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Four India matches, including Tokyo Olympics bronze medal ties, nominated for hockey’s ‘Best Match of 2021’

The Indian men’s hockey team famously came back from 3-1 down to beat Germany 5-4 and claim the Olympic bronze medal at Tokyo 2020.

The Indian men’s hockey team’s thrilling 5-4 victory against Germany to clinch the bronze medal at Tokyo 2020 is among the nominees for the Best Match of 2021, shortlisted by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

India fell behind 1-0 and then trailed 3-1 before making a stirring comeback to win 5-4 and win the bronze, their first Olympic medal in 41 years.

The Indian women’s hockey team, that finished fourth at Tokyo 2020 – India women’s best showing at an Olympics – also have two matches nominated for the ‘Best of 2021’ shortlist.

The Indian women’s team’s upset 1-0 victory over three-time Olympic champions Australia in the quarter-finals at Tokyo 2020 is the first one. Drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur scored the only goal of the match and the team defended resolutely to enter the semis.

The second match nominated was the women’s team’s heartbreaking 4-3 loss in the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal playoff against Great Britain.

India were trailing 2-0 before a Gurjit Kaur brace brought them level at 2-2. India even took a 3-2 lead through Vandana Katariya but Great Britain hit two more goals to seal a narrow win.

The fourth India match nominated is a men’s group match from the recently-concluded Junior World Cup, which India lost 5-4 to France.

India vice-captain Sanjay and French skipper Clement Timothee scored hat-tricks and France narrowly held on for victory.

In all, 10 matches have been shortlisted for the Best Match of 2021 award.

Ten nominations for the Best Goal of the year have also been listed by the FIH. This includes Hollie Pearne-Webb’s field strike in Great Britain’s bronze medal match against India.

Fans can vote for their favourite match and goal of 2021 on the FIH website. Voting closes on January 9, 2022.