A heartbroken Germany finishes off the podium in fourth, the first time the men’s side has not gained a medal at an Olympics since 2000.
Germany started quickly at the Oi Hockey Stadium, taking the lead in the second minute with a deflected goal from Timur Oruz. Their midfielders dominated the quarter, but goalkeeper Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh kept out the shots.
India’s Simranjeet Singh scored the equalizer in the second quarter before Germany restored the lead through Niklas Wellen. After India conceded possession, Benedikt Furk then shot into an unguarded net to go 3-1 ahead. Two penalty corners for India saw Hardik Singh score on the rebound from the first, while Harmanpreet Singh nailed the second. Going into halftime, it was 3-3.
India started brightly in the third quarter earning a penalty stroke in the first minute, from which Rupinder Pal Singh scored to extend India’s lead to 4-2. Three minutes later, Simranjeet scored his second goal to develop India’s lead to 5-3.
Germany scored another goal in the fourth quarter courtesy of Lukas Windfeder, but it was not enough as India won the match 5-4 to take the bronze.
India men’s hockey team beat Germany to win the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday. It is India’s first Olympic medal in hockey as they attained the gold medal in Moscow in the 1980 Olympics. It was a magnificent event between the two teams that ran right down to the middle.
India had to get back twice from following in the match to straighten the scores and then drive on to take the edge. However, coach Graham Reid’s side showed great temperament in the match’s dying minutes to script history.
India witnessed Germany get an early edge, with Timur Oruz securing within two minutes of the event. Germany upset the Indian defense in the first quarter but could not locate a way to continue their lead.
In the second quarter, India’s Simranjeet Singh secured from a well-executed tomahawk shot, but defensive lapses led to Germany adding two more goals within two minutes. When India seemed to be in crisis, two penalty corners for India generated results as Hardik Singh got on the rebound from the first one. In contrast, Harmanpreet Singh stuck the second one with a superb drag-flick onto the back of the nets to equalize the numbers at 3-3 by halftime.
The course completely shifted in India’s favor in the third quarter as Rupinder Pal Singh converted a penalty stroke after Mandeep Singh was tripped inside the scoring circle. Minutes later, Simranjeet Singh scored from open play after Gurjant Singh dribbled past the German defense from the right and pushed the ball to him in front of the goal. Simranjeet made no mistake and stuck it into the net cleanly to extend India’s lead.
Lukas Windfeder dragged one back in the final quarter from a penalty corner, but it was not enough for Germany to push the game to the shootouts. Germany received a penalty corner in the dying seconds of the match. India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh made a fantastic save to deny Windfeder this time as Manpreet Singh and company scripted history in Tokyo. Australia takes on Belgium in the gold-medal match later in the day.
It is India’s fourth-medal (and fifth confirmed) in Tokyo so far. Excluding the 7-1 defeat against Australia and the 5-2 loss in the semifinal to the World Champions Belgium, India gained all their matches in Tokyo.