Hockey Image: AFP
Tokyo: The Indian men's hockey team rewrote history as it claimed an Olympic medal after 41 years, beating a plucky Germany 5-4 to claim the bronze in an edge-of-the-seat play-off match of the ongoing Games here on Thursday.
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 Singh (17th, 34th minutes) scored a brace, while Hardik Singh (27th), Harmanpreet Singh (29th) and Rupinder Pal Singh (31st) were the other goal getters for India.
Germany's goals were scored by Timur Oruz (2nd), Niklas Wellen (24th), Benedikt Furk (25th) and Lukas Windfeder (48th).
Determined to clinch a medal, the Indians made one of the most memorable comebacks in the history of the game, fighting back from a two-goal deficit to turn the match in their favour.
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.
It is India's third hockey bronze medal in the history of the Olympics.
The other two came in 1968 Mexico City and the 1972 Munich Games.