France enhanced their fast-growing reputation as a strong men’s hockey force as they rose to the occasion to surprise 2016 Olympic gold medallist Argentina at Cenard. The tempo was set for the Les Bleus by an early goal by Maximilien Branicki and that lead was consolidated when Charles Masson converted a penalty corner in the final quarter to ensure the Frederic Soyez-coached French outfit was able to glean full three points. The win was just what the doctor ordered for France after they made heavy weather of a 2-1 lead in the first leg match with goals from Etienne Tynevez and Antonin Igau.
The manner in which France allowed Argentina to score three times in the final quarter to run away with the game 4-2 must have hurt them and they came out with a bang in the second leg tie. The win propelled France to 5th spot in the standings with 13 points from 10 games, while Argentina are in 4th spot with 14 points from 8 matches.
India, Germany, and the Netherlands occupy the top three spots in the standings with 27, 17 points and 16 points from 12, 10 and 6 games respectively.