INDIA: France defeated South Africa 2-1 in a closely contested match in the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup.
Both teams began aggressively and scored a goal each in the first quarter of the game. France controlled possession and successfully converted a penalty corner to take the lead early in the match.
Victor Charlet received the ball from Jouin Noe and dragged the ball into the goalpost, beating the flailing arms of the South African goalkeeper.
Toward the end of the first quarter, South Africa appealed for a referral, which earned them a penalty corner.
Connor Beauchamp made it count and smacked the ball into the post with a fiery pace to equalise the score.
Both teams ramped up their midfield defence as the second quarter saw France and South Africa struggle to get the upper hand over each other.
South Africa launched a strong counterattack in the third quarter, but the pass into the French box was too long and they missed a goal-scoring opportunity.
Tonder Jacque did well to intercept a dangerous French charge into the South African circle.
France won a penalty corner in the final minutes of the third quarter, and Charlet timed his drag toward goal with perfection, but Gowan, the South African goalkeeper, palmed the ball away.
France took the lead in the final quarter when Charlet smacked the ball into the bottom left corner.
Even though South Africa showed intent to make a match of it, they slipped up occasionally and forced Gowan to fend off French attacks.
South Africa withdrew its goalkeeper in an attempt to push more players forward into the French half, but they were unable to score the equalising goal and went down fighting till the final whistle.
Also Read: FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup: Spain Thrashed Wales 5-1