New Delhi: India beat Germany 2-1 in the bronze medal match of Hockey World League (HWL) Final 2017 at the Kalinga Stadium on Sunday. Out of the title race after a heart-breaking loss to Argentina, a demoralised India put up a solid show to win their last match of the tournament and finish third, hence reclaiming their bronze medal.
The hosts took lead in the second quarter through SV Sunil, however, Mark Appel pulled off the equaliser five minutes into the third quarter. It was then Harmanpreet Singh who converted the penalty corner in the fourth quarter to seal the score 2-1.
With this win, India have avenged their defeat as they lost 0-2 to Germany in the pool stages of the tournament. While, on the other hand, Germany deserve the credit for playing with just 11 players and two of them were goalkeepers. Prior to the game, Germans were struggling to find a fully fit playing XI as some of their players were down with a stomach bug.
The ongoing HWL Final is Asian champion India’s biggest tournament before next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and coach Sjoerd Marijne and his men would be eager to make the most out of the opportunity with a morale-boosting result in their favour.
Having finished third in the last edition of the tournament in Raipur in 2015, India desperately wanted to go one step further this year but their dreams were crushed by the experienced Olympic champions Argentina, who displayed calm and cool temperament under difficult playing conditions to hold on to their solitary lead in the semifinals.
Argentina will now play title holder Australia in the summit clash of the tournament, scheduled to be held today evening. (With PTI inputs)