Cape Town: Indian men's hockey team failed to live up to its expectations after a bright start to draw 2-2 against France in its second game of the Four-Nation Tournament in Cape Town on Wednesday. Mandeep Singh (8th minute) and Amit Rohidas (19th) scored for India, while France came back in the contest with goals from Timothee Clement and B Gaspard in the 37th and 59th minutes respectively.
The Indians had earlier defeated France 4-0 in their tournament opener on Monday.
The match began with both the teams showcasing their defending prowess to hold off the opposition. India broke the resistance with Mandeep scoring the first goal for his side. Rohidas doubled India's lead early in the second quarter as they took control of the proceedings with a solid 2-0 lead. France started showcasing urgency to get back to level terms, but the Indian defence managed to thwart their dangerous attacks. But India's defence finally broke down in the 37th minute when Clement reduced the margin. In the final quarter, both India and France made attacking moves in search of quick goals.
It was heartbreak for India as, at the stroke of the final hooter, Gaspard scored the equaliser for France.
India will take on South Africa in their third match on Friday, followed by a game against world No. 1 the Netherlands on Sunday. Agencies