Indian men’s hockey team defeated Germany 5-4 in the bronze medal playoff at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday. India have won a hockey medal at the Olympics after a wait of 41 years. 

The eight-time former gold-winners, who battled a heartbreaking slump in the last four decades, made the resurgence of the last couple of years count in the best way possible with an Olympic medal.

Simranjeet scored two field goals for India. The other goal-getters were Hardik Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh. 

Germany’s goals were scored by Timur Oruz (2nd), Niklas Wellen (24th), Benedikt Furk (25th) and Lukas Windfeder (48th).

Determined to win a medal, the Indians came back from a two-goal deficit. Germany had gone 3-1 up in the 25th minute, but the Indians fought back to register a historic win. 

There were tears and hugs on the field as the Indians led by Manpreet Singh and coached by Australian Graham Reid savoured the historic moment.

This is Indian hockey team’s third bronze medal in the history of Olympics. The other two came in 1968 Mexico City and the 1972 Munich Games.

It was heart-break for world no. 4 Germany who could not repeat their bronze medal winning feat of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Indians were slow to get off the blocks and the Indian defence was found wanting in the first half. The Germans pressed hard on the Indian defence from the word go and took the lead in the second minute through Oruz.

But goalkeeper PR Sreejesh made some brilliant saves to ensure that Germany did not run away with the game.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also hailed the Indian hockey team’s win and said that the win would be etched in the memory of every Indian. 

“Historic! A day that will be etched in the memory of every Indian. Congratulations to our Men’s Hockey Team for bringing home the Bronze. With this feat, they have captured the imagination of the entire nation, especially our youth. India is proud of our Hockey team,” Modi tweeted after India defeated Germany in the bronze medal match.