Bhubaneswar: India reclaimed the bronze medal at the Hockey World League (HWL) Final after eking out a close 2-1 win over a depleted but spirited Germany in the third-fourth place classification match here on Sunday.
SV Sunil (20′) put India in the lead in the first half but a poor defending saw Mark Appel (36′) equalise in the second half.
Harmanpreet Singh (54′) then converted a penalty corner six minutes before the final hooter to seal the match in India’s favour.
It was always going to be a David vs Goliath task for Germany as they were already a depleted side before the start of the match having lost five players to illness and injuries.
For the Germans, who had 13 players at its disposal in the semi-final against Australia yesterday, it became bad to worse as they had just 11 players to play with, including reserve goalkeeper Mark Appel, in the bronze medal match after two more players fell ill.
But Germany dished out a lion-hearted performance and not only restricted the margin to 2-1 but also gave the India defence a run for their money with as many as 13 shots at the goal as against the home team’s 12.
India held onto their slim lead before the capacity crowd at Kalinga Stadium made a collective roar after their team had sealed a second straight bronze at the HWL Final.