India’s 5-4 win against Germany on Thursday won the country a bronze in men’s hockey after 41 years. The thrilling win is the result of a young Indian side’s dogged performance, writes sports journalist Harpal Singh Bedi.
A determined India fought back after trailing Germany 3-1 and then pulled ahead to script a dramatic win.
Two goals from Simranjeet Singh, and one apiece from Harmanpreet Singh, Hardik Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh won the team a bronze – India’s third in the Tokyo Games so far.
India’s showing offers hope after decades for men’s hockey. The team has won eight Olympic gold medals, making it the most successful team ever, but the last gold was won in 1980 in Moscow.
But the path to the bronze was somewhat of a rollercoaster.
India’s opening match was an unimpressive 3-2 win over New Zealand – they conceded 10 penalty corners while earning five, raising valid concern about their defence.