|May 11th, 2013|
|12||Round Robin||6:00pm||SCO - FRA||1 - 2 (0 - 1)||Final|
Before the match, French Captain Frederic Verrier was recognized for his 100th Cap for France.
Les Bleus, playing in white for once, immediately showed their attacking intents, Matthieu Durchon forcing James Cachia in the Scottish goal to perform an acrobatic double save on a high shot. The Scots were also in an attacking mood and play was flying back and forth at high speed, much to the pleasure of the large local crowd on hand despite the cool temperature.
France earned a penalty-corner after 15 minutes but over-complicated their option and the Scots managed to clear the ball. Les Bleus were less fancy but equally unsuccessful on their 2nd attempt a few minutes later. Scotland also had a chance on a penalty-corner of their own but Martin Zylbermann did two superb saves on a succession of shots from close range.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 25th minute by Tom Genestet, collecting the rebound from another unsuccessful French penalty-corner and slotting the ball high in goal over James Cachia. Score remained unchanged until half-time, with a meagre one-goal lead for France and the feeling that the result could go either way.
France immediately tried to increase their lead at the beginning of second period, pushed forward once again by the devastating rushes of veteran Matthieu Durchon, but Scotland held tight. Play became balanced for a long period, very much in midfield with few circle penetrations at either end. The best chance was for Scotland on a penalty-corner but France was saved once again by an acrobatic diving save of Martin Zylbermann.
With time passing and the result still very much in doubt, the crowd became anxious and the players nervous, especially after a sequence when France could not do much even with a 2-man advantage. The last ten minutes of play were fairly messy, with unforced errors on both sides. The Scots desperately pushed to force equalization, but left space in their defense in the process and Martin Genestet was at the conclusion of a swift counter-attack to establish a more comfortable 2-goal cushion. The relief of the crowd was short lived, Alan Forsyth scoring on the next action with a spectacular diving deflection.
The Scots however ran out of time and France were relieved to finish unscathed and to collect the 3 points of the win, setting up a torrid decisive match against Canada for the second position in the competition, and a possible qualification for the next round of the Hockey World League.