At the Tokyo Olympics, a determined German team was eager to have a last-second opportunity to score an equalizer, so PR Sreejesh was a little anxious when India gave up a penalty corner (with only 6.8 seconds left in the game).
The responsibility to save his team from the hazardous scenario at the Tokyo Olympics fell once again on the seasoned goalkeeper.
India was in the bronze medal game up 5-4 and was about to win an Olympic medal for the first time in 41 years. The game would have gone to a penalty shootout, where anyone may have won if Germany had managed to score that goal. Germany, however, had to go over the PR Sreejesh obstacle.
Every Indian was on their knees in prayer as Lukas Windfeder’s drag-flick breached the defense, but Sreejesh made sure the ball did not go past him and made the entire crowd cry with happiness at the victory. He maintained composure, kept his eyes on the ball, and produced the most significant save of his career.
He turned to his left and reached out to tip the ball. Moreover, despite popular belief, it was not after a goal that the Indian men’s hockey team received the biggest support during the Olympics in Tokyo. It took place following a save! A saving that was equally important. After 41 years without a medal, a save brought an end to Indian hockey’s dry run.
What Sreejesh is known for
A stop that helped Sreejesh become known as the “impenetrable wall of Indian hockey.” Goalkeeping was once referred to by him as “a bizarre job” that “no sane person would perform.”
Are we against him?
For a player like Sreejesh to survive the relentless bombardment of balls in the net, superhuman strength is required. When playing against nations with strong offenses, such as Australia, Germany, and the Netherlands, he occasionally missed opportunities to score important goals and let up five or six, but for the most part, he was a rock-solid wall who helped his team score some unlikely goals.
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