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BREAKING | Indian hockey team wins bronze, ends 41-year Olympic medal drought

India men's hockey team beats Germany in the bronze medal match of the Tokyo Olympics to win a medal at the Summer Games after 41 years.

Indian Hockey Team

Indian men's hockey team vs Germany in the bronze medal match of the Tokyo Olympics (Source: Reuters)


Md Imtiaz

Updated: 5 Aug 2021 6:54 AM GMT

India has ended its 41-year medal drought in hockey at the Olympics. The Indian men's side led by Manpreet Singh won the bronze medal on Thursday at the Tokyo Olympics as they beat Germany in a closely fought 5-4 match at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo.

The German side took an early lead due to a defensive squabble in the Indian circle when Timur Oruz nudged a ball past Sreejesh to find the opening goal in the 2nd minute. They continued pressing inside the Indian circle with a series of attacks inside the Indian circle.

However, couldn't find another goal in the first quarter. India struggled against the odds of three successive penalty corners from Germany in the dying moments of Q1 and managed to survive all without conceding a goal.

Rupinderpal Singh after scoring goal from a penalty stroke for India (Source: Reuters)

The Indian side started looking confident in the second quarter. A counter-attack from the centre led by Hardik Singh found the ball in the safe hands of Nilakanta Sharma who pushed a long pass to the lone man Simranjeet in the German circle.

Simranjeet finished it off with a sensational tomahawk, which the German goalie couldn't stop. India had equalised in the 17th minute of the game. The quarter turned out to be a roller-coaster ride. Germany found their second goal after a counter-attack from the left flank found the Indian defence napping. Niklas Wellen worked out to find Germany the lead.

The Germans further their lead as Benedikt Furk scored through an attack from the right. Hardik Singh settled the score to 2-3 for India. And just before the end of Q2, India won a PC. Harmanpreet showcased his finesse again to rake up his sixth goal from a perfect drag flick. The match went on to be 3-3 by half-time.

Just one minute into the third quarter, India won a penalty stroke after Mandeep was dragged by a German defender in their circle and the seasoned Rupinderpal Singh didn't make any mistake to drive it past the German goalie in the bottom left corner of the goal to give India the lead for the first time in the match.

Another attack from the right flank just minutes later found Gurjant's ball safely reaching Simrtanjeet, who thumped again to score his second goal India was very much into the match with a 5-3 lead.

The German side earned a PC in the 48th minute and Lukas Windfeder found the goal which made the scoreline 5-4. Germany won a PC just three minutes before the full-time hooter but Sreejesh rose up to the occasion and foiled the chance. Just six seconds remaining, Germany won another PC, but Sreejesh did it.

The Indian hockey team last won a medal at the Olympics was back in the 1980 Moscow Games, where they had won a gold medal.

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