Hockey World Cup 2018: France holds Spain to 1-1 draw

Hockey World Cup 2018: Spain vs France: Alvaro Iglesias' 48th minute equaliser saved a point for Spain after Timothee Clement's 6th minute goal helped France take a surprise 1-0 lead at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.

Timothee Clement celebrates after scoring the first goal for France against Spain in the 6th minute.   -  Getty Images

Welcome to Sportstar's minute-by-minute blog of the Hockey World Cup 2018 Pool A match of Spain vs France.

 

FULL-TIME: Spain 1-1 France

Fourth Quarter

60' Gonzalez has his hands on his knees as wears the same look he had after missing the final shot of the game in the 4-3 defeat to Argentina in the first match. The forward went from being absolutely electric to mediocre to back to being a livewire in the final quarter. But it ends in a 1-1 draw for the Red Sticks.

58' Fantastic hockey all around. Enrique Gonzalez takes the ball and reaches the French penalty area. Tom Genstet, who is beaten by the forward at the halfline, tracks back and makes a last-ditch tackle.

56' It is all end-to-end stuff now. Both teams are looking vulnerable at the back and we could witness a last-gasp goal.

51' WHAT A SAVE BY QUORTEZ! The Spanish goalkeeper, with 269 international caps to his name, uses all his experience and makes the right guess to push the ball away with his left glove. The 35-year old punches the air in delight.

51' PENALTY STROKE FOR FRANCE!

48' SPAIN EQUALISES! There comes the elusive goal for Spain and its Alvaro Iglesias who gets the goal with a deflection at the near post.

Trivia: France's last victory in the World Cup came against Spain in the 7/8th place playoff in 1990 Lahore.

 

Third Quarter

45' The quarter ends with three failed penalty corners for Spain. France is looking more assured and confident with every passing minute despite the waves of attacks coming from the Spanish.

43' Slippery feet or just pure fate? Pau Quemada and Vincenc Ruiz clash near the half-line and are in a heap. Spain players have become accident prone ever in this match and could have joined captain Miguel Delas on the injured list.

42' France wins a corner, after Clement bulldozes into the Spanish penalty area. Spain loses a runner inside the goalpost after one of them makes the dash before the push-out. Victor Charlet goes for the centre, but Quico Cortes saves.

41' France are under immense pressure from the Spanish midfield but every time Gonzalez gets to the baseline, the French defenders are coming out trumps.

38' Incredible reflexes from France defender Hugo Genestet who slows down Quemada's powerful dragflick into the reach of goalkeeper Arthur Thieffry who palms the ball away to safety. Sensational stuff from the French.

36' Spain has clearly not expected this to happen today. Captain Miguel Delas is out of the tournament and then the Red Sticks concede a lead to France, then their star player misses two golden opportunities to score from close range.

33' How did not Spain take a lead there! Enrique Gonzalez scores straight into the goalkeeper twice inside the space of 30 seconds. That should have been 2-1 for Spain

HALF-TIME: Spain 0-1 France

Second Quarter

Trivia: Marc Salles, Spain's captain in today's match, is playing his 200th international cap for the Red Sticks--the third player in the squad to reach the landmark

29' France is repeatedly exploiting Spain's weakness on the left flank as Baumgarten makes another blazing run to reach the Spanish penalty area but fails to pull the trigger.

27' Gaspard Baumgarten almost doubles France's lead! Pieter Van Straaten does well to get to the baseline from the left and passes it to Baumgarten, who is unable to lift his shot over the goalkeeper.

26' The Red Sticks have controlled the second quarter and there has been hardly any action in their own penalty area.

22' Spain almost took the lead there! A right-wing cross finds Gonzelez at the far post who unleashes a tomahauk reverse hit but is Jean-Baptiste Forgues, puts in a stick to block the shot.

21' Vincenc Ruiz clashes into a French player and is hit on the jaw. But the midfielder looks alright and the umpire resumes play.

17' Spain wins another penalty corner, third of the match, but Pau Quemada's drag flick is blocked brilliantly by goalkeeper Arthur Thieffry.

16' Xavi Lleonart receives a green card and Spain is reduced to ten men for the next five minutes.

First Quarter

14' Gonzalez wins a penalty corner which is blocked by Charlet on the run and the umpire awards Spain a second corner. But another clever deflection of Quemada's dragflick by Charlet easily avoid the danger for France.

11' After scoring in the third minute against Olympic champion Argentina in the first match, Spain is now finding hard to attack against a French team that has devised a way to enter the circle through the left wing.

6' GOAL FRANCE! The World No. 20 defies all predictions to take a lead through Timothee Clement. Etienne Tynevez is unmarked inside the penalty corner, who cuts back to Charlet who unleashes a powerful reverse stick which is deflected into the net by Clement from close range.

5' Spain is struggling to keep possession as the French are on the offensive, bringing out the ball from the back.

Trivia: Spain coach Frederic Soyez represented France in 196 international matches and was part of the 1990 Lahore World Cup team which famously beat India 2-1.

2' Spain makes the first attack through Vincenc Ruiz who steals the ball on the left side and play a one-two with Enrique Gonzalez, but a clash of sticks inside the penalty area goes France's way.

1' We are off for the second round of Pool A matches at the Kalinga Stadium.

How they qualified?

Spain

World Ranking: 8

One of the European powerhouses, Spain qualified for the 2018 World Cup by finishing fourth in Hockey World League Semi-final in Johannesburg. The Red Sticks have reached the final twice---1971, Barcelona and 1998, Utrecht, Netherlands.

 

France

World Ranking: 20

France is the least-ranked team in the 2018 World Cup. It has secured the qualification through a 7th place finish at the Hockey World League Semi-final and will now play its third World Cup after a gap of 28 years.