Hyderabad: Indian men’s hockey team ended their 41-year-old medal drought at the Olympics finally!
The Manpreet Singh-led side held their nerves to down Germany 5-4 in a physically draining match for the bronze medal. At 5-4 and with just seven seconds left on the clock, India conceded a penalty corner.
But PR Sreejesh was a picture of poise and composure. He thwarted the Germans and kicked the ball out of the German’s reach sending the team into jubilations. India, who had won eight Olympics gold medals and a silver, added their third bronze to take the overall tally to 12 at the Olympics.
However, it was Germany that took the initiative scoring the goal in the games’ very second minute. But Simjraneet found an equaliser in the 17th minute before Germany took the lead with a 24th minute goal and swelled the lead in the very next the minute.
The action-packed second quarter saw Hardik Singh and Harmapreet Singh in action with goals as both teams went into break at 3-all.
Rupinder Pal Singh put India ahead after the break in the 31st minute while Simranjeet Singh added his second goal in the 34th minute to give India 5-3 lead.
The Germans resorted to physical play in search of the equaliser. Lucas Windfeder scored a goal in the 48th minute to reduce the margin. Germany got 13 penalty corners in the match but the Indian defence stood strong.