|February 21st, 2012|
|9||Pool A||8:00pm||FRA - IND||2 - 6 (1 - 3)||Final||x 16|
Expecting a tougher challenge from France than in their two opening matches of the competition, India immediately pushed the French team on their heels and opened the scoring in the first 4 minutes of play. Soon after, Sandeep SINGH added an unstoppable penalty-corner, throwing the adoring crowd in ecstasy. Having taken the measure of their opponents, India relaxed their pressure, giving a chance to the French to gather their thoughts and shake their initial nerves.
France missed a chance on penalty-corner and were saved on the next play by their goal-keeper Matthias DIERCKENS, left alone to deal with two high forwards. They suffered another goal at the hands of Sandeep SINGH, this time on a penalty-stroke after a defender deliberately obstructed a forward rushing towards goal with the ball.
France had a first chance in the last minute of play by Simon MARTIN-BRISAC running alone in the circle, but cleanly stopped by the keeper, and finally opened their tally by Lucas SEVESTRE on a last second penalty-corner.
It only took India a few minutes in second period to add two more goals, first by Sandeep SINGH yet again on penalty-corner, then by Sunil SOWMARPET VITALACHARYA left with an easy tap-in after a swift exchange of passes amongst retreating defenders. France fought tooth and nails to prevent further scoring and were the next ones on the score sheet, Fabien MAGNER sinking a low flick on a penalty-corner that the Indian goal-keeper could only deflect high on his own net.
Tushar KHANDKER added a goal with a powerful shot from the top of the circle and the match ended on a clear win (6-2) for India, but a very respectful performance by the French team. India is now the only team with 3 wins in this competition, with Canada, France and Poland in hot pursuit with two wins each.