Sandeep shines in Indian win

India struck goals through Sandeep, who converted two penalty corners in the 12th and 65th minutes, Tushar Khandker (5th) and captain Rajpal Singh (69th), while Fredric Soyez scored a hat-trick (6th, 51st and 68th) for France in the first game of the three-match series on Sunday.

India surged ahead when Khandker slammed the ball past French goalkeeper Mathias Dierckems after being set up by Rajpal. France retaliated a minute later and drew parity when Soyez encashed on a defensive lapse from Sarvanjit Singh and Danish Mujtaba.
India went 2-1 up in the 12th minute through Sandeep, who sounded the board with a fierce drag-flick from the team’s first penalty corner, earned after Amir was blocked inside the circle by French defender Thibaunt Blondel.

After the change of ends, France searched desperately for equaliser but the Indian backline of Gurbaj Singh, Bharat Chikara and Dhananjay Mahadik stood tall to foil their attempts.
However, a brilliant Soyes made it 2-2 for the hosts in the 51st minute after wrong footing Sandeep.

Five minutes from the end, India took the lead again after Sandeep converted his and the team’s second set piece of the day, only to see France claw its way back into the match through Soyez, who scored his hat-trick in the 68th minute from a shot corner.
But Rajpal broke the hearts of the home team when he found what proved to be the winner seconds from the hooter.

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