Captain Harmanpreet Singh and Jugraj Singh struck a brace each as the Indian men’s hockey team beat France 5-4 in its fourth and final match to notch up its lone win in the five-nation tournament here on Wednesday. Jugraj scored in the 20th and 60th minutes while Harmanpreet found the target in the 25th and 56th minutes. Vivek Sagar Prasad (16th) struck once in the match that went back and forth throughout its duration. India thus ended their largely disappointing campaign with a win. They had lost all their earlier three matches in the tournament — 0-1 to Spain, 2-7 to Belgium and 2-3 to Germany. France are the lowest-ranked side at ninth while India are at third. FIH Player of the Year Award a Recognition of ‘Hard Work and Perseverance’, Feels Hardik Singh.

The first quarter saw France take the lead through a penalty-corner conversion from Lucas Montecot in the 11th minute. India equalised early in the second quarter through a field goal from Vivek. Jugraj then put India in the lead after converting a penalty corner before Harmanpreet doubled the lead through another penalty corner.

France were soon awarded a penalty stroke and Etienne Tynevez (28th) scored to make full use of it as the score read 3-2 in favour of India at half time. France restored parity late in the third quarter with a field goal from Gaspard Baumgarten (43rd minute). As the scoreline read 3-3, both the teams tried to break through each other’s defence in the final quarter.

France stole the lead through another penalty-corner conversion by Etienne Tynevez (53rd) but their joy was short-lived, as Harmanpreet scored through a penalty corner to bring up his second goal.  Jugraj returned to score his second goal through yet another penalty corner in the last minute of the match as India emerged 5-4 victorious to end the tournament with a win. FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2023: Hardik Singh Wins Player of the Year, Savita Punia Voted As Goalkeeper of the Year (Female) Again.

The five teams play each other once and the side finishing on top of the points table after all matches will be the winner.

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