India trounce France 6-0, pocket hockey series
New Delhi: Ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh continued his goal-scoring spree as India thrashed France 6-0 in the second hockey Test and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series in Paris.
Sandeep starred for India, converting three penalty corners in the 12th, 37th and 47th minutes on Monday, while the other goal scorers for the visitors were captain Rajpal Singh (39th), Mohd Amir Khan (55th) and Hari Prasad (58th).
The Indians had earlier pipped the home team 4-3 in the first match at the French National Institute of Sports and Physical Education (INSEP) ground.
India will play the final inconsequential Test against France here tomorrow before leaving for Holland for the last leg of their European tour.
Unlike the series opener, India totally dominated the second Test yesterday, with quality ball control and possession.
Contrary to the result, the first half was little unattractive as the Indians managed just one goal. But they came back with firepower in the second session and scored goals at will to decimate the French.
Sandeep put India ahead in the 12th minute from the first of four penalty corners the visitors earned when Tushar Khandker was obstructed by France defender Nicolas Monnier.
Both the teams, however, missed two scoring opportunities in the opening period with Khandker and Rajpal guilty of shooting wide for the Indians while Frederic Soyez and Olivier Sanchez fumbling for France.
Two minutes into the second half, Sandeep increased the lead sinking one past France goalkeeper Matthias Dierckens after Gurbaj Singh, Ravi Pal and Dharamvir Singh had done the spadework.
An unmarked Rajpal then made it 3-0 in the 39th minute after he was set up by Vikas Pillay.
France’s misery did not end there as Sandeep shot home his third and India’s fourth goal from a set piece in the 47th minute after Hari Prasad was obstructed inside the striking circle by rival team skipper Francois Scheefer.
As if that was not enough, Amir Khan found the back of the French net in the 55th minute with a deft reverse deflection after combining in a swift counter attack with Bharat Chikara.
India rounded off their tally three minutes later when Hari Prasad scored the sixth goal after Khandker, Vikas Pillay and Danish Mujtaba combined together to break through the French defence.