured medal for wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya.

Timur Oruz put Germany ahead inside two minutes. India failed to clear a cross-shot from Timm Herzbruch, with Oruz forcing the ball over the goal-line.

India drew level in the second quarter courtesy of a fine finish from Simranjeet Singh, who effected a low back-hand that clipped the kicker of German goalie GK Stadler. However, Niklas Wellen put Germany in the lead again with a back-hand strike inside the right post from the left before Benedikt Furk made it 3-1.

Harmanpreet’s penalty corner drag-flick was only half saved by Stadler, with Hardik Singh firing the loose ball into the net. India made it 3-3 when he rattled home a low penalty corner drag-flick for his sixth goal of the competition.

The third quarter saw India score off a penalty corner and open play. Rupinder Pal Singh converted the penalty stroke before Gurjant Singh ran around the back of the German defence down the right and set up Simranjeet Singh, who slotted home to make it 5-3.

Lukas Windfeder then scored to drag his team to within one goal of India. However, India goalie P. R. Sreejesh - who had nine saves - stood tall under the bar to deny Germany an equaliser, eventually handing India a memorable win. 

(This article was first published on 5th August)

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