India reclaimed the bronze medal at the Hockey World League (HWL) Final after a 2-1 win over a depleted-but-spirited Germany in the third-fourth place classification match in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

The Germans would have expected a tough game as they had only 11 players – including reserve goalkeeper Mark Appel – to take on the home team.

But Germany gave the Indian defence a run for their money with as many as 13 shots at the goal – the home team had only 12.

The Germans also had more penalty corners than India (7-4).

Despite the win, India weren’t playing at their best level.

The Indians took the lead in 21st minute through SV Sunil before Germany equalised through their reserve ‘keeper Mark Appel. A penalty corner conversion by Harmanpreet Singh in the 54th minute sealed the win and the third place for the Indians.

India had also won the bronze in the last edition of the tournament in Raipur in 2015.

Germany won the first penalty corner of the match in the 14th minute but couldn’t convert. Captain Mark Grambusch, who played with a fever, soon got a good chance but his shot from the left side went wide of the target.

The determined Germans continued in the same vein and earned two more penalty corners in the 19th minute but Indian goalkeeper Suraj Karkera made valiant saves to keep a clean slate for the hosts.

In the very next minute, Germany got another short corner but Niklas Bruns failed to get the better of Karkera.

India took the lead against the run of play. The goal was set up by Harmanpreet Singh’s defence, splitting ball to Akashdeep Singh inside the D but his reverse shot was saved by German custodian Tobias Hauke and from the resultant rebound, Sunil scored to give India the lead.

The Germans stunned India in the second half when their reserve goalkeeper Mark Appel, who played as a striker, tapped in skipper Mark Grambusch’s pass to draw parity.

India secured three penalty corners in a span of two minutes – the last of which was converted by Harmanpreet with a powerful, low grounded flick to take the lead which they managed to hold on despite desperate efforts from the Germans.