KA happy ending for Germany’s hockey men: For the first time in 21 years, the team is returning from the Olympic Games without a medal. The selection of the German Hockey Association lost the small final against India 4: 5 (3: 3) in Tokyo on Thursday and came fourth empty-handed. The last time the DHB team was in Sydney in 2000 was without precious metal. Thereafter, there were bronze medals in Athens in 2004 and Rio in 2016, and gold in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
In a hot match at temperatures of 33 degrees, Timur Oruz scored the German goals in the 2nd minute, Niklas Wellen (24th), Benedikt Furk (25th) and Lukas Windfeder (48th). For India, Simranjeet Singh (17th / 34th), Hardik Singh (27th), Harmanpreet Singh (29th) and Rupinder Pal Singh (31st) scored by seven meters.
With a loud roar into the match
With a loud roar, the protégés of national coach Kais al Saadi got in the mood for the bronze medal just before kick-off at the Oi Hockey Stadium. And the EM runner-up was in fact right at operating temperature. In the initial phase, a lot of pressure was put on and the courage was rewarded after just 99 seconds. Midfielder Oruz from the German champions Rot-Weiss Köln successfully completed an energetic attack and caused early cheers.
There was no sign of the aftermath of the bitter 3-1 defeat in the semi-finals against Australia. The German team, which acted focused and strong, was only in danger once in the first quarter. A penalty corner by the Indians was skilfully fended off. Towards the end of the starting section, the German team, all in white, pushed hard on the second goal. However, four consecutive attempts at a penalty corner did not lead to the desired success.
So it remained with the narrow lead, which was gone shortly after the beginning of the second quarter. The equalization left no effect whatsoever on the German team, which shook itself briefly and continued to control the game. The commitment was quickly rewarded: after Jan Christopher Rühr’s nice preparatory work, Wellen met, only a minute later Furk increased.
Compact defense of the Indians
However, the eight-time Olympic champion from India, who won his last gold so far 41 years ago, struck back again. Two penalty corners were converted – at halftime the match was completely open again. And that’s not all: Immediately after the restart, the DHB men fell behind for the first time with a seven-meter deficit, which a little later even increased to two goals.
Now morality was required. The German team mobilized the last of their forces, but found no gap in the compact defense of the Indians in the third quarter. Windfeder provided new hope with the connection hit at the beginning of the final section. But the equalization was no longer possible despite a great fight.