The mind supported India but the heart was with Germany as the two battled it out for the bronze medal in the World Hockey League Final on 10 December 2017. India took the field with all 18 players fit while Germany had only 11 to put on the field as seven players were ruled out due to injury or high fever.
It wasn’t an easy task for world No 6 India against the four-time Olympic gold medallists and world no 5 Germany, though they had no players for substitutions. The Germans played a highly tactical game and put goalkeeper Mark Appel as the lone frontman with skipper Mats Grambusch taking on the role of a withdrawn forward.
India defeated the depleted but lion-hearted Germany 2-1 before a huge crowd at the Kalinga Stadium. India thus repeated the bronze medal they bagged in the previous edition in Raipur to end the year on a high note. Germany equalised in the 36th minute when Mark Appel pushed in a superb move created by Grambusch (1-all). Germany created some pressure in the third quarter and bagged a couple of penalty corners but failed to convert. In all, they wasted seven corners.