history-repeats-similar-as-1980-indian-hockey-team-beats-spain-as-india-beats-germany-in-tokyo-olympics-to-win-bronze-medal-Bronze medal match between India and Germany The story of the 1980 finals repeated in this, know how India won the yellow medal then
After 41 years in the Tokyo Olympics, when the Indian men’s hockey team won the bronze medal for the country, at that time there was a feeling that hockey had been reborn in India. How precious was the moment when P.R. Sreejesh stopped the ball from going into the goal and on the other side the horn was sounded to end the match. Every Indian sports lover was emotional at that time. Amidst moist eyes, everyone was watching their national game come alive once again after 1980.
This history was created by that team of Manpreet Singh, which no one was ready to sponsor. This is the same team whose jersey no one wanted to write his name on and today the Prime Minister of the country himself was talking to the captain and coach of that team by making a phone call in Tokyo. Earlier in 1980, the Indian team got the gold medal under the leadership of V. Bhaskaran.
Goals rained in 1980 as well and in 2021 also goals rained heavily. Even in 1980, everyone’s breath was stuck in the last moments and everyone was biting their nails in the bronze medal match of Tokyo Olympics. The competition was like this and if you know the story of 1980, then you yourself will say that history has repeated itself.
In the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the final was held between India and Spain. Due to the ongoing dispute between Russia and America, only 6 teams were able to participate in this Olympics. India’s fighting team started their campaign by beating Tanzania 18-0 in the very first match.
India again got a tough challenge from Poland and Spain. The matches with both the teams ended in draw at 2-2. But Spain was the European champion at that time and the way India drew the match against them, it rekindled the confidence that this team would do something. After that India faced Cuba which India washed out 13-0.
Now it was the turn of the last match of the league and this match was also important to make it to the final. India was scheduled to face the home team Soviet Union (present-day Russia). At that time defeating the Soviet Union in his house was nothing short of challenging him by entering the lion’s house. But this Indian team was different and they proved it by defeating the home team 4-2.
Now the time had come for which everyone was waiting and that was the final match. The European champion Spain and the Indian team called the Underdogs were face to face in the final. The contest was a thorn in the side and would hold everyone’s breath till the last moment.
The final started in India’s favor as India took a 2-0 lead at half-time thanks to two goals from Surinder Singh Sodhi. After 1964, once again the fragrance of victory started coming and then in the beginning of the second half, MK Kaushik intensified this fragrance by scoring one more goal. But one should never rush into the game, it was seen here.
India were ahead 3-0 and then Spain’s Juan Amat scored two goals in two minutes to make the score 3-2. Breathing had stopped again and the fight was getting stuck. This is where Indian captain Bhaskaran’s strategy of feeding Mohammad Shahid to centre-forward worked. Meanwhile, Shahid scored the deciding goal in the 58th minute. The score of the match was 4-2.
Nevertheless, Spain did not give up and completing his hat-trick in the 65th minute, Amat scored another goal. The score was 4-3, breathless everywhere. There was a gap of just 5 minutes between India’s victory and the gold medal. Spain was attacking one after the other. Meanwhile, Spain got two penalty corners in the last seconds but Indian goalkeeper Bir Bahadur stood as a wall in front of the field goal post and the Spanish players could not penetrate them.
After all, history was created in this breath-taking match and the prestige that Indian hockey had been losing was regained. The team led by Vasudev Bhaskaran captured the gold medal in the men’s hockey event of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
If we remember this match of 1980 and the bronze medal match of yesterday, then both the matches were very similar. Indian hockey had lost its prestige. There was no sponsor for the national sports team in India. In such a situation, when this team of Manpreet Singh won the bronze medal after ending the drought of 41 years, then everyone was as happy as it was.
Often this moment was after a victory in cricket, but this time it was not the victory of cricket, it was the victory of the national game. Where yesterday also history repeated itself once again. Yesterday also Germany dominated India in the last moments and secured a penalty corner in the last seconds. Yesterday also the goalkeeper had to stand as a wall, the only difference was that Bir Bahadur was there on that day and yesterday was P. Sreejesh.
In the 1980s, there was no live telecast of Black and White at that time and neither did the score on Google. The whole country was relying only on radio. But many Indians must have cherished the moment of the bronze medal match in their hearts. This moment was special and even after 41 years, the national sport of the country was reborn.
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