इंडियन आवाज़     12 Jul 2024 11:03:14      انڈین آواز

France  outplay India 5-2 FIH Hockey Pro League

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Harpal Singh Bedi

High flying India came down with a thud as they  lost to France 2-5  in their 2nd leg  match of the FIH  Hockey  Pro League in Potchefstroom  (SA) on Saturday.

Victor Charlet (16, 59′) Victor Lockwood (35′), Charles Masson (48′), Timothee Clement (60′) were the goal getters for the winners.

Jarmanpreet Singh (22′) and Harmanpreet Singh (57′) were the goal scorers for the losers.

  In fact France returned the compliments in  style as they had lost  to  India  0-5 in the opener and today they just outplayed Olympic bronze medallist in all departments of the game.

France started confidently and looked  more organized in the match today, defended well and didn’t allow India to get off to a good start.

Even though India held the ball possession in the first quarter, and made attempts to create inroads into the striking circle,  but could not break the rival’s  defence .

It was France who drew the first blood only a minute into the second quarter  .They were awarded a penalty stroke. Victor Charlet made no  mistake in pumping the ball past  goalkeeper Krishan Pathak,

In the  22nd minute  India  drew parity through  Jarmanpreet Singh ( 1-1 ) Only a minute earlier, he t had done well to earn  a PC but the chance was withered away.

France dominated the proceedings in the third quarter. Within the first five minutes of the quarter, they surged ahead  game when Viktor Lockwood assisted by Captain Gaspard Baumgarten scored a sensational goal. He showcased good stick work to make space on the left flank and took a shot that went straight between goalkeeper PR Sreejesh’s legs. (2-1)

This put India under serious pressure. Though they created many  scoring opportunities through PCs,but failed to convert any of them ..

France continued to trouble India’s defence as they set off on the final quarter with a well-converted PC in the 48th minute. It was Charles Masson who was on target, leaving no chance for Sreejesh to make a diving save.

India narrowed the lead to 2-3 in the 57th minute when Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty stroke. But France were not going to let this match slip away as they upped the pressure with solid attack, scoring two goals in the dying minutes of the game. Victor Charlet pumped a PC in the 59th minute and Junior World Cup hero Timothy Clement scored a field goal in the 60th minute.

Skipper Manpreet expressed his disappointment after the match “We did not play as expected at all. It was a disappointing performance as we created several chances but could not effectively convert them where as France ensured they converted from the chances they made. We expected them to come all out today and that’s what they did.”

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