The Indian men’s hockey team made history by winning an Olympic medal for the first time in 41 years, overcoming a resilient Germany 5-4 in a thrilling play-off match. The last time India won a hockey medal was at the 1980 Moscow Olympics when they won gold.
On Thursday, August 5, 2021, India broke the medal jinx by defeating the Germans in a stunning comeback victory. India had to come back from behind twice in the match to tie the score and then go on to gain the lead. Coach Graham Reid’s team displayed amazing poise in the final minutes of the game to write history.
Timur Oruz scored in the second minute of the first quarter to give Germany an early lead. In the 17th minute, Simranjeet Singh equalized India, bringing the score to 1-1. Germany, on the other hand, came roaring back in the second quarter, scoring two more goals to take a 3-1 lead.
Hardik Singh equalized for India, bringing the score to 2-3, and Harmanpreet Singh struck the back of the net once more to bring India level at the end of the second quarter. Rupinder Pal Singh’s penalty stroke gave India a shocking 4-3 lead in the third quarter, proving to be the most productive for Manpreet Singh’s team.
Things got even better when Simranjeet Singh scored his second goal of the game, giving India a 5-3 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, Germany pushed hard and converted one of their numerous penalty corners to trail India by one goal. The Indian players, on the other hand, defended resolutely and held on to their one-goal lead.
With few seconds remaining in the game, Germany was awarded a penalty corner. PR Sreejesh, on the other hand, deflected the ball away from the goal as Indian players jumped for excitement, thus ending the country’s long wait for Olympic hockey gold.
Simranjeet Singh (17th, 34th minutes) scored the winning goal, while Hardik Singh (27th), Harmanpreet Singh (29th), and Rupinder Pal Singh (31st) scored for World No.3 India.
Timur Oruz (2nd), NiklasWellen (24th), BenediktFurk (25th), and Lukas Windfeder (2nd) scored for Germany (48th).
Journey at the Olympics
India’s men’s hockey team enjoyed a great journey to the Tokyo Olympics, defeating New Zealand 3-2 in their first group game and going on to win their other group games against Germany (2-0), Spain (3-1), Argentina (3-1), and Japan (5-3) consecutively. India won all of their games in Tokyo, except a 7-1 loss to Australia and a 5-2 semifinal loss to World Champions Belgium. The Indians, anxious for a medal, staged one of the greatest comebacks in Olympic history, recovering from a two-goal deficit to win the match. India has three bronze medals in hockey in the Olympics’ history. The other two were held in Mexico City in 1968 and Munich in 1972.