Olympic bronze medallists India dished out a shoddy performance to drop 2-5 in opposition to lower-rated France in the second match of the FIH Hockey Pro League two-leg tie in Potchefstroom on Saturday. India started the match as crystal clear favourites soon after possessing registered convincing wins — 5- versus France and 10-2 in opposition to South Africa — in the FIH Pro League so significantly. But France experienced other strategies on Saturday and obtained the far better of their fancied opponents in areas of the activity. The Indians were gradual to get off the blocks but gained in self esteem as the match progressed.
Even though France savored the early exchanges, India managed the proceedings thereafter but both the groups unsuccessful to produce any real target-scoring probability.
A moment into the 2nd quarter, India secured the initial penalty corner of the match but bad trapping failed to give Harmanpreet Singh a shot at the aim.
France caught the Indian defence off guard in the quite future shift and attained a penalty stroke which was wonderfully converted by Victor Charlet.
Stunned by the Frenchmen, India upped the ante and secured their 2nd penalty corner in the 21st moment, but France goalkeeper Arthur Thieffry came up with a good help save to deny younger Jugraj Singh.
But in the pretty upcoming minute, India drew degree when Jarmanpreet Singh’s cross from the appropriate went into the French intention after obtaining a deflection from the sticks of Stanislas Branicki.
The Frenchmen looked much more purposeful soon after the modify of ends and secured again-to-back penalty corners in the 32nd moment but unsuccessful to utilise all those odds.
France ongoing with their attacking video game and restored their direct in the 35th minute through Viktor Lockwood, whose highly effective shot from the remaining corner went by means of the legs of veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh into the Indian internet.
Down by a purpose the moment once more, the Indians came out attacking and retained up the strain on the French defence but unsuccessful to crack it.
India experienced their prospects and secured five penalty corners in the 3rd quarter, such as three in succession in the 44th moment, but erred in execution.
France extended their lead in the 48th moment from their 3rd penalty corner via a variation strike from Charles Masson.
India secured two far more penalty corners but the likes of Harmanpreet, Jugraj and Varun Kumar found it complicated to get previous the French defence, which was brilliantly led by goalkeeper Thieffry.
India pulled a person back again in the 57th minute through a penalty stroke conversion by Harmanpreet Singh.
Pumped up by the goal, the Indians stepped up the stress and secured two a lot more penalty corners but France defended in quantities.
To add to India’s woes, earth no. 13 France scored two more aims in the remaining two minutes of the video game — first by a penalty corner conversion by Charlet and then a area strike by Timothée Clement.
India’s lacklustre overall performance can be summed up from the truth that they attained as several as 10 penalty corners but failed to find the back again of the web.
India will upcoming participate in hosts South Africa in the second FIH Professional League match between the two sides in this article on Sunday.
Matters outlined in this short article