France men beat India for the first time since 2004 with a superb 5-2 victory in the latest FIH Pro League matches in Potchefstroom.
France’s invitation to compete in the global league was always going to be accepted and preparation is now ramping up ahead of a home 2024 Olympics.
While the France defence were outstanding, it was the firing offence that put on a show as they countered India’s press with aplonb.
India struggled to convert on penalty corners – 10 – and could only tally from the stroke mark. Victor Charlet scored from a stroke and a PC, the latter scored two minutes from time as France led 4-2. Timothee Clement added glos before the hooter.
Dennis Warmerdam buried two fantastic goals to lead the Netherlands to a 6-2 victory over South Africa and pick up player of the match honours.
The Dutch were in fine form all game, but the South Africans weathered the storm and never backed down, putting two goals.
In Buenos Aires, both the Argentina men and women needed fourth-quarter goals to enjoy home victories in front of a packed crowd at the Cenard.
The Leonas won 3-1 over Belgium and while the score line flattered the home side, the Belgian defence were resolute through the opening three quarters.
Eugenia Trinchinetti scored twice for Argentina, while Maria Granatto buried the game-winner
In the final game of the day, Argentina and Belgium men both scored early in the first quarter only to battle it out end-to-end through to the final frame. A penalty stroke in the dying minutes of the game was finished brilliantly by Maico Casella to give the Leones a 2-1 win over the reigning Olympic champs.