Defending champions India went down fighting against France in a thrilling opening clash at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup 2021. India lost to their French opponents with a 4-5 scoreline on Wednesday (November 24).
India kickstarted their campaign against France at the prestigious FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup 2021, Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.
It wasn't a satisfying start for the Indian hockey team, as the French opponents struck a goal in the very first minute at the marquee event. A lethargic approach towards the beginning cost India a goal.
The French hockey team pulled off another immediate blow in the opening game against India. The rivals scored their second goal in the seventh minute of the first quarter.
The defending champions India came from a 2-0 deficit to equal the scores with their opponents. India scored their first goal of the match in the 10th minute. Uttam Singh managed to strike in the first quarter of the match.
India scored the equalizer via a penalty corner. Drag-flick specialist Sagar swung the ball into the rivals net to settle the score at 2-2 in the first half.
A series of attacks and a couple of penalty corners, France successfully netted their ball for the third time in the match to take a 3-2 lead. French captain Timothee Clement pulled off a terrific flick to snatch an advantage during the 23 minute in match.
The French skipper Timothée struck against in the third penalty corner attempt, pushing India behind by two goals again, as the scoreboard read 4-2. It was the second successful penalty corner for the French side.
An outstanding effort came from Maninder Singh as he dribbled through the French defense and unleashed a strike, but Corentin Sellier stole the chance to take the scoreline to a 5-2 lead in the fourth quarter of the game.
India buckled up to score their third goal via a penalty corner. Just a few minutes ahead of the final whistle, the defending champions fought back from a three-point deficit.
Sanjay converted another penalty corner to score his second goal of the night. Unfortunately the Indian team fell short to give away the match with a 4-5 scoreline.
FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup: November 25 schedule [Timings in IST]
India will be up against Canada in their second encounter of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup on Thursday (November 25).
Canada vs India - Timings 7:30 pm
FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup: Live streaming details
All matches at the 2021 Men's Junior Hockey World Cup will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network. Audiences can also live stream the Hockey World Cup on the Watch Hockey website (https://watch.hockey/).
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