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India defeat France 4-3 at Paris (7/19/2010)
--s2h team
India edged past France 4-3 in a fiercely contested first Test at Insep, Paris on Sunday.

India who led 2-1 at half time struck goals through Tushar Khandker (5th min.), Sandeep Singh (12th and 65th min.) and Rajpal Singh (69th min.) while Fredric Soyez scored a hat trick for France in the 6th, 51st and 68th minutes.

India began aggressively and nearly took the lead in the 3rd minute but Dharamvir Singh fumbled inside the circle.

Two minutes later Sandeep Singh sent an overhead pass to Indian skipper Rajpal Singh who darted along the backline and passed to Khandker who beat French goalkeeper Mathias Dierckems.

France came back and leveled the score in the 6th minute when Soyez encashed on a defensive lapse by Sarvanjit Singh and Danish Mujtaba and beat goalkeeper Bharat Chetri to his left.

India continued to attack and missed a few good chances as Mandip Antil, Amir Khan and Dharamvir were off target.

However, in the 12th minute Amir received a pass from Ravi Pal but was blocked in the circle by Thibaunt Blondel which resulted in India's first penalty corner. The inform Sandeep Singh strode confidently to put India 2-1 ahead.

In the second half France played full court to get the equalizer but Gurbaj Singh, Bharat Chikara and Dhananjay Mahadik foiled their attempts initially.

However Soyes scored their second goal in the 51st minute after wrong footing Sandeep Singh and restored parity.

India took a 3-2 lead in the 65th minute from their second penalty corner which was converted by Sandeep Singh after Khandker was obstructed cutting into the circle from the left.

France fought back gallantl to again find the equilizer three minutes later as Soyez was brought down in the 23 meter area resulting in a penalty corner. The French veteran flicked the ball past Chetri to score is hat trick.

With the pendelum swinging from one side to the another, India found the match winner in the 69th minute with Raj Pal Singh slamming home from a cross by Gurbaj Singh.

India will now play the second of the three match series at the same venue today.

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