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India to meet France again at Hockey Men's Junior World Cup

BALBIR SINGH | December 05, 2021 08:40 AM

BHUBANESWAR: India will go head-to-head against France once again at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021 on Sunday as both teams battle it out for a third-place finish. The two teams had opened their campaign against each other in the tournament on November 24 in a hard-fought match that France won 5-4.

Speaking on the encounter on Sunday, India men chief coach Graham Reid said: "We will be taking as many positives as we can from our performances in the tournament so far, and we will be ready for Sunday. I am very confident the team will be back to the level we need to be up against France."

After the loss against France, India went on to pick up three straight wins at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021, defeating Canada 13-1, Poland 8-2, and Belgium 1-0, but lost in the Semi Final match 2-4 to Germany, missing out on the chance to play the Final against Argentina.

Speaking on the heartbreaking defeat, Reid said: "I am disappointed that we did not put our best foot forward in the first and second quarter. The basics let us down a bit. Germany attacked well, defended well, and had an intensity about them. They did what we were trying to do."

Reid further elaborated: "But we hope to learn from this experience about what we should be doing at this level if we want to win. One of the great things to come out of the game was the none of the players gave up the fight, and we played better in the second half. As a Coach, you have to admire that."

Meanwhile, France also had a tremendous tournament, as they won all their Group B games, defeating India 5-4, Poland 7-1, and Canada 11-1. In the Quarter Final, the Frenchmen beat a defensively strong Malaysia 4-0. But their hopes to win the trophy ended after they lost in the Semi Final to Argentina 1-3 (0-0) via Shoot-outs.

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