Bhubaneswar, The last quarter powerful stroke of Jenness Stephen of the Commonwealth Games silver medalist New Zealand to win over World No 20
France by 2-1 in the Pool- A league match of the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup here at Kalinga Stadium here on Thursday.With the ranking France might be the least-ranked team in the tournament, but here it had sent a danger message to New Zealand as Timothee Clement almost put France 1-0 up from a Francois Goyet’s cross in the last minute of first quarter.
In the second quarter NZ created chances for the team, Russell Kane dragged the ball in to the D area with a mazy dribbling on the right flank and scored at the far post in the 17 minutes. Second and third quarters could not helped both the teams to score.
In the last quarter the drama began, when Stephan alone crossed passed the France defenders and sent the ball into the goal post with his powerpacked strike in the 56th minute and took away the match from France.
The France was awarded with four penalty corner but in the last PC skipper Charlet Victory converted in a goal in the 59th minute. Which was not enough to stop New Zealanders victory.