Junior Hockey World Cup LIVE - India stunned by France in opening match - Updates, score, results, blog
Defending champions India were stunned by underdogs France 4-5 in their opening match of the Junior Hockey World Cup.
Hosts India, looking to defend their Junior Hockey World Cup title in Bhubaneswar's magnificent Kalinga Stadium, were stunned by France in their opening match on Wednesday. Despite scoring two goals in the last few minutes in the match, world number 5 India lost to world number 26 France, who won the match 5-4. The Indian team was led by Vivek Sagar Prasad. His counterpart Timothee Clement's hat-trick had given France a 5-2 lead in the third quarter, from which the hosts could not recover.
India's victory in the 2016 edition of the Junior World Cup came after 14 years, but the upward trend in Indian hockey since then, coupled with the fact that a few teams like England have pulled out of the tournament, made India one of the pre-tournament favourites, but they were shocked by the underdogs in their first group match.
- 24 Nov 2021 4:06 PM GMT
Raining PCs now. India have scored twice in 2 minutes. 2 minutes left - a sudden injection of pace in the game.
Last minute. Can India do it?
- 24 Nov 2021 4:04 PM GMT
Uttam Singh now drives forward. Earns India another penalty corner! Is a sensational turnaround on the cards? We are set for a thrilling final couple of minutes if India can score now. Sanjay scores! Would you believe it! A goal in the 57th minute.
One more goal to get with 2 minutes left in the match
- 24 Nov 2021 4:02 PM GMT
Maninder into the circle...one-on-one with the keeper...beats him. But the shot hits the top bar and goes out. Luck continues to elude India.
Less than 5 minutes on the clock now. India drive forward still, now hoping against hope, and aiming to reduce their goal deficit with eventual qualification into the semis on their mind. Consecutive PCs awarded to India. And India score! Sanjay with the drag flick again. 3 minutes left on the clock.
- 24 Nov 2021 3:56 PM GMT
French captain Timothee Clement has scored the first hat-trick of the Junior World Cup. His three goals are what separates pre-tournament favourites India and underdogs France with around 7 minutes left in the match. The hosts still look stunned at this French dispatch.
- 24 Nov 2021 3:52 PM GMT
Last quarter begins. Prashant Chauhan replaced by Pawan for the last 15 minutes. India did strike back twice in quick succession in the 1st quarter. They need to do it again, and they need to do it fast.
But it's the French side who make the first few attempts of the quarter. Ravichandran shows great stickwork to enter the French D, comes up with a back pass, but the Indian attempt go just wide. A frantic start to the fourth quarter.
Goal! France score again! The scorer makes his way past three Indian defenders and the goalkeeper and scores.
- 24 Nov 2021 3:47 PM GMT
Ravichandran saves India the blushes in the dying seconds of the third quarter. France weaved their way into the Indian circle once again, but defender Ravichandran makes the decisive interception. Prashant Chauhan with another save as the quarter ends.
15 minutes left. Two goals down. Defending champions India look stunned and with no way back against the underdogs.
- 24 Nov 2021 3:44 PM GMT
France mount the attacks. Now, with 6 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, India get another PC. Vishnukant Singh waits to inject the delivery. A drag flick! Saved! The shot beats the keeper, but defender Degulion makes a goal-line interception. Jubilation in French ranks.
India, under pressure, look to control possession, but their attacks seem to be much more one-dimensional than the French. Looking to scoop the ball into the final third of the field without much creativity. The French swapping flanks more often and looking for more diverse ways into the Indian circle.
2 minutes left in Q3
- 24 Nov 2021 3:35 PM GMT
The second half begins just like the first half. Timothy Clements the man of the moment again. The captain of the French side, the drag flick specialist, scores again, and France are 4-2 up with just 2 minutes gone in the 3rd quarter.
India now look to slow down the game. Controlling more of the possession. Siwach with an attack as the hosts try a scoop from the midfield, Maninder dives in to get a deflection. Just misses... 2 goals down, time running down on the clock now.
- 24 Nov 2021 3:26 PM GMT
'Surprised to see how France started the match, I haven't seen France play like this before. It can be said they have dominated the match so far. India is having to fight to equalize. France look fitter as a side, India need to come up with more energy in the 2nd half,' says Dilip Tirkey.