RUS V FRA ( 1st Round ) WorldHockey World Cup Qualifier (Men)
Match Review RUS - FRA 3-4
The French had their work cut off in the last match of the day, needing a win to maintain their chances to reach the final on Sunday. They were promptly on the scoreboard by Arnoud JANSEN, but could not weather the Russian reaction and the game was back to square one when Alexander LIKOV tied the score in the 11th minute.
France was soon ahead again by Martin GENESTET, making the best of a messy situation in the circle, and this time managed to stay ahead thanks to some decisive saves by Henri-Julien LHOMME in goal. The game opened up, shifting quickly from one end to the other. France had the best opportunities but could not increase their tally, including when Matthieu DURCHON, alone in front of the goal, shot wide. They nearly paid for their lack of realism at the other end, where Russia forced a penalty-corner in the final second of the period and almost tied the game again.
France was saved twice by their goal-keeper Henri-Julien LHOMME in the opening minute of the second period but still could not increase their lead despite creating multiple chances in the Russian circle. The sanction for their lack of realism and messy play came in the 49th minute when Nikolay YANKUN tied the score with a penalty-corner under the crossbar.
This was the wake-up call needed by Les Bleus and they scored two goals in quick succession, first by Frédéric SOYEZ on penalty-corner and then by Tom GENESTET, on hand to pick up a rebound and slot it past Roman ROGOV in the Russian goal. Unfortunately, this burst of intensity was short lived and Alexander ZHIRKOV took advantage of some sloppy French defending to close the gap to one goal, setting the stage for a torrid end of game.
France managed to protect their meager one-goal lead, salvaging their chances to reach the final on Sunday if they beat Japan in the last game of the round-robin (assuming that Pakistan do not lose against Poland)!
- Match 12
- Date Thu, 5 Nov 2009
- Time 15:30
- Pool/Class 1st Round