HWL: India beat Germany 2-1 to clinch bronze
Manpreet Singh & Co beat unwell Germans 2-1 to win third place at Bhubaneswar
Hockey World League Final
A depleted German side might have lost the bronze-medal play-off match at the Hockey World League Final, but India coach Sjoerd Marijne praised the visitors for their spirited show, saying that they completely surprised the home team with their "structured" system. India reclaimed the bronze medal at HWL Final after eking out a narrow 2-1 win over a depleted but spirited Germany in the third-fourth place classification match yesterday.
Indian players pose with their bronze medals after beating Germany in the third-place match yesterday. Pic/AFP
"It was a great performance from Germany and the goalkeeper (Mark Appel, who scored Germany's goal). They fought really hard. We wanted to score early. The way they played, it was not a system we are used to. The players were a little bit scared to lose the ball," Marijne said at the post-match press conference.
Lion-hearted show by Germany
Germany, who had just 13 players at their disposal in the semi-final against Australia yesterday, played with only 11 players, including reserve goalkeeper Appel after two more players fell ill. "I am happy with the win because matches like these are not easy. Because it all (11 vs 18) plays in the head. The most important thing is mentality with which we won the match. Of course, we can improve," Marijne said. The coach, however, felt there were many lessons to learn from the tournament for the Indians. "The most important thing is consistency. That's the thing we need to work on. We played at the highest level. I know what happens mentally and I know what we need to change," he said.
Harmanpreet scores winner
Indian took the lead in 21st minute through SV Sunil before Germany equalised through its reserve custodian Mark Appel (36th). A penalty corner conversion by Harmanpreet Singh (54th) sealed the win for India.
Bhubaneswar: World champions Australia defeated Olympic champions Argentina 2-1 in a hard-fought summit clash to defend the Hockey World League (HWL) Final crown yesterday.
It was a fitting end to the eight-nation tournament which witnessed a keen battle between world's best two teams. Eventually, the experience of handling pressure in big events came in handy for the three-time world champions Australia who scored through two penalty corner conversions by Jeremy Hayward (17th) and Blake Govers (58th).
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Dhanraj Pillay relives Indian Hockey's dream run of 1998!