FIH World Cup: France, Argentina in thrilling draw
France and Argentina played out a fighting 5-5 draw in a Pool A match of the FIH men’s hockey World Cup at the Birsa Munda Stadium in Rourkela on Friday.
In the process, both teams qualified for the crossovers of the marquee event.
Earlier, star forward Blake Govers scored four times, including from a penalty stroke, as title contenders Australia thrashed South Africa 9-2 to top Pool A and directly qualify for the quarter finals. Australia will face the winner of the crossover match between Malaysia and Spain in the quarters on Tuesday.
While captain Victor Charlet scored four goals for France including a hat-trick, Della Torre Nicolas struck thrice for Argentina. Keenan Nicolas opening the account for Argentina in the second minute of the match. Tynevez Etienne found the equaliser in the 10th minute.
Nicolas doubled the lead for Argentina in the 33rd minute by converting a penalty corner. Charlet scored the equaliser again just two minutes later. He then went on to convert a penalty corner in the 37th minute to make it 3-2 for France. Nicolas again capitalised on a penalty corner to have the equaliser in the 41st minute.
In the fourth quarter, Charlet grabbed on to a penalty corner chance to convert it into a goal in the 48th minute. However, Ferreiro Martin scored a field goal just two minutes later.
France increased their goal margin to five by creating a penalty stroke opportunity which Charlet converted it with ease in the 59th minute.
However, Argentina players created a penalty corner chance in the same minute. Nicolas converted it to finish his hat-trick and ensure a fighting draw for his team.
Belgium top group
Belgium walloped Japan 7-1 to top Group B and qualify. Needing a victory with a margin of eight goals to overtake Belgium to the top spot, Germany could only manage a 7-2 win over South Korea.
Written with inputs from PTI