Olympic bound Indian team started their last outing before the Games on high note, when they outclassed the French team to win 2 match test series with 2-0. India won the first match on green surface 8-2, while defeated France in 2nd Match 4-0 on blue surface (similar to Riverbank Arena, London Olympics Venue for Hockey) in Lille, France.
Indian outfit continued their Hero FIH Road to London (Men), Delhi 2012′s form where India defeated France 6-2 and 8-1 in League Stage and Finals respectively.
In the first test match of the series, it was France who drew first blood through Fabien Magner, but India did not take much time to equalize through young SK Uthappa. Sandeep Singh earned the lead for India and Gurvinder Singh Chandi doubled it to 3-1. Arnaud Becuwe reduced the margin for margin on penalty corner in the dying minutes of first half.
After the lemon break, Shivendra Singh scored two goals in quick succession and Raghunath converted PC in 5th minute of 2nd half to make it 6-2. Sarvanjit Singh and Sandeep Singh’s field goals completed the tally (8-2) of match which saw the international debuts of Nithin Thimmaiah and Pradhan Sommanna.
In the Second match of the series, Indian team kept their sheet clean, but could score only 4 goals through Sardara Singh, Sandeep Singh, VR Raghunath and Danish Mujtaba. India scored 3 off 4 goals on Penalty Corners while one field goal.In this test series 8 Indians registered their names on scoreboard.
On July 2, Indian team will leave for Spain to play two test matches each against Spain and South Africa from 5-11 July at Santander, before taking part in a 3 Nations Invitational Hockey Tournament at the same venue, where India will face off Great Britain and hosts Spain (Detailed Schedule of the europe tour can be found here).
Result Game 2 Saturday, June 30 in Le Touquet
India – France: 4-0 (HT: 2-0)
Indian Scorers: Danish Mujtaba, Sardara Singh, Sandeep Singh, VR Raghunath
Result Game 1 Thursday, June 28 in Lille
India – France: 8-2 (HT: 3-2)
French Scorers: Fabien Magner, Arnaud Becuwe
Indian Scorers: SK Uthappa, Sandeep Singh (2), Gurvinder Singh Chandi, Shivendra Singh (2), VR Raghunath, Sarvanjit Singh
Photo Credits: Rohan Jawale