May 29, 2024

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HISTORIC!! Tokyo Olympics: India Men’s Hockey Team Ends Medal Drought After 41 Years, Clinches Bronze

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Goals from Simranjeeet Singh, Hardik Singh, Rupinderpal Singh and skipper Harmanpreet Singh was enough for Team India to secure the Bronze medal.

India men’s hockey team defeated Germany in a nine -goal thriller to clinch the Olympic bronze medal on Thursday, August 5. India won the match 5-4 courtesy goals from Simranjeeet Singh, Hardik Singh, Rupinderpal Singh and skipper Harmanpreet Singh. The medal was also India’s fourth at Tokyo Olympics 2020 following the earlier success of Mirabai Chanu (SIlver) \, PV Sindhu (Bronze) and Lovlina Borgohain (Bronze).

Tokyo Olympics 2020: India vs Germany hockey highlights

Germany took an early lead in the match with a goal from the very first attack. A reverse hit from Herzbruch in front of goal was saved by India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, however, Timur Oruz converted the rebound to give the team the lead. Germany kept the pressure and once again brought Sreejesh into action as he made a great save from his left hand off a deflection from a German stick. India was finding it difficult to deal with waves of the German attack with Sreejesh standing like a wall between the goal and German attack.

In the second quarter, India managed to find the equaliser courtesy of Simranjeeet. India started a counterattack with Hardik Singh intercepting the ball and passing it to Nilakanta, who took his time but found Simran at the center of the circle. He turned and struck a tomahawk shot into the nets. The German team however was immediate with its response by scoring the second goal as Ruhrer managed to find a way to send the ball inside the circle for Wellen to apply the finishing touch and give his team the lead. India’s poor defending led to Germany doubling their lead through Furk after Surender Kumar lost possession inside the circle after being double teamed by German players.

The Indian team have shown heart throughout the tournament and have fought back whenever down and out. With Germany looking like taking away the match, the Men in blue staged a comeback to make it 2-3 with Hardik Singh scoring the second goal after Harmanpreet’s drag flick was saved by the German goalkeeper. The comeback was completed by Harmanpreet Singh just before the end of Quarter 2 as his drag-flick from a penalty corner ended in the back of the German net.

The third quarter started with India taking the lead in the match for the first time with Rupinderpal Singh converting the penalty stroke. Mandeep Singh was tripped inside the circle with Germany asking for a referral. The decision though went in India’s favor leaving Germany to do all the catch up. The Indian team extended their lead to 5-3 with Simranjeet Singh scoring his second goal of the match following an assist from Gurjant Singh who dribbled past German defense before providing the pass. The German team though kept the pressure on the Indian defense with series of penalty corner and circle penetration but failed to get yet another goal in Quarter 3.

The start of the Quarter 4 saw Germany score their fourth goal through a penalty corner. Following a sloping showing from the Indian defense Germany managed to get a penalty corner which was converted by Windfederto to make it 5-4 for the team. Despite continued pressure from German players, the Indian defense stood tall with goalkeeper PR Sreejesh also pulling of some important save to deny the opponent to tie the match. During the dying minutes of the match, the German team pulled up their goalkeeper to bring in an extra man on the field, however the Indian team hold onto win the bronze.

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