India's Amit Rohidas in action against France in the FIH Pro League, at Potchefstroom in South Africa, on February 12, 2022.

India's Amit Rohidas in action against France in the FIH Pro League, at Potchefstroom in South Africa, on February 12, 2022.

France outplay India 5-2 in FIH Hockey Pro League

New Delhi, February 13, 2022

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 in South Africa on Saturday.

Victor Charlet (16, 59'), Victor Lockwood (35'), Charles Masson (48') and Timothee Clement (60') were the goalscorers for the winners.

Jarmanpreet Singh (22') and Harmanpreet Singh (57') were the goalscorers 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 the Olympic bronze medallists 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, it 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 had done well to earn a penalty corner 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 when Viktor Lockwood assisted by Captain Gaspard Baumgarten scored a sensational goal. He showcased good stickwork to make space on the left flank and took a shot that went straight between goalkeeper P R Sreejesh's legs (2-1).

This put India under serious pressure. Though they created many scoring opportunities through PCs, they 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 penalty corner 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 a solid attack, scoring two goals in the dying minutes of the game. Charlet pumped a penalty corner in the 59th minute and Junior World Cup hero Timothy Clement scored a field goal in the 60th minute.

Skipper Manpreet Singh 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 whereas France ensured they converted from the chances they made. We expected them to come all out today and that's what they did."

NNN

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