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Defending champions India lose 1-3 to France in third-place match at Junior Hockey World Cup 2021

Sudeep Chirmako scored the lone goal for India, but Timothee Clement's show overshadowed his contribution.

Aditya Kumar Editor

Updated - 5 December 2021 6:16 pm

Junior Hockey World Cup 2021

France put up another dominating show against India to win the third-place match by a 3-1 scoreline. Guests’ skipper Timothee Clement was the star of the day by registering another hat-trick against India at the event. Meanwhile, the two-time champions had another disappointing outing with yet another failed show at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium.

Keeping in mind the full-on attack from France in the first game, India started the game on Sunday on a comparatively better note. The hosts earned the first penalty corner in the first minute itself, though they failed to take advantage of that. France got into the playing circle of India in the 5th minute but Jules Verrier’s attack was successful avoided by Rabichandra Moirangthem.

Corentin Sellier, the second highest goal-scorer for France in the tournament, got into playing area from left but failed to pose any threat on Indian goalpost. India bounced back and Vishnukant Singh, the man of the match from India’s quarterfinal game, showed amazing skills to dribble the ball at the midfield in the 11th minute before Araijeet Singh Hundal could miss a good opportunity by hitting the ball at the bar. Three minutes later, France pushed India on the back foot and earned a penalty corner. Abisek Lakra did well to defended two back-to-back hits. Given that both those defences came at the cost of a body blow, France got three consecutive penalty corners in overall. The first quarter ended with none of the teams scoring any goal.

Three minutes into the second quarter, France got another penalty corner but failed to make it count. India too got an opportunity to take a lead in the 25th minute when Araijeet Singh Hundal played brilliantly to pass the ball to Boby Singh at left corner in the striking circle but Boby failed to serve the pass to any Indian player in the center area.

After plenty of attacks from both the sides, France got themselves in the driving seat in the 26th minute. Timothee Clement, the skipper of France, scored for the side. The same man hurt India in 34th minute after converting another through a sensational drag flick during the penalty corner. India got some relief in the 42nd minute when Sudeep Chirmako netted one for the hosts. However, the same man missed a good opportunity in the final quarter. In between these two incidents, Clement had scored another to complete his hat-trick and take his team to 3-1. The scoreline remained as it is in the latter part of the game and France comfortable bagged the number 3 spot.

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