India vs Germany Tokyo 2020 bronze medal playoff voted third-best hockey match of 2021

India came from behind to win the thrilling match 5-4 and bagged their first Olympic hockey medal since 1980.

3 min By Ali Asgar Nalwala
(Picture by Getty Images)

The Indian men’s hockey team’s historic 5-4 victory against Germany to win the bronze medal at Tokyo 2020 Olympics was voted as the third-best match of 2021 by hockey fans.

The poll, named the FIH Best of 2021, was run by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Fans were allowed to vote for their favourite event from a shortlist of 10 nominees in each category.

India started their bronze medal match at Tokyo 2020 on the backfoot and trailed 3-1 before mounting a thrilling comeback. India eventually sealed the contest 5-4 to win their first Olympic medal since winning the gold at the Moscow 1980.

The women’s quarter-final match between Germany and Argentina, which the latter won 3-0, was voted as the best match of 2021 by the fans. The top two matches from the poll were also from the Tokyo Olympics.

The men’s Pool B game, where South Africa beat Germany 4-3 came in second.

The Indian women’s hockey team’s 1-0 victory over three-time Olympic champions Australia in the quarter-finals and a narrow 4-3 loss against Great Britain in the bronze medal playoff were among the other Tokyo 2020 matches nominated for the best match of 2021 in the poll.

In all, four India matches were shortlisted, including defending champions India’s 5-4 loss to France in the FIH men’s junior World Cup.

In the best goals category, Argentina’s Nicolas Keenan’s goal against Japan in the men’s pool phase at the Tokyo Olympics topped the list.

Keenan’s fellow Argentinian from the women’s team, Agustina Albertarrio, clinched second place for her goal against Germany in the Olympic quarter-finals.

Dayaan Cassiem of South Africa bagged the third spot for his goal against Belgium in Tokyo 2020 pool phase.

Indian men’s hockey team enjoyed a successful 2021 and will be next seen in action at the FIH Pro League which begins in February. The Indian women’s team, meanwhile, begin their Asia Cup title defence against Malaysia on January 21 at Muscat, Oman.

FIH Best of 2021 poll results

Best Match of 2021

1st place: Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Women’s quarter-final – Germany 0-3 Argentina

2nd place: Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Men’s Pool B – South Africa 4-3 Germany

3rd place: Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Men’s bronze medal – Germany 4-5 India

Best Goal of 2021

1st place: Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Nicolas Keenan (ARG). Argentina Men v Japan (Pool phase)

2nd place: Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Agustina Albertarrio (ARG). Argentina Women v Germany (Quarter-Final)

3rd place: Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Dayaan Cassiem (RSA). South Africa Men v Belgium (Pool phase)

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