The Indian hockey team lost 3-1 to France in the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World 2021 bronze medal match at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
France captain Timothee Clement scored a hat-trick while birthday boy Sudeep Chirmako scored India’s only goal of the match.
Up against the French team who had beaten them 5-4 in their first group match. India started with purpose and was dominant in the early phase. Seconds into the match, France goalkeeper Guillaume de Vaucelles produced an excellent save to keep out Sanjay’s penalty corner.
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In the 12th minute, Araijieet Singh Hundal had de Vaucelles beat after some excellent stickwork. He the edge of the France penalty circle but was denied by the woodwork.
France came into the match gradually and won a series of three penalty corners towards the end of the first quarter. The Indian hockey team defence, though, stood tall to ensure the score remained 0-0 after the end of the first 15 minutes.
France were the early aggressors in the second quarter, keeping India pegged back with their high pressing. They eventually reaped the rewards of the sustained pressure as captain Timothee Clement converted a penalty corner in the 26th minute. He is to give his team the all-important lead, which they took into half-time.