|November 1st, 2009|
|06||Round-Robin||3:30pm||ITA - FRA||0 - 3 (0 - 1)||Final|
Buoyed by a crowd of hearty fans who did not seem bothered by the torrential rain, the French tried to score quickly to reassure themselves after their opening day set-back against Poland. They promptly earned a penalty-corner and tried a deflection, but it flew just over the crossbar. After a swift counter-attack soon after, Martin GENESTET lost the ball while entering the circle, but somehow collected it again to slam it into goal.
Unfortunately, the French seemed to satisfy themselves with this successful start and play became more balanced and somewhat messy for a long period, with unforced errors and passes going to the opposition on both sides. The Italians were all too happy with a match with less rhythm and managed to mount some good challenges for a French defense that could not shake-up their game. Half-time was finally reached with the meager one-goal advantage for the Les Bleus.
Despite the desperate chants from the faithful fans, the same pattern prevailed at the beginning of the second period and the Italians continued to exploit the French approximation to display their skills. Even when Italy were reduced to ten with a green card, the French could not create a decent challenge on goal.
It finally took a penalty-corner by Frédéric SOYEZ to beat Davide GUIDA, excellent in the Italian goal all match. SOYEZ added another penalty-corner soon after, but the last chances of the match were for Italy on a series of penalty-corners well defended by Henri-Julien LHOMME.
Although they claimed that the three points of the win were all that counted, the French squad can’t be happy with their lackluster performance in front of the lowest ranked team in the competition.