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India kickstart European Tour with 2-0 win over France

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 4 August 2015, 17:48 IST

In a thrilling start to their European Tour campaign, Indian hockey team overpowered France to register an emphatic 2-0 win at Le Touquet on 3 August. Chinglensana Singh and SV Sunil scored the crucial goals to help the Indian team get the better of the French side.

The two teams began the game with threatening attacks on each other's half in a bid to take the lead. After a series of attacks from both sides, it was Indian midfielder Chinglensana who sneaked into French half and hit the ball into the box to score the first goal of the match in the 18th minute.

Trailing 0-1 early in the game, France appeared under a lot of pressure and looked desperate to level back the scoreline. However, India didn't allow the hosts to take control of possession as France struggled in rest of the quarter.

To make matters worse for the French brigade, Indian forward Sunil embarked on a spectacular run past the opposition defenders and doubled the lead for his side in the 26th minute. Captain Sardar Singh, midfielders SK Uthappa, Danish Mujtaba and Devinder Walmiki were at their prolific best in creating quite a few opportunities to build on India's attack.

The third quarter saw a more aggressive play from France who surprised India with their quick passes. However, the hosts failed to penetrate the Indian defence who held on their nerves to keep a clean sheet.

The final quarter of the match turned out to be a closely-fought battle as both India and France pushed each other for goals. France came very close to scoring when they earned two penalty corners in the fourth quarter. But to the utter dismay of the home fans, Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh produced stellar saves to ensure France lost 0-2.

France will be eager to extract revenge against India when they meet again in their next match at Wattignies Sports Centre on 5 August.

First published: 4 August 2015, 17:48 IST