IND V FRA ( ) Hockey World League Semi-Final Antwerp 2015
Ninth ranked India were pushed all the way by 18th ranked France in their opening Pool A match at the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals but eventually emerged winners thanks to a last minute strike from Ramandeep Singh.
France - winners of the HWL Round 2 event in Cape Town - produced some excellent hockey throughout the match, and stunned their illustrious opponents when they took a surprise 1-0 lead thanks to a fine strike from Olivier Sanchez.
India hit back with two goals in quick succession with Manpreet Singh and Devindar Walmiki both finishing off excellent team moves to give the eight times Olympic champions a 2-1 lead at half time.
France levelled the scores in the 43rd minute when Simon Martin-Brisac crashed a powerful shot past India shot-stopper Sreejesh, giving the Europeans hope that they might claim a share of the points before a diving Ramandeep guided a loose ball into an unguarded net in the dying stages.
Speaking after the match, Martin-Brisac said: “There is no consolation in the manner of our loss because we really wanted to get something from the game. To concede so late is very disappointing, but we know we played a good game. We remain confident and will continue to work hard.”
Indian Head Coach Paul van Ass said that, due to the unpredictability of opening matches, he certainly wasn’t expecting an easy time. “The start of a tournament is always special, there never an easy match as no-one will give an inch. The good part is that we managed to make the third goal, which was really important.”
- Match 01
- Date Sat, 20 Jun 2015
- Time 18:00
- Venue KHC Dragons