France men’s hockey team orchestrated a pugnacious 5-2 win over India after being handed a 0-5 pounding by the same opponents in the Pro Hockey League at Potchefstroom. The win was their first win over India in 18 years – the last time India had lost to France was back in 2004 at the Shivaji Stadium, New Delhi, the latter won by a 3-1 margin in a Test match as part of a two Test Series, where they drew the first Test 3-3 to win the rubber 1-0.
Saturday’s 5-2 win against India was their fourth win over India in 44 encounters since both teams first locked horns in the international arena at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where India routed Les Bleus 10-0. Prior to 2004, France’s last win against India came during the 1990 Lahore World Cup, where they won by a 2-1 margin. France secured their first international win over India in a 1965 Test Match at Nagpur by a solitary – India had won that five Test Series 5-0.
Prior the Pro Hockey League, India last played France six years back at the 2015 Hockey World League Semifinal Round at Antwerpt, where the Blueshirts had to fight hard to pull off a 3-2 win.