|February 22nd, 2012|
|11||Pool A||4:00pm||ITA - FRA||0 - 3 (0 - 0)||Final||x 5|
France arrived in this match with two wins (against Poland and Singapore) and a loss to host India, while Italy were still chasing their first point of the competition after successive losses against Canada, India and Poland. The French needed a win to stay in good position for a berth in Final on Sunday, and immediately set to the task, pushing the Italians back on their heels.
They were unsuccessful with a series of penalty-corners and were denied multiple times by Davide GUIDA, who was simply excellent in the Italian goal. Despite their heavy domination, the French could not cleanly penetrate the regrouped Italian defence which packed the circle. There was always a timely tackle or block to prevent the final shot, and half-time was reached without any marks on the scoreboard.
The same scenario happened at the beginning of second period. However, in the 43rd minute, Nicolas MARTIN-BRISAC intercepted a defensive clearance after a penalty-corner and found Arnaud BECUWE in front of the goal. The French captain made no mistake when he smashed the bouncing ball into the goal to finally give his team a deserved lead.
Martin GENESTET scored soon after and the French could breathe a little more easily. They added a third goal through Frederic VERRIER, although much credit must go to the excellent Nicolas MARTIN-BRISAC who created the opportunity. Tempers flared a bit at the end of the match, but the French weathered the final Italian push to win the match (3-0).
Player of the Match was Martin GENESTET.